DS-1993-01: Transsentential Meditations; Ups and downs in dynamic semantics

DS-1993-01: Dekker, Paul (1993) Transsentential Meditations; Ups and downs in dynamic semantics. Doctoral thesis, University of Amsterdam.

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This dissertation is concerned with a number of fundamental,
theoretical and empirical issues in the dynamic semantics of
natural language. In dynamic semantics, the meaning of a sentence
is not represented in isolation, but in terms of the ability to
change certain states.

Dekker gives a type-theoretical formulation of
Groenendijk and Stokhof's dynamic Montague grammar
({\em DMG}). He uses an extensional language with a
modeltheoretic interpretation, which gives a compositional account of
discourse theoretical results, such as intersentential
anaphoric relations between indefinite expressions and anaphoric

The second chapter presents an analysis of anaphoric relations in
natural language that are outside the more traditional
discourse representation and dynamic paradigms. Dekker proposes
two important general changes: (i) structural sentence type lifting
and (ii) a sophisticated form of dynamic negation.
One of the advantages of the resulting system is that it can be
reformulated in terms of the original system with a number of closing

The third chapter shows that the resulting system is derivable
from the most simple Montagovian interpretation system, with the
use of existing type-changing rules associated with an
appropriate interpretation. Therefore, this simple system might be
better than the system proposed in the previous chapter.

Therefore, in chapter 4, {\em DMG} is again the primary system.
Dekker shows that dynamic techniques, developed to account for
intersentential meaning relations, are well-suited for
intrasentential relations, in particular the specification of
implicit arguments. Analyses of relational nomina, adverbial
modifiers, and temporal relations are reformulated with the
use of existential disclosure, a kind of reversed
existential closure.

The last chapter takes dynamic
predicate logic {\em DPL} as a starting point, and presents
an `update' semantics for this system. The resulting system
presents interpretation of a sentence as an update function of
information states, more specifically, partial information about
(partial) objects. This system is extended with
quantificational expressions, adnominal as well as adverbial.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Report Nr: DS-1993-01
Series Name: ILLC Dissertation (DS) Series
Year: 1993
Subjects: Language
Depositing User: Dr Marco Vervoort
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2022 15:16
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2022 15:16
URI: https://eprints.illc.uva.nl/id/eprint/1958

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