Compositional Semantics: An Introduction to the Syntax/Semantics Interface

Paperback | September 28, 2014

byPauline Jacobson

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This book provides an introduction to compositional semantics and to the syntax/semantics interface. It is rooted within the tradition of model theoretic semantics, and develops an explicit fragment of both the syntax and semantics of a rich portion of English. Professor Jacobson adopts a Direct Compositionality approach, whereby the syntax builds the expressions while the semantics simultaneously assigns each a model-theoretic interpretation. Alongside this approach, the author also presents a competing view that makes use of an intermediate level,Logical Form. She develops parallel treatments of a variety of phenomena from both points of view with detailed comparisons. The book begins with simple and fundamental concepts and gradually builds a more complex fragment, including analyses of more advanced topics such as focus, negative polarity,and a variety of topics centering on pronouns and binding more generally. Exercises are provided throughout, alongside open-ended questions for students to consider. The exercises are interspersed with the text to promote self-discovery of the fundamentals and their applications.The book provides a rigorous foundation in formal analysis and model theoretic semantics and is suitable for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in linguistics, philosophy of language, and related fields.

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This book provides an introduction to compositional semantics and to the syntax/semantics interface. It is rooted within the tradition of model theoretic semantics, and develops an explicit fragment of both the syntax and semantics of a rich portion of English. Professor Jacobson adopts a Direct Compositionality approach, whereby the s...

Pauline Jacobson is currently Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University. She has held visiting appointments at Ohio State University and Harvard University, and has been a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research is mainly concerned with con...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:437 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 0.68 inPublished:September 28, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199677158

ISBN - 13:9780199677153

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Table of Contents

Foreword: On using this bookPart I: Foundational Concepts: Building a Fragment1. Introduction2. Semantic Foundations3. Compositionality, Direct Compositionality, and the Syntax/Semantics Interface4. Expanding the Fragment: Syntactic Categories and Semantic Types5. Transitive Verbs: Resolving an Apparent Syntax/Semantics Mismatch6. Categorial Grammar7. The "Autonomy of Syntax"8. Adjectives, Nouns, Determiners, and More9. Interlude: The Semantics of Variables, and the Lambda CalculusPart II: Enriching the Domain10. Returning to English: Generalized Quantifiers11. Ordinary NPs and Type Lifting12. Generalized ConjunctionPart III: Relative Clauses, Scopes, and Binding: Some Theoretical Controversies13. Relative Clauses: Sketching Two Accounts14. Generalized Quantifiers in Object Position: Two Approaches15. The Interpretation of Pronouns: Two AccountsAppendices to Parts I - III: The Full FragmentPart IV: Further Topics16. Negative Polarity Items, Semantic Strength, and Scalar Implicature Revisited17. More Binding Phenomena18. Additional Semantic Dimensions: The Semantics of Focus19. Intensionality and the Syntax/Semantics InterfaceReferences