Semantics Research Group Meeting, April 7, 2014

[Japanese | English]

4:30pm, April 7, 2014
Keio University, Mita Campus,
South Annex, 7th floor
Wolfgang Sternefeld (Universität Tübingen)
Radical reconstruction: a semantic approach
Reconstruction as in topicalizations like "his mother everyone loves" have been treated in a number of different ways, mostly as a case of syntactic reconstruction of the pronoun his into the c-commanding scopal domain of the quantifier everyone. In many such cases, however, such a syntactic treatment is unsatisfying from a syntactic perspective, and perhaps also for semantic reasons, as in the case of so-called internally headed relative clauses. What is called for is a sematic system that would allow for reconstruction in totally semantic term. We show that such a system exists and that it is different from variable free logic in still respecting ordinary variables. We need basically two steps. In step one we treat predicate logic in a compositional way by shifting from open formulas to sets of assignment functions. This suffices for most cases in linguistics, if we are willing to treat predicates as "open propositions" and adopt a kind of continuation semantics a la Chris Barker. The more cumbersome part comes with "Himself noone hates" where the reconstructed item is just a variable. Even this case can be handled in an extended system that recognizes continuations of variable assignments.

Semantics Research Group

Last modified: 2014-03-30 22:24:42 JST