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Questions tagged [formal-semantics]

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1answer
55 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
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1answer
65 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 ...
3
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1answer
115 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 ...
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1answer
77 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 ...
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0answers
35 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, ...
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0answers
28 views

How to understand the difference in interpreting the definite article under the iota and the THE operators?

In the case of the English definite article, 1) How does presupposition play a role in the iota and THE shifting? Any examples? 2) How do definites with unique and anaphoric readings correspond to ...
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40 views

Reference request: formal semantics of “(((there) is) a) cat”

I remember having read that, in (some schools of) formal semantics, there is no difference between the semantics of (a) cat and (there) is a cat. Is this true, and can you provide a reference to the ...
3
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2answers
77 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
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2answers
103 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 ...
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52 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 ...
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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 ...
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35 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
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1answer
32 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 ...
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1answer
80 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 ...
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0answers
26 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 ...
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1answer
42 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 ...
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1answer
82 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 ...
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0answers
45 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 ...
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0answers
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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 ...
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0answers
35 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
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0answers
41 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....
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1answer
43 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 ...
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2answers
46 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 ...
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0answers
27 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?
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2answers
121 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
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1answer
233 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 ...
4
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2answers
70 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 ...
3
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1answer
216 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 (...
3
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2answers
3k 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
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1answer
344 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 ...
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0answers
47 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
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1answer
170 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 ...
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2answers
170 views

Can an indefinite article trigger a presupposition?

One presupposition trigger is the definite article. Can an indefinite article trigger a presupposition?
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1answer
82 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
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0answers
91 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 ...
3
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1answer
993 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 ...
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2answers
378 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 ...
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1answer
5k 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 ...
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2answers
87 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): ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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3answers
332 views

Textbooks in Formal Semantics / Montague semantics

I'm looking for a cheap, thorough but reasonably accessible introduction to formal semantics. There appear to be lots of options on the market. I assume there are plenty of experts in formal semantics ...