PP-2003-20: The Categorial Fine-Structure of Natural Language

PP-2003-20: van Benthem, Johan (2003) The Categorial Fine-Structure of Natural Language. [Report]

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Abstract

Categorial grammar analyzes linguistic syntax and semantics in terms of type theory and lambda calculus. A major attraction of this approach is its unifying power, as its basic function/argument structures occur across the foundations of mathematics, language and computation. This paper considers, in a light example-based manner, where this elegant logical paradigm stands when confronted with the wear and tear of reality. Starting from a brief history of the Lambek tradition since the 1980s, we discuss three main issues: (a) the fit of the lambda calculus engine to characteristic semantic structures in natural language, (b) the coexistence of the original type-theoretic and more recent modal interpretations of categorial logics, and (c) the place of categorial grammars in the complex total architecture of natural language, which involves - amongst others - mixtures of interpretation and inference.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: PP-2003-20
Series Name: Prepublication (PP) Series
Year: 2003
Uncontrolled Keywords: categorial grammar, lambda calculus, type theory, monotonicity, modal logic, natural language, inference
Subjects: Logic
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:36
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 14:36
URI: https://eprints.illc.uva.nl/id/eprint/104

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