Partee has nice summary about the formal semantics of relative clause http://people.umass.edu/partee/MGU_2005/MGU05Lec10.pdf (subordinate adjectival clause). E.g. At least one boy who Mary loves is happy has semantics ∃x (boy(x) & loves(x)(Mary) & happy(x))

Is there similar formal semantics of noun clauses, e.g. formal semantics of the sentence He told me that the match had been cancelled?

Noun clauses are the most mysterious clauses (from 3 types of clauses - noun, relative and adverbial), because there is no book about them (there are lot of books about adverbial clauses, although - none of them is about formal semantics) and no chapter in Sementics books (e.g. https://www.degruyter.com/viewbooktoc/product/175240 has chapter about adverbial clauses but no chapter about noun clauses, although Chapter 68 Copular Clauses contain some examples that seems to be noun clauses).

Maybe noun clauses is more widely known under different name that is used in linguistics?

E.g. John took an object can be represented by take_past(John, object), but how can we represent John said that the book was good? say_past(John, full_sentence)? Is it possible the replace object/Noun in function say_past with the full sentence? What kind of logical expression we get in this case?

  • 1
    Noun clauses in traditional grammar are called content clauses in modern grammar.
    – BillJ
    May 3, 2018 at 17:00
  • But not everybody speaks Modern Grammar all the time; in fact, every linguist has their own set of terminology, and can probably deliver an impromptu 50-minute lecture on why each one is chosen and how they use it.
    – jlawler
    May 4, 2018 at 1:21


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