By Hans Kamp, U. Reyle
Preface This ebook is set semantics and good judgment. extra in particular, it's concerning the semantics and common sense of typical language; and, much more in particular than that, it's a few specific approach of facing these matters, referred to as Discourse illustration idea, or DRT. DRT is an process in the direction of normal language semantics which, a few 13 years in the past, arose out of makes an attempt to house specified difficulties. the 1st of these was once the semantic puzzle that have been dropped at contempo rary recognition by means of Geach's infamous "donkey sentences" - sentences like If Pedro owns a few donkey, he beats it, during which the anaphoric connection we understand among the indefinite noun word a few donkey and the pronoun it will probably appear to clash with the existential which means of the be aware a few. the second one challenge needed to do with annoying and element. a few languages, for example French and the opposite Romance languages, have morphologically specific prior tenses, an easy prior (the French Passe uncomplicated) and a continuing prior (the French Imparfait). To articulate accurately what the adaptation among those tenses is has became out to be unusually difficult.
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Extra info for From Discourse to Logic: Introduction to Modeltheoretic Semantics of Natural Language, Formal Logic and Discourse Representation Theory
23) N ---+ book, stockbroker, man, woman, widow, donkey, horse, Porsche, bicycle, ... However, if we enlarge our fragment by simply adding new rules in this fashion we soon run into trouble. g. Jones and Smith like Anna 30 CHAPTER O. Karenina. To generate such a sentence we need a rule which tells us that there are NPs which result from combining two NPs with the word and. 24) NP -+ NP and NP. We also need a rule to tell us that the verb to like occurs not only in the form likes, but also in a form without final's', viz.
43) VP plur -> Vplur NP plur O. 44) V sing -> likes, loves, abhors, owns, rotates, ... 45) V p1ur -> like, love, abhor, own, rotate, ... e. that singular subjects go with singular verbs and plural subjects with plural verbs). It is subject to a considerable number of other agreement constraints as well. To name but two: subject and verb must agree also as to person; and, when the verb is reflexive, the subject must also agree with the object in person and gender. Thus we can say the man likes himself and the woman likes herself but not the man likes herself or the woman likes himself.
Not only does it seem impossible to give a satisfactory account of logical deduction without accounting also for meaning; conversely, if a theory of meaning is to include - as we think it should - a theory of interpretation, an account of meaning includes in its turn an account of deduction - at least, it will have to include all those forms of deduction that enter into the process or processes of interpretation; but those forms cover, as we will see in Volume 2, a very substantial part of deduction in general - and for all that is known at present, they may well cover all.