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By Reinhard Muskens

ISBN-10: 1881526801

ISBN-13: 9781881526803

Muskens substantially simplifies Montague Semantics and generalises the speculation by way of basing it on a partial larger order common sense leading to a thought which mixes vital elements of Montague Semantics and state of affairs Semantics. Richard Montague formulated the innovative perception that we will comprehend the idea that of which means in usual languages a lot within the comparable means as we comprehend the semantics of logical languages. regrettably, he formalised his notion in an unnecessarily complicated approach. the current paintings does away with pointless complexities, obtains a streamlined model of the idea, indicates how partialising the speculation immediately offers us with the main significant recommendations of state of affairs Semantics, and provides an easy logical remedy of propositional perspective verbs, belief verbs and correct names.

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A practical consequence of this move is a greater modularity: should we want to change our temporal ontology, replacing moments of time by intervals for example, we can simply change the axioms AX1, . . , AX8; there is no need to fuss with the underlying logic. Gallin’s embedding helps us to see why Beta Conversion, Universal Instantiation and Leibniz’s Law are subject to such strange restrictions in IL. Constants in IL are of a mixed character: in fact they can be viewed as constants carrying a hidden variable with them.

If expressions stand for the same thing, they are interchangeable in all contexts. It follows that the expressions Sara and Miss America, that are clearly not interchangeable in modal or temporal contexts, cannot have the same semantic value. Expressions stand for their meanings, not for their references. Therefore it is wrong to translate Sara is Miss America as an identity statement. It may be true that Sara is Miss America but it is certainly false that Sara means Miss America. This point of view leads us away from the ideas behind the logic IL but it is not in conflict with possible worlds semantics as such, for we can continue to treat the meaning of a sentence as a set of indices, the meaning of an intransitive verb as a function from indices to sets of entities and so on.

Dowty 1982 has an interesting discussion of this point and traces the idea of separating grammatical rules and syntactic operations back to Curry 1963, who calls the universal part of language ‘tectogrammatics’, the language-particular part ‘phenogrammatics’. Grammatical relations, like ‘subject’, ‘object’ and ‘indirect object’, are universal, and hence tectogrammatical, in nature, Dowty claims. And indeed it is easy to define such relations on the basis of our analysis trees. For more motivation along these lines see Dowty’s work.

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Meaning and Partiality by Reinhard Muskens


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