Word Meaning and Montague Grammar: The Semantics of Verbs and Times in Generative Semantics and in Montague's PTQ / Edition 1by D. R. Dowty
Pub. Date: 10/31/1979
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
The most general goal of this book is to propose and illustrate a program of research in word semantics that combines some of the methodology and results in linguistic semantics, primarily that of the generative semantics school, with the rigorously formalized syntactic and semantic framework for the analysis of natural languages developed by Richard Montague and his… See more details below
The most general goal of this book is to propose and illustrate a program of research in word semantics that combines some of the methodology and results in linguistic semantics, primarily that of the generative semantics school, with the rigorously formalized syntactic and semantic framework for the analysis of natural languages developed by Richard Montague and his associates, a framework in which truth and denotation with respect to a model are taken as the fundamental semantic notions. I hope to show, both from the linguist's and the philosopher's point of view, not only why this synthesis can be undertaken but also why it will be useful to pursue it. On the one hand, the linguists' decompositions of word meanings into more primitive parts are by themselves inherently incomplete, in that they deal only in distinctions in meaning without providing an account of what mean ings really are. Not only can these analyses be made complete by a model theoretic semantics, but also such an account of these analyses renders them more exact and more readily testable than they could ever be otherwise.
Table of Contents1. Montague’s General Theory of Languages and Linguistic Theories of Syntax and Semantics.- 1.1 The meaning of “Universal” in “Universal Grammar”.- 1.2 Syntax in the UG Theory and in Linguistic Theories.- 1.2.1 Language and Disambiguated Language in UG.- 1.2.2 Montague’s Use of the Ambiguation Relation R.- 1.2.3 Other Ways of Construing the Ambiguating Relation R.- 1.2.4 The Relation R as Transformational Component.- 1.2.5 R and the Potential Vacuity of the Compositionality Thesis.- 1.2.6 Trade-Offs between R and the Syntactic Operations.- 1.2.7 Transformations as Independent Syntactic Rules.- 1.3 Semantics in UG.- 1.3.1 The Compositionality of Meanings.- 1.3.2 Katz’ Early Theory as an Instance of the General Theory of Meanings.- 1.3.3 The Theory of Reference in UG.- 1.3.4 Generative Semantics as an Instance of UG.- 1.4 Interpretation by Means of Translation.- 1.4.1 Translations and Semantic Representation.- 1.4.2 Classical GS and Upside-down GS.- 1.4.3 Directionality.- 1.5 Preliminaries to the Analysis of Word Meaning.- 1.5.1 The Direction of Decomposition.- 1.5.2 Is a Level of “Semantic Representation” Necessary?.- 1.5.3 Lexical Decompositions and the Description of Entailments.- 1.5.4 Decomposition and Structuralism.- 1.5.5 Possible Word Meanings in Natural Language.- Notes.- 2. The Semantics of Aspectual Classes of Verbs in English.- 2.1 The Development of Decomposition Analysis in Generative Semantics.- 2.1.1 Pre-GS Decomposition Analyses.- 2.1.2 Causatives and Inchoatives in Lakoff’s Dissertation.- 2.1.3 McCawley’s Post-Transformational Lexical Insertion.- 2.1.4 Paradigmatic and Syntagmatic Evidence for Decomposition.- 2.1.5 The Place of Lexical Insertion Transformations in a GS Derivation.- 2.2The Aristotle-Ryle-Kenny-Vendler Verb Classification.- 2.2.1 The Development of the Verb Classification.- 2.2.2 States and Activities.- 2.2.3 Activities and Accomplishments.- 2.2.4 Achievements.- 2.2.5 Lexical Ambiguity.- 2.2.6 The Problem of Indefinite Plurals and Mass Nouns.- 2.2.7 Examples of the Four Vendler Categories in Syntactic and Semantic Subcategories.- 2.3 An Aspect Calculus.- 2.3.1 The Goal and Purpose of an Aspect Calculus.- 2.3.2 Statives, von Wright’s Logic of Change, and BECOME.- 2.3.3 A Semantic Solution to the Problem of Indefinites and Mass Nouns.- 2.3.4 Carlson’s Treatment of ‘Bare Plurals’.- 2.3.5 Degree-Achievements.- 2.3.6 Accomplishments and CAUSE.- 2.3.7 CAUSE and Lewis’ Analysis of Causation.- 2.3.8 DO, Agency and Activity Verbs.- 2.3.9 The Semantics of DO.- 2.3.10 DO in Accomplishments.- 2.3.11 Summary of the Aspect Calculus.- 2.4The Aspect Calculus as Restricting Possible Word Meanings.- Notes.- 3. Interval Semantics and the Progressive Tense.- 3.1 The Imperfective Paradox.- 3.2 Truth Conditions Relative to Intervals, not Moments.- 3.3 Revised Truth Conditions for BECOME.- 3.4 Truth Conditions for the Progressive.- 3.5 Motivating the Progressive Analysis Independently of Accomplishment Sentences.- 3.6 On the Notion of ‘Likeness’ Among Possible Worlds.- 3.7 Extending the Analysis to the “Futurate Progressive”.- 3.8 Another Look at the Vendler Classification in an Interval-Based Semantics.- 3.8.1 The Non-Homogeneity of the Activity Class.- 3.8.2 “Stative” Verbs in the Progressive Tense.- 3.8.3 A Revised Verb Classification.- 3.8.4 Accomplishments with Event-Objects.- Notes.- 4. Lexical Decomposition in Montague Grammar.- 4.1 Existing “Lexical Decomposition” in the PTQ Grammar.- 4.2 The General Form of Decomposition Translations: Lambda Abstraction vs. Predicate Raising.- 4.3 Morphologically Derived Causatives and Inchoatives.- 4.4 Prepositional Phrase Accomplishments.- 4.5 Accomplishments with Two Prepositional Phrases.- 4.6 Prepositional Phrase Adjuncts vs. Prepositional Phrase Complements.- 4.7 Factitive Constructions.- 4.8 Periphrastic Causatives.- 4.9 By-Phrases in Accomplishment Sentences.- 4.10 Causative Constructions in Other Languages.- Notes.- 5. Linguistic Evidence for the Two Strategies of Lexical Decomposition.- 5.1 Arguments that Constraints on Syntactic Rules Rule Out “Impossible” Lexical Items.- 5.2 Arguments that Familiar Transformations Also Apply Pre-Lexically.- 5.3 Pronominalization of Parts of Lexical Items.- 5.4 Scope Ambiguities with Almost.- 5.5 Scope Ambiguities with Adverbs: Have-Deletion Cases.- 5.6 Scope Ambiguities with Adverbs: Accomplishment Cases.- 5.7 Arguments from Re- and Reversative Un-.- 5.8 Accommodating the Adverb Scope Data in a PTQ Grammar.- 5.8.1 Treating the Verb as Ambiguous.- 5.8.2 Treating the Adverb as Ambiguous.- 5.8.3 Accommodating the “Have-Deletion” Cases.- 5.9 Overpredictions of the Generative Semantics Hypothesis.- 5.9.1 Newmeyer’s and Aissen’s Cases: Interaction with Familiar Cyclic Transformations.- 5.9.2 Adverb Raising/Operator Raising.- 5.9.3 Pre-Lexical Quantifier Lowering.- 5.9.4 Quantifier Lowering and Carlson’s Analysis of Bare Plurals.- 5.10 Concluding Evaluation.- Notes.- 6. The Syntax and Semantics of Word Formation: Lexical Rules.- 6.1 Montague’s Program and Lexical Rules.- 6.2 A Lexical Component For a Montague Grammar.- 6.3 Lexical Rules and Morphology.- 6.4 Lexical Rules and Syntax.- 6.5 Examples of Lexical Rules.- 6.6 Problems for Research in the Pragmatics and in the Semantics of Word Formation.- Notes.- 7. The Syntax and Semantics of Tenses and Time Adverbials in English: An English Fragment.- 7.1 The Syncategorematic Nature of Tense-Time Adverbial Interaction.- 7.2 Rules for “Main Tense” Adverbials.- 7.3 Aspectual Adverbials: For an Hour and In an Hour.- 7.4 The Syntactic Structure of the Auxiliary.- 7.5 The Present Perfect.- 7.6 Negation.- 7.7 An English Fragment.- 7.7.1 Basic Model-Theoretic Definitions.- 7.7.2 The Syntax and Interpretation of the Translation Language.- 7.7.3 The Syntax and Translation of English.- 7.7.4 Lexical Rules.- 7.7.5 Lexicon.- 7.7.6 Examples.- Notes.- 8. Intensions and Psychological Reality.- Notes.- References.
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