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Author: Alastair Butler

Abstract

Predicate Logic with Anaphom (PLA) gives a semantics for a language of predicate logic with atomic formulas taking, in addition to variables, "pronouns" as terms. This chapter introduces a semantics for interrogatives with a set up motivated by the need to give an appropriate semantics for indefinites. It shows how WH-phrases are treated basically like indefinites, that is, as binders that might have usage information to ensure their support. The chapter shows how the options left available for the distribution of usage information placed restrictions on the forms expressions could take and that this matched up with the range of variation exhibited by WH questions cross-linguistically. While agreeing with the status of WH-phrases as indefinites, the account was shown to be just as consistent with the view of WH-phrases as variables, since their semantics was such that they would pop namely position to take as the value for their binding.

In: Questions in Dynamic Semantics
Author: Alastair Butler
The Semantics of Grammatical Dependencies argues that constraints of interaction from semantic evaluations enforce grammatical dependency patterns that recur across natural languages and within constructions at intra and inter sentential levels as well as discourse levels. The book develops along three lines. Firstly, a handle is gained on why languages are structured around localities, with localities functioning as actions of 'reset' to permit the reuse of grammatical resources that maintain a fixed semantic contribution. Secondly, sensitivity is brought to the linear and hierarchical placement of scope information to capture ordering effects like accessibility, crossover and intervention. Thirdly, an interestingly different perspective is reached on what it means to be grammatical: rather than being a destructive feature that bans or filters out bad structure, grammaticality takes on a role of constructive guidance that keeps languages to what are generally unambiguous canonical forms that moreover guarantee required dependencies. The book will be of interest to advanced undergraduate students, post-graduate and research students and all researchers in the formal analysis of the syntax, semantics and pragmatics of natural language.
In: The Semantics of Grammatical Dependencies
In: The Semantics of Grammatical Dependencies
In: The Semantics of Grammatical Dependencies
In: The Semantics of Grammatical Dependencies
In: The Semantics of Grammatical Dependencies
In: The Semantics of Grammatical Dependencies
In: The Semantics of Grammatical Dependencies
In: The Semantics of Grammatical Dependencies