Continuations and Natural Language
This book takes concepts developed by researchers in theoretical computer science and adapts and applies them to the study of natural language meaning. Summarizing more than a decade of research, Chris Barker and Chung-chieh Shan put forward the Continuation Hypothesis: that the meaning of a natural language expression can depend on its own continuation. In Part I, the authors develop a continuation-based theory of scope and quantificational binding and provide an explanation for order sensitivity in scope-related phenomena such as scope ambiguity, crossover, superiority, reconstruction, negative polarity licensing, dynamic anaphora, and donkey anaphora. Part II outlines an innovative substructural logic for reasoning about continuations and proposes an analysis of the compositional semantics of adjectives such as 'same' in terms of parasitic and recursive scope. It also shows that certain cases of ellipsis should be treated as anaphora to a continuation, leading to a new explanation for a subtype of sluicing known as sprouting.
The book makes a significant contribution to work on scope, reference, quantification, and other central aspects of semantics and will appeal to semanticists in linguistics and philosophy at graduate level and above.
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abstraction analysis antecedent clause apply Argument Raising Ax(x Axſ Barker and Shan beta reduction bidk c-command chapter combination schema combinatory categorial grammar constituent context Continuation Passing Style delimited continuations denotation derivation in NL determiner phrase discussion Dº S DP donkey anaphora DP D S DP Dº DP\S dynamic embedded equivalent evaluation order examples farmer Flexible Montague Grammar function composition H DPWS in-situ inference inner antecedent instance interpretation inverse scope John left lambda calculus layer left-to-right lexical entry licensing lift logical rules loves lower Mary meaning monad Moortgat mother natural language NLCL nuclear scope parasitic scope pied piping proof quantificational binding quantifier reconstruction effects relative clause requires result type scope-taking semantic type semantic value sentence sequent sluicing someone strategy structural postulate syntactic category syntax take scope theorem truth conditions type-logical grammar type-shifter variable verb phrase wh-phrase