Download Compositional Semantics: An Introduction to the by Pauline Jacobson PDF

By Pauline Jacobson

This e-book presents an advent to compositional semantics and to the syntax/semantics interface. it truly is rooted in the culture of version theoretic semantics, and develops an particular fragment of either the syntax and semantics of a wealthy element of English.

Professor Jacobson adopts a right away Compositionality process, wherein the syntax builds the expressions whereas the semantics at the same time assigns each one a model-theoretic interpretation. along this process, the writer additionally provides a competing view that uses an intermediate point, Logical shape. She develops parallel remedies of various phenomena from either issues of view with specific comparisons. The e-book starts off with uncomplicated and basic techniques and steadily builds a extra advanced fragment, together with analyses of extra complicated issues reminiscent of concentration, detrimental polarity, and various themes centering on pronouns and binding extra in most cases. routines are supplied all through, along open-ended questions for college students to contemplate. The routines are interspersed with the textual content to advertise self-discovery of the basics and their applications.

The booklet offers a rigorous starting place in formal research and version theoretic semantics and is appropriate 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

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Each integer in this set is called a member or an element of the set. If we were to name this set A, then the notation 4 ∈ A means that 4 is a member (or element) of A. Something either is or is not in a set; it makes no sense to say it occurs twice (or more) in the set. Note also that a set can have a single member; this is called a singleton set. Thus {4} is the set with only one member; this set is distinct from 4 itself. ) A set can have an infinite number of members; the set of positive integers for example is infinite.

We will enrich the toolbox directly to take care of that. But there are other objections: does it really make sense to say that all declarative sentences are true or false? Clearly not—for some sentences the truth value depends on who is speaking (and on when the sentence is spoken). Take (3): (3) I am President of the United States. This is true if spoken by Barack Obama in 2011, but not if spoken by John McCain and not true if spoken by Barack Obama in 2006. So this has no truth value in and of itself.

In this way we can go back and forth between talking about certain functions (those whose domain is {1,0}) and the sets that they characterize. This is useful in thinking about the meaning of sentences. We have taken the meaning of a sentence to be a function from worlds to {1,0} but one can equivalently take it to be a set of possible worlds (namely, all worlds mapped to 1 by the relevant function). It is useful to be able to go back and forth between these two conceptions. Note that the function is uniquely recoverable from the set only under the assumption that every sentence is indeed assigned 1 or 0 in every world.

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