Questions tagged [formal-semantics]

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Intuitionistic type theory in linguistics

How important is type theory for modern formal linguistics? I am looking for modern references that build on Ranta's (Ranta, Aarne. "Type-theoretical grammar." (1994)) use of type theory for ...
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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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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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Series of textbooks to learn semantics from beginners' to advanced level

I am not a student of linguistics, but my interest in mathematics, philosophy and computer science inevitably leads me to many terms and concepts used in linguistics, particularly semantics. I have ...
1 vote
183 views

Is there an approach to quantification theory that construes quantifiers as subset creators?

In formal semantics, the theory of generalized quantifiers analyzes quantifiers (e.g. all, some, no, most, few, etc.) in terms of sets to sets. The meaning of the quantifier some, for instance, is ...
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If adjectives denote functions of type <<e,t>,<e,t>>, then what denotation of *be* will allow adjectives to appear in predicative position?

Suppose [[gray]] = λf ∈ D<e,t> . [λx ∈ De . f(x) = 1 and x is gray]. Since this function is of type <<e,t>,<e,t>>, it would seem that sentences like Julius is gray are ...
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Is formal semantics useful for computational linguistics and NLP?

I browsed the table of content of Cann's Formal Semantics. Cann's book is for linguistics, and am I right that it is helpful for computational linguistics and natural language processing? But it also ...
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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 ...
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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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Know and Factivity

Consider the following sentence: (1) I don't know that John kissed Mary. When I assert this sentence, am I contradicting myself? The reason is as follows: following Stalnaker's view on the factivity ...
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Formal syntax and semantics for Turkish

as a student of linguistics and admirer of Turkish, I wondered whether there are good introductory books for formal syntax and (Montague) semantics for Turkish. Thanks in advance!
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Present participles in a noun phrase

I'm working on a research project on premodufying present participles and I would like to have a native speaker's impression on the grammaticality or frequency of the following options. There are ...
1 vote
54 views

Canonical treatment of tense and modality within formal semantics

I'm thinking about expressions like "Ronit must have won the game," where we have an intersection of tense and modality. Conventional wisdom is to use Kratzer's notion of ordering source and ...
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Formal semantics of phrases like “I need to go to the store”

Phrases like “I need to go to the store” do not express logical or contingent necessity. Possible words in which one does not go to the store feasibly exist. These phrases behave more as some kind of ...
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what's the denotation of the predicate 'exists'?

What denotation do linguists assign to the predicate exists in order to make the right predictions about the truth conditions of sentences like Santa does not exist. Unicorns do not exist. My ...
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Is there a standard accepted definition of in-situ quantification, and if so what is it?

I'm reading a paper that references Montague being focused on in-situ quantification. I'm not a linguist, so apologies for the naivety, but how does this differ from what is being called bounded ...
1 vote
35 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 ...
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42 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 ...
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45 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 ...
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1 vote
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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?
187 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 ...
76 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, ...
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What is the purpose of "x" in the Venn-diagrams depicting categorical propositions?

See the I- and O-diagrams of this article. The "x" does not make sense the way it is formulated. Every member of the intersection is a member of the intersection, obviously. The "x"...
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288 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 ...
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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 ...
• 499
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"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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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 ...
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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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How do you write "in" in logical form?

"There is a beer in the fridge." There exists a beer and there exists a fridge such that the beer is in the fridge. \exists x [BEER(x)] \exists y [FRIDGE(y)] IN(x,y) I guess I never ...
99 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 ...
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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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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 ...
• 499
273 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 ...
170 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: ...
44 views

What aspect of meaning is not captured by the translation from natural language to PropL?

So I was given the sentence "I don’t drink and drive", and asked to translate it into PropL and indicate at least one aspect of meaning that the logical translation doesn’t capture. To ...
97 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 ...
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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): ...