Questions tagged [formal-semantics]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
1answer
53 views

'some students,' 'many students' etc. in logical formula

'John met the student' would translate as: (∃x student(x) ⋀ (∀y (student(y) → y = x)) ⋀ met(j,x)) where, j stands for John. We have the existential quantifier and the universal quantifier; hence, ...
1
vote
2answers
62 views

truth condition of 'uniqueness' in the (neo) Russellian theory

I'm trying to work out how (∀y (student(y) → y = x) represents uniqueness. How come we need that formula there? Doesn't just ∃x student(x) ⋀ met(j,x)) suffice? Or, would it be the expression for I ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Is there a way to express a negation modifier in lambda calculus?

I want to model the Middle High German sentence "Ih néhabo niêht in geméitun sô uuîlo geuuêinot" that can be glossed as "I Neg-have not-at-all in vain so much cried" meaning "I have not at all cried ...
3
votes
3answers
205 views

What explanatory advantages does so-called “type theory” have?

Some linguists use a theory called "type theory"; you can see it in a few questions on this site. Apparently it is based on the "type theory" of maths, logic, and computer science. Wikipedia's ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

Definite descriptions and essentially indistinguishable participants

In the analysis of definite descriptions there is a problem called "The Problem of Indistinguishable Participants", exemplified by the so-called bishop sentences: If a bishop meets a bishop, the ...
2
votes
0answers
108 views

Is language “necessarily underspecified”?

I've read an exam question given in a class on Semantics, that was asking Why is language necessarily underspecified I did not find much about this at the time, which is surprising because it ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

What's an Event Argument?

Davidsonian and Neo-davidsonian formal semantics is full of templates containing something labelled as Event Argument. For example, In Kratzer (1996, p.1), discussing severing the external argument ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

existential force and universal force

I was reading the paper below, and because of my lack of knowledge on the linguistic terms, I have been stuck half way through. If you would be kind enough to enlighten me, I would be very much ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Necessity and Possibility, Domain Widen, Indeterminate Phrase

I wanna ask a question about semantics. It's on page 20 in the paper "Indeterminate Pronouns: The View from Japanese" (Kratzer & Shimoyama, 2002). What I don't understand is the part Computing ...
1
vote
0answers
34 views

Compositional semantics without possible

Is there a way to do compositional semantics without possible worlds? Especially in the case of semantics of fictional objects. I was trying to think of fictional objects as 'grammatical object' so ...
1
vote
0answers
80 views

Examples of languages with complex “formules de politesse”

French uses complex word arrangements to say "best regards" and "yours sincerely" to finish well written letters, i.e.: Nous vous prions d’agréer, Monsieur, l’expression de nos sentiments respectueux ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

Converting types into lambda notation and set notation

I am looking into different phrases and their semantic derivation. For example, the verb sneeze: Type (e,t) λx[SNEEZE]x In a sentence like: Michael and Jamie sneeze, I would like to know how to get ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Solving type mismatch

I am doing a semantic derivation of the following sentence: Cathy and Fred drank three coffees. I know the types of each individual component but when trying to work towards t, I find a type ...
4
votes
1answer
544 views

The semantic type of and?

Semantic types meaning for example a verb being of type (e,t), or an individual/entity being of type e. I am confused in these two sentences, because I believe the semantic type of 'and' is different ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

How active formal semantics as a research field today?

I've heard from some people (working in computational linguistics) that today the area of formal semantics is on the decline. On the other hand, I can see many new papers from formal semanticists on ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

Departments/research centers in formal semantics

I'm not sure whether this is considered off-topic, and if it is, then I'll delete my question. The question is: what are some strong departments specialized in formal semantics? I know in the US, ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

Computational/Formal Approaches to Paragraph-Level Semantics

There are several frameworks that have been built by both linguists and computer scientists to deal with the problem of semantic representation of sentences, most notably Abstract Meaning ...
3
votes
2answers
132 views

Understanding Feature Grammar syntax

Background: I am a software dev who doesn't really know much about linguistics but I am trying to learn some of it for an application I'm making I am trying to understand Feature Grammar syntax, and ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

Name for the view that ambiguities in natural language are imperfections of it?

For instance, in natural language, "or" is slightly different from logical OR, "some" is slightly different from logical EXISTS, etc. What is the name of the belief that these discrepancies are ...
3
votes
0answers
38 views

Neural Net advances in textual entailment and mathematical semantics/logic view on it

I wonder if researchers working on textual entailment using explicit modelling tools (mathematical semantics / logic /formal semantics) have an explanation of recent success of neural networks in ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Complete NL formalisms w/out syntax

What are the natural language formalisms that, roughly speaking, do away w/ syntax as a separate level of description? Cf. Steedman's "The Syntactic Process" (2000): "...syntactic structure is ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

directed graph representation of LF

I am a logician new to linguistics. I am curious if there has been any work on using the formalism of directed graphs (as opposed to, say, lambda-calculus or first-order logic) to represent LF of ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

'sibling-in-law' constructions: Why the polysemy/vagueness?

A holds the 'sibling-in-law' relation to B only in the case when: (1) A is a sibling of C and C is married to B; or (2) A is married to C and C is a sibling of B. What is common to (1) and (2) is ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Formal semantics (Montague, type-theoretical) of noun clauses

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Formal semantics (Montague, type-theoretical) of adverbial clauses

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
118 views

“in relation to which” - what type of subordinated clause and is this conjunction somehow distinct?

I am trying to analyse the sentence: Building land is a plot of land in relation to which a construction permit has been issued. and my question is - what type of subordinated clause is introduced ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

Formal semantics explanation

Having linguistics and Chinese knowledge, I need some basic notions to understand an academic article. I add an example of the kind of language used a. liang zu xuesheng 'two teams/sections of ...
0
votes
0answers
106 views

Are these phrases downward entailing?

Please consider the following phrases with respect to downward entailment: Mary remembers that French students saw her. Mary remembers that tall French students saw her. (in my opinion, this is not ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

Connections between combinatory categorial grammars and abstract categorial grammars?

Are there connections/translation or common tools usage/adaptation between combinatory (concrete) categorial grammars (incl. Lambek calculus) and abstract categorial grammars? Can tools for one of ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

What is the source of knowledge/discovery for the semantics? Automation of semantic science?

Natural sciences observe facts and make models. Mathematics more or less arbitrarly generates axioms and investigates all the possible consquences of them. What is the source of semantic knowledge (e....
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Formal semantics of subordinate clauses (compound sentences) - in categorial and type logical grammars?

I am trying to apply combinatory categorial grammars and type logical grammars (Montague semantics etc.) to the compound sentences and the subordinate clauses. Are there efforts to develop those ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Motivation behind the definition for existential quantifiers such as *some* in compositional semantics

Natural language quantifiers such as some and a are formalised for compositional semantics as λP.λQ.∃x.P(x)∧Q(x). Compared to the formalisation of quantifiers such as every or all I do not quite ...
3
votes
0answers
29 views

Database of formalized english sentences?

(Not sure if this is the right site to ask) Is there an online (preferably free) database of English sentences and the corresponding first-order representations?
1
vote
2answers
127 views

What is the best/state-of-the-art logic for representing English language?

I know people have used lambda terms which "compile into" first-order logic, but based on what I have seen that is not particularly great for representing complex sentences with causal or temporal ...
3
votes
1answer
281 views

Truth-conditions of predicate-logic formulas for donkey sentences

I'm current learning about compositional semantics, quantifier raising and scope ambiguity in my semantics class and I'm having trouble answering some questions. I've attempted to answer the questions ...
3
votes
2answers
88 views

Representing constructive and non-constructive claims in formal semantics

I came across Montague's treatment of "John seeks a unicorn". He distinguishes de re and de dicto interpretations of it on the basis that the de dicto meaning does not entail the existence of any ...
2
votes
1answer
337 views

Can we build semantic mappings for CFG same as we do in CCG?

In CFG we "simply" have production rules. Whereas in Combinatory Categorial Grammar (CCG) on the other hand, we have both composition rules over categories, and a mapping from syntax to semantics (...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Truth conditional semantics and wffs

How specifically does truth conditional semantics separate syntactically well formed sentences (wffs) with semantic meaning from syntactically well formed sentences without semantic meaning? An ...
2
votes
1answer
490 views

C&C/Boxer Source Code

I’ve been trying to find C&C tools and Boxer online and found this link in many places (http://svn.ask.it.usyd.edu.au/trac/candc) but the link does not work for me. Is there another place to find ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

How can meaning be represented? [closed]

How can I represent the semantic content of a sentence or a word in a formal way? So far, I only know that you can use sets of features, but what are the alternative theories?
1
vote
1answer
224 views

logic symbol for 'unlike, differing from'

I'd like to express 'unlike, differing from', in an 'academic/professional' fashion using logic symbol(s) or mathematical operators. The descriptions of the corresponding Unicode block seem to show ...
1
vote
2answers
195 views

Can an indefinite article trigger a presupposition?

One presupposition trigger is the definite article. Can an indefinite article trigger a presupposition?
0
votes
0answers
155 views

Is the Logical meaning of 'only if' produced by 'only' (that widens 'if')?

I'm asking for multiple languages, and use grey colour to refer to the concepts denoted by the English words. Abbreviate Necessary Condition to NC, Sufficient Condition to SC. I already know that: ...
-2
votes
1answer
86 views

Formal Semantics - Set theory/Proofing (Not sure how to go around it)

I've got to do a proof to explain for any s, [[former president with long hair]]s = {x: there is an s’ before s such that x is a president with long hair in s’} when the structure is [former ...
4
votes
0answers
102 views

quantifiers adjoining a verb phrase?

I am working through Heim and Kratzer textbook 'Semantics in generative grammar' and there is a question in it that keeps puzzling me (pp.220); they give an example of a sentence which is supposed ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How is category theory applied in linguistics?

I am learning monoidal category applied in quantum information and quantum field theory, and several references say that monoidal category is somehow related to linguistics via Hopf algebra of quantum ...
12
votes
2answers
554 views

Besides logics, what mathematical tools are used in the study of linguistics?

I learned of connections between linguistics and category theory when I'm learning the application of category theory in quantum field theory. Being aware that axiomatic set theory (logics) is ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

the difference between upward and downward entailment

How does one show the difference of an upward entailment between that of a downward entailment? I have tried doing examples where the negative polarity item is moved from the verb phrase to the noun ...
-2
votes
2answers
91 views

For arbitrary x: 'Predicate Constant'(x) vs ∃x ( 'Predicate Constant'(x) )

Source: p 348, Understanding Semantics (2 ed, 2013) by Sebastian Löbner We can now see why employment of an existential quantifier makes a big difference. Compare (31a) with the ‘naked’ (31b): ...
-4
votes
2answers
137 views

Why does not 'the x dislikes the y and the y is a fox' = 'the x dislikes the fox'?

Source: Understanding Semantics (2 ed, 2013) by Sebastian Löbner [p 333:] In the following, the Individual Variables are: x, y. The 1-place Predicate Constant is: fox. The 2-place Predicate ...