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How would I represent 'for' in "Are you here for a conference?"

  1. conference could be represented as lam x.conference(x).
  2. a conference could be represented as lam Q x.(conference(x) & Q(x))

I assume that I know the meaning of for in this context. (Prepositions are polysemous)

  • "Are" is not a preposition: it is a verb. Most prepositions have their own semantics, and would need to be represented by their own operations in any logical form. Some are merely syntactic sugar (some uses of of, for example). – Colin Fine Dec 19 '15 at 17:42
  • I'd use "P" for preposition. (But I doubt the question you ask is really meaningful.) – Greg Lee Dec 19 '15 at 18:21
  • "For the conference" is a preposition phrase @ColinFine. I provided a complete sentence as an example. – mac389 Dec 19 '15 at 18:22
  • @GregLee I do not think you understood my question. Perhaps my edited version is clearer. – mac389 Dec 19 '15 at 18:30
  • Lambdas provide a way to express functional abstraction. What does this have to do your question about representing "for"? I just don't see any connection. – Greg Lee Dec 19 '15 at 18:38
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Just from this example it would seem that the type of for is ((e,t),t), ((e,t),(e,t)) -- because it combines with a DP to make up an adjunct to the VP. Thus, it could have a semantics like the following (I'm just making it up)

(1) [[for]] = λPet,tλQetλxe(Q(x) for(P))

Indeed I should sit down and think if it makes any sense :-) But I hope this helps -- I'll be interested to hear what you think.

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  • Why did you use 'because-of' instead of 'for' in (1)? (If you use 'for', then we can conclude that we can use '[[for]]' when we can use 'for'.) – Greg Lee Dec 20 '15 at 1:26
  • @GregLee: Nothing particular, just was trying to interpret 'for'. Sure, I've changed it to for. – Ivan Kapitonov Dec 20 '15 at 1:48

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