By Pauline Jacobson
This ebook presents an creation to compositional semantics and to the syntax/semantics interface. it really is rooted in the culture of version theoretic semantics, and develops an particular fragment of either the syntax and semantics of a wealthy component to English.
Professor Jacobson adopts a right away Compositionality method, wherein the syntax builds the expressions whereas the semantics concurrently assigns each one a model-theoretic interpretation. along this technique, the writer additionally provides a competing view that uses an intermediate point, Logical shape. She develops parallel remedies of a number of phenomena from either issues of view with unique comparisons. The booklet starts off with basic and primary techniques and steadily builds a extra complicated fragment, together with analyses of extra complex issues reminiscent of concentration, unfavourable polarity, and numerous subject matters centering on pronouns and binding extra in general. routines are supplied all through, along open-ended questions for college kids to think about. The workouts are interspersed with the textual content to advertise self-discovery of the basics and their applications.
The publication offers a rigorous origin in formal research and version theoretic semantics and is acceptable for complex undergraduate and graduate scholars in linguistics, philosophy of language, and comparable fields.
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Extra resources for Compositional Semantics: An Introduction to the Syntax/Semantics Interface
What is P ()? , the superset relation. A is a superset of B if and only if B is a subset of A. The notation for this is A B. Once again this is deﬁned in such a way that every set is a superset of itself; a superset of B which is not identical to B is called a proper superset, and the notation for this is . 5. 2. Union, intersection, and complement Take any two sets A and B. Then there is a set C which consists of everything that is in A and everything that is in B. This is called the union of A and B, and is written A [ B.
4. AN INTRIGUING PUZZLE 17 pronoun her for a variable x. But this accomplishes little until we have a way to think about what a variable like x means. ) We thus caution that formulas like (12) and (13) are best seen simply as informal and helpful ways to bring out the intended meanings. Similarly, one often sees indices used in the literature as a way to bring this out; one will ﬁnd discussions using the notation in (14) and (15) to make the point, where the indexation in (14) indicates a good possible reading for the NP while (15) cannot be understood in the intended way: (14) the womani whoi is married to heri childhood sweetheart (15) *the wifei of heri childhood sweetheart Much work in grammatical theory actually assumes that NPs and pronouns come with (obviously silent) indices in the syntax; here we will be using indices from time to time simply as a way to notate intended readings without any commitment to their being actual pieces of grammatical machinery.
But this does not mean that they should not be 6 An excellent introduction to the general program of Montague semantics and an explication especially of Montague (1973) can be found in Dowty, Wall, and Peters (1981). 7 Montague was murdered on March 7, 1971. No arrest was ever made in conjunction with the murder. 4. AN INTRIGUING PUZZLE 13 formulated explicitly—only that more mileage will be gotten out of explicit formulations. The present text is therefore committed to trying to revive the notion of explicit fragment construction.