Structure and Interpretation in Natural Language
Marc Authier & Lisa Reed
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
The central objective of this book is to present an integrated theory of the syntax-semantics interface, one which combines the most recent advances in the generative framework with the basic tenets of model-theoretic semantics. The three opening chapters develop, in a step-by-step and highly accessible fashion, an approach to structure and meaning in these terms.
The remaining chapters show how this approach sheds light on three long-standing issues in formal grammar: the treatment of "syntactically-triggered" presuppositions, the treatment of some notable exceptions to the generative binding conditions, and the issue of the relative autonomy of syntax and semantics. With respect to the first issue, it is argued that a compositional treatment of syntactically-triggered presuppositions can be formulated as a condition which ties presuppositional triggers to a specific class of syntactic configurations definable in terms of devices found in Minimalist syntax. A subsequent chapter demonstrates that the empirical coverage of so-called Bare-Output Conditions in generative syntax can be increased if such conditions are made sensitive to the two types of semantic information which have sometimes been recognized in model-theoretic semantics; that is, extension expressions and implicature expressions. Finally, empirical evidence is adduced which supports the view that there are two distinct types of semantic constraints and that those which make reference to features of tree geometry can, under specific circumstances defined by representational Economy conditions, override those which do not.
Audience: Linguists, philosophers, computational and psycholinguists, cognitive scientists; advanced undergraduates, graduate students and researchers in these fields.
Contents: Introduction - Earlier Models of Generative Grammar - Minimalist Theory - An Integration of Model-Theoretic Semantics with Minmalist Syntax - On the Compositional Analysis of Presupposed Meaning - On Presuppusitions and the Satisfaction of Bare Output Conditions - Bare Output Conditions and Others: On the Notions of Primay and Economy in the Semantic Component - Bibliography.
ISBN 9783895866036. LINCOM Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 14. 180pp. 1999.