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Trends in Linguistics

Studies and Monographs 66

Editor

Werner Winter

Mouton de Gruyter

Berlin · New York

The Elements of

Mathematical Semantics

by

Maurice V Aldridge

Mouton de Gruyter

Berlin · New York 1992

Mouton de Gruyter (formerly Mouton, The Hague)

is a Division of Walter de Gruyter & Co., Berlin.

of the ANSI to ensure permanence and durability.

The elements of mathematical semantics / by Maurice V.

Aldridge.

p. cm. — (Trends in linguistics. Studies and

monographs ; 66)

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 3-11-012957-4 (acid-free paper)

1. Semantics — Mathematical models. 2. Mathematical

linguistics. 3. Language and logic. 4. Pragmatics.

5. Categorial grammar. I. Title. II. Series.

P325.5.M36A43 1992

4 0 1 4 1 Ό 1 5 1 - dc20 92-23202

CIP

The elements of mathematical semantics / by Maurice V.

Aldridge. — Berlin ; New York : Mouton de Gruyter, 1992

(Trends in linguistics : Studies and monographs ; 66)

ISBN 3-11-012957-4

NE: Trends in linguistics / Studies and monographs

All rights reserved, including those of translation into foreign languages. No part of this

book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or

mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval

system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Disk Conversion: D. L. Lewis, Berlin. — Printing: Gerike GmbH, Berlin.

Binding: Lüderitz & Bauer, Berlin. — Printed in Germany

Acknowledgements

the Human sciences research council as well as by the University of The

Witwatersrand.

I have received invaluable assistance in the form of academic advice and

technical help from many colleagues and friends, among whom I owe a

special debt to Professor J. Heidema of the department of mathematics at

Rand Afrikaans University. Above all, my thanks go to Christine Aldridge

whose tireless aid in the technical preparation of the book has been beyond

reckoning and to Oliver Aldridge who was responsible for dragging me into

the computer age.

I dedicate this book to St. Dunstan 's. St. Dunstan 's is an organisation devoted

to the care and assistance of the military blinded and, without their endless

support, I would never have been able to set out upon the wad of scholarship,

let alone become, in some small degree, a linguist.

Contents

1.1 Aims of this study 1

1.2 Mathematical linguistics 1

1.3 A functional view of meaning 2

1.4 Truth conditions and truth values 8

1.5 Counterfactuals 11

1.6 Compositionality and syntax 11

1.7 Pragmatics 13

1.8 Propositional relations 14

1.9 Ambiguity 16

1.10 Formal logic and natural languages 17

1.11 Universal semantics 18

2.1 Purpose of this chapter 20

2.2 Sets 20

2.3 The cardinality of a set 23

2.4 Product sets 24

2.5 Relations and functions 25

2.6 Equivalence relations 27

2.7 Boolean algebras 29

2.8 Isomorphisms and homomorphisms 32

2.9 Effective processes 33

3.1 Scope of this chapter 37

3.2 The calculus of propositions 37

3.3 The nature of propositions 41

3.4 Monotonicity 42

3.5 The predicate calculus 43

3.6 Modal logic 50

3.7 Lambda abstraction 58

X Contents

4.1 Background 78

4.2 Ambiguity 80

4.3 Structural ambiguity 85

4.4 De dicto vs de re 91

4.5 Intensions and temporal quantifiers 98

4.6 Modalities 100

4.7 Regimentation 102

5.1 Levels of representation 104

5.2 Logical form 105

5.3 Wellformedness in binding theory 107

5.3.1 Some typical problems of coreference 107

5.3.2 Some conditions on coreference 108

5.3.3 Wh-questions and quantifiers 116

5.4 Case 120

5.5 Logical form in semantic representation 125

6 Pragmatics 126

6.1 Definition of pragmatics 126

6.2 Indices 127

6.3 Contextual properties 128

6.4 Performatives 132

6.5 Fuzziness 137

6.6 Presuppositions 137

6.7 Types of semantic presupposition 139

6.8 Truth-value gaps 147

6.9 Primary and secondary presuppositions 152

6.10 Presuppositions and questions 153

6.11 Pragmatic presuppositions 155

7.1 Categorial grammar 162

7.2 A severely limited grammar 163

7.3 Some category assignments 166

7.3.1 Nominals and intransitive verbs 167

Contents XI

7.3.3 Some verb types 170

7.3.4 Wh-words 174

7.3.5 Common nouns, quantifiers and of 176

7.3.6 Mass and abstract nouns 181

7.3.7 Adverbs and adjectives 182

7.3.8 Relatives and appositives 185

7.3.9 Comparison 186

7.3.10 Intensifies 190

7.3.11 Equatives 191

7.3.12 Degree complements 193

7.4 Abbreviations 194

7.5 Spelling-out rules 196

7.6 The lexicon 199

8.1 Semantic rules 201

8.2 Logical and nonlogical connectives 203

8.3 Nominals 214

8.3.1 Unitary nominals 214

8.3.2 Common nouns and intransitive verbs 215

8.3.3 Logical quantifiers 217

8.3.4 Proportional quantifiers 222

8.3.5 Partitives and genitives 226

8.4 Some verb types 227

8.5 Wh-words 234

8.6 Adjectives 235

8.7 Adverbs 238

Bibliography 243

Index 251

Chapter 1

Some topics in semantics

contribution to the development of a general theory of meaning as presented

in certain proposals made over the last two decades and principally associated

with the work of Richard Montague (Thomason 1974). I choose to give this

approach the neutral name "mathematical semantics" but, in keeping with

common usage, it could also be called "Montague semantics" or "Montague

grammar" in recognition of the central role which Montague's writings play

in its foundation.

In this chapter, I present a preliminary survey of the kinds of semantic

phenomena with which I shall be concerned. However, since the general

approach adopted for the solution of these basic questions constitutes a sub-

discipline of mathematical linguistics, it is appropriate to begin with a few

informal remarks on that more general enterprise.

cipline primarily concerned with the formal modelling of language. It is

noncalculative in the sense that calculations of proportion play no role in its

methodology and it is mathematical in that it makes extensive use of certain

subdisciplines of mathematics, notably, set theory and formal logic. As the

approach is noncalculative, it involves no discussion of statistical linguistics,

word counts, probability grammar, etc.

The essence of mathematical linguistics is, in my view, most clearly set

forth in G l a d k i j - M e l ' c u k (1969). Those authors present an imaginary sit-

uation in which a mathematician resolves to construct a model of human

linguistic behaviour. His observations lead him to establish, on the one hand,

2 Some topics in semantics

pression - a set of texts, or utterances.

Our mathematician, further, observes that the set of meanings corresponds

to the set of texts in a nonrandom fashion. For some texts there are certain

meanings and for others one meaning only and vice versa. This observation

leads him to hypothesise the existence of a set of rules which map the one

set into the other and it is the unambiguous and explicit formal statement of

these rules which becomes the central goal of his study.

It seems plausible to equate the concept, Language, with the system of

rules itself. This equation is reminiscent of de Saussure's approach (1915),

though it is not entirely compatible since he did not see form and expression

as necessarily distinct.

Whether or not we are prepared to accept the equation above, the close

parallel between the two planes of content and expression and the traditional

levels of deep and surface structure is unmistakable. In particular, Gladkij

and Mel'cuk's approach is reminiscent of the work of Cresswell (1973) who

adopted the term "deep structure" as a name for semantic representations

which are converted by a simple set of rules into "shallow structures". It is

also, of course, close to the concepts of "logical form" and "Surface represen-

tation" in generative semantics. The advantages of such multilevel approaches

are very considerable and I shall adopt a parallel treatment in this study.

Being thus concerned with the description of rules, it is natural that the

formal linguist should approach her/his task within the framework of formal

logic (chapters 2 and 3) and that discipline, therefore, plays a central role in

the metatheory and methodology.

Although, in my opinion, Gladkij and Mel'cuk's book is among the best

texts on mathematical linguistics available, it was prepared before the influ-

ence of Montague's work on the discipline became universally apparent and

thus, concentrating, as it does, on formal grammars - devices for the descrip-

tion or generation of syntactically grammatical utterances - , it makes little

contribution to the exploration of semantics, which was Montague's primary

interest and is the focus of this book.

specialised discussion so extensive that it seems wisest, in a linguistic study,

to treat it on a somewhat naive level. Rather than attempting, for example, to

A functional view of meaning 3

investigate the nature of existence or to explore the relation between the sign

and what is signified, it appears, to me, more profitable simply to present

a particular theory of meaning almost as if it enjoyed the status of "God's

truth" and allow the pages which follow to constitute its elaboration and

justification. In this preliminary exercise, 1 shall make use of several notions,

such as Function, Intension, and Proposition, which are not discussed in detail

until later chapters.

Consider, first, what is involved in understanding the sentence:

the world would have to be like in order for it to be true. It is certainly not

necessary to know whether it is true in fact. If we understand (1), then, in an

important sense, we can be said to know what it means.

Of course, the problem of knowledge is one of immense complexity.

For instance, should we distinguish between world-knowledge and linguistic-

knowledge, or is there no difference? I shall not explore such questions here.

However, it seems obvious that the depth of our understanding is dependent

upon the depth of our knowledge and that we do not need complete knowl-

edge to know of a sentence that it can be true. Thus, I do not understand

(2) in a profound sense, yet I know that it is true and, hence, know what it

means.

Given the above reservations, let us say that to know the meaning of

a sentence like (1) is sufficiently to know the set of conditions which would

have to hold in order for it to be true. This is most certainly not to say

that the meaning of the sentence is its truth value. In the orthodox view, a

sentence is false if it is not true. Thus, in this orthodoxy, there are two and

only two truth values, truth and falsehood. It would be nonsensical to make

the same claim for sentence meanings. That meaning is more than mere truth

or falsehood is clearly demonstrated by Lewis (1970) who points out that, if

it were not so, we would be obliged to consider all tautologies as having the

same meaning and likewise for contradictions.

Obviously, just because a certain state of affairs actually is the case, we

are not always obliged to accept that things must be that way. Thus, many

elements in the set of truth conditions which provide the foundation of our

understanding are only contingent conditions, they are not necessary. Sets

of such conditions may be thought of, metaphorically, as possible worlds of

which the actual world is but one. Thus, for example, while, in the actual

4 Some topics in semantics

world, London is the capital of England, other worlds are possible in which

that is not so.

Alongside contingent conditions, we have a subset of necessary conditions.

Thus, for example, if a proposition, p, is true, then it necessarily follows that

the disjunction "p or q" is true, no matter whether q be true or false. This is

so because, by necessity, the disjunction of any true proposition with any true

or false one always results in a true proposition. Propositions which are true

by necessity are "logically" or "tautologically" true. Similar considerations

also hold, mutatis mutandis, for contradictions. Thus, any proposition of the

form (p and not-p) is false by necessity. We may think of the set of necessary

conditions as the set of all possible worlds.

Carnap's example (1) is apt in a book written in English because it facil-

itates the demonstration of the obvious, but sometimes neglected, point that

what a sentence denotes is a proposition, which could often be denoted by

other sentences. Thus, the proposition in (1) is equally well denoted by:

or:

that proposition as a function which, having the set of conditions as input,

yields truth or falsehood as its value. Call such a function an "intension".

Then, the intensions corresponding to the sentences so far given have the

form, F(W), where W is a set of possible worlds. As remarked above, the

value of such a function - its "extension" - is usually taken to be truth or

falsehood, though my evaluations will not always be so restricted.

Sentences - or the propositions they denote - are not primitive. They

have internal structure which reflects the structure of the possible worlds

which determine their values. Thus, in analysing the meaning of a particular

sentence, it is necessary to determine both the meanings of its parts and the

manner of its composition. This principle, the principle that meanings are

"compositional", reflecting the influence of Frege, is at the heart of current

work in semantics and much of this book will constitute an instance of its

application.

It can be argued that, at the most basic level, the operation of composition-

ality is observable in the morphology of many languages. Thus, for instance,

A functional view of meaning 5

in English, the suffix -er may, among other things, combine with a verb, say

walk, or kill, to form an agentive noun, walker, killer. The meanings of such

nouns are, thus, arrived at on the basis of the meanings of the individual

morphemes. However, to argue consistently for a compositional approach to

word-meaning is frequently very difficult and apart from some discussion of

case in chapter 5 and the morphology of comparison in chapter 7/8, I shall

largely ignore morphology in this book.

Taking morphology for granted, the constitutive parts of sentences are

made up of words. What determines the semantic and syntactic ability of a

word to combine with others is the syntactic category to which it belongs. In

order to exploit the compositional principle in arriving at the meaning of a

particular sentence, therefore, it is necessary to determine the meanings of its

words as governed by their syntactic function. Thus, a fundamental aim in the

development of a semantic theory is the determination of the possible range

of meanings of the categories on which the structure of sentences depends.

The simplest sentential structure is that consisting merely of a proper noun

and an intransitive verb, as in:

conditions for its evaluation on the basis, first, of the words in isolation and,

then, as they combine in a subject-predicate structure.

Let us use the term "individual" as a synonym of "thing". Evidently, any

possible world will contain one or more individuals, which will be endowed

with certain properties and stand in particular relations to each other.

We may loosely think of proper nouns, like Jack, as having unique values.

More exactly, proper nouns denote constant functions which, given the set

of all individuals as input, always yield a particular member as output.

If we regard the property of running as characteristic of certain individuals,

we may think of the predicate runs as denoting a function which, given the set

of individuals, picks out a given subset. Thus, the proposition, runs(Jack),

has the value true if and only if the individual denoted by Jack is in the

set of running individuals. If the proposition, runs{Jack>, is true, then, the

propositional function, runs(x), is "satisfied" when Jack is substituted for

χ in its argument place. That is to say, the proposition that something has

the property of running is satisfied by at least one individual, namely, the

individual picked out by the constant function assigned to Jack.

As a more interesting example, consider the following.

6 Some topics in semantics

apparent that (7), on one interpretation, claims that any individual picked

out by the function denoted by the subject noun phrase has the property of

being French. Indeed, even if there were no such individual at the time of

utterance, (7) would be meaningful and, therefore, capable of being judged

true or false, or, perhaps, pointless.

Thus, we think of phrases like the president of France in terms not merely

of their extension, their denotation, but also in terms of their intension or

sense. Put more precisely: the extension of a given noun phrase function is

the individual or set of individuals which it picks out at a given possible

world and moment. The intension of such a function is all of its possible

extensions in all worlds and moments of time. Similarly, the extension of a

given intransitive verb function, say that denoted by runs or be French, is

the set of individuals it picks out at a given instant. The intension of such a

function is all of its possible extensions.

From these remarks, it is evident that the notion of an intension is usu-

ally more general than that of an extension. Reverting to the looser way of

speaking: to know the intension of the president of France is to know what

conditions must be met for any individual to be the value of the function it

denotes. To know the extension of the same term at a given moment, it is

necessary only to know which particular individual its associated function

picks out at that moment. Parallel remarks hold, of course, in respect of the

intensions and extensions of predicates.

Of course, the sentences of a natural language are not all as simple as (6)

or (7). The propositions they denote are frequently concerned with relations

between individuals. Thus, for instance, (8) asserts that Scott stands in the

relation is the author of to Waverley.

Like noun phrases and intransitive verbs, transitive verbs, such as write, have

extensions and intensions. The extension of the wr/te-function is the set of

ordered pairs of individuals, e.g. < Waverley, Scott >, which is its value at a

given world-time pair. Its intension is the range of its possible extensions. If

the verb necessarily involves three individuals - I here ignore the instrument

involved in writing - for example, give, it denotes a function which has a set

of ordered triples as its value, and so forth.

In the case depicted in (8), the verb can be treated, from a semantic point

of view, as purely extensional since both Scott and Waverley must actually

exist in order for the proposition to be true. However, such extensionality

Afunctional view of meaning 7

does not always characterise transitive verbs. Thus, for example, while find

in (9) is extensional, seek in (10) is not, unless a specific whale was involved.

demonstrate nothing more than the need for intensions as well as extensions

in semantic analysis. However, extended to further instances, it soon becomes

evident that much more is involved than a simple case of ambiguity. Consider,

for example, the following case:

minister of England's residence.

That this sentence is true is obvious from the tautological status of:

England's residence.

Although no. 10 and the prime minister of England's residence have exactly

the same extension - a particular house in Downing Street, London - they

do not mean the same. Thus, while, in the actual world, the sentence:

Cases like these figure prominently in the philosophical and linguistic

literature and will frequently be the focus of attention in this book. They

were first discussed by Frege in the context of Leibniz's law of substitution.

Briefly, Leibniz's law says that two terms having the same denotation may be

substituted for each other without affecting truth values. The fact that (13) is

false shows that the two phrases in question are not completely interchange-

able. Thus, it is evident that the notion of meaning cannot be simply equated

with extension. While the function denoted by no. 10 Downing Street has an

extension which coincides precisely with its intension, the same cannot be

said of that denoted by the prime minister of England's residence and, thus,

the terms are not completely interchangeable.

Yet another instance of the need for intensions which results from the

failure of Leibniz's law is provided by:

8 Some topics in semantics

Since the expression ( 1 + 3 ) has the same extension as (2 + 2), i.e. the

successor of 3, we might expect that the two could be substituted in (15)

without affecting its meaning. However, reflection shows that this is not so.

If (15) is true, then Jack has a belief about ( 1 + 3 ) and, unless he is totally

irrational, it is necessarily true that he believes that (1 + 3) = (1 + 3 ) .

However, it certainly does not follow that his belief about ( 1 + 3 ) requires

that he hold that (2 + 2) also has the value 4. Rather, therefore, than saying

that the object of Jack's belief is the extension of the expression (1 + 3) in

(15), we claim, for the present, that his belief has to do with its intension. I

return to such cases and especially Cresswell's sophisticated treatment (1985)

later, chapter 4, section 4.

Thus, we see that a verb of "propositional attitude" like believe is like

such transitive verbs as seek in failing to be fully extensional. Like such

verbs, its possible values will not be ordered pairs of extensions, but ordered

pairs of an extension - the subject - and an intension - the object.

According to the functional view of meaning espoused here, then, the

denotation of a sentence is a proposition and it is this denotation which

constitutes the meaning of the sentence. A proposition is a function which

takes, as argument, possible worlds and denotes a value, typically true or false.

These evaluations are assigned to propositions relative to possible worlds and

it is our apprehension of such worlds which enables us to say which value

is assigned in a given case. The meanings of propositions are arrived at

compositionally through the meanings of their parts and the manner of their

composition. The meanings of the parts are, themselves, functions some of

which have straightforward extensions as their values and others of which

have, as values, either intensions, or ntuples consisting of extensions and

intensions.

Of course, the very idea of a semantics based, albeit not exclusively, on truth

values must presuppose a theory of truth. The discussion of such theories in

its most profound philosophical form lies well beyond the legitimate concerns

of a linguistic essay on semantics. As in the previous section, therefore, my

remarks in this area may appear rather superficial.

Truth conditions and truth values 9

truth condition and truth value.

Whatever is doubtful about the nature of meaning as a concept, we are

certain that for two sentences to be synonymous, they must mean the same

thing - they must assert the same truth. Thus, if we can establish what it is

for a sentence to refer to a truth, we have the basis for a theory of synonymy

and, hence, of meaning.

A common-sense view is that the propositional content of a sentence

evaluates to truth if it reflects the way things actually are - including, of

course, the fact of somethings' being possible and of others being necessary,

etc.. Tarski's famous example (1956):

Although (16a) represents the truth condition for (16), it does not represent

its truth value.

It is usually assumed that the connective just in case in such formulae as

(17) is strict implication. That relation yields the value true only when both

protasis and apodosis have the same truth value. This is, in fact, a source

of difficulty since, construing the relation thus, we seem obliged to accept

infinitely many nonsensical conditions such as:

Such combinations are true under logical implication, but they clearly do not

require us to accept that the antecedent depends for its meaning upon the

consequent. The difficulty disappears - or at least recedes - if we accept

that truth conditions are not in a one-to-one relation with truth values (Fodor

1977). That is incorrect. They are in a many-to-one relation. It is patently

erroneous to claim that because there are only two truth values - ignoring

the possibility of an in-between value - there are only two truth conditions.

It seems, to me, reasonable to hold that a given proposition has a particular

truth as its meaning, which is not to say that that particular truth is its truth

value. Truth values are associated with particular truths or falsehoods, they

are not those particulars themselves.

10 Some topics in semantics

This simple approach has the advantage of avoiding the complex philo-

sophical problems surrounding the role of necessary truth and contingent

truth in the analysis of such formulae as (16a). It is often held that we can

exclude such nonsense instances of (17) as (18) by narrowing down the kind

of truth involved to necessary truth. Obviously, the truth of (16a) is neces-

sary. However, the philosophical complexities of necessity are considerable -

I offer some discussion in chapter 3, section 6 - and it seems unnecessary

to call upon it here. We do, of course, rely upon the notion of necessity

when we invoke Leibniz's law in arguing for the reality of intensions, but

the motivation there is altogether more powerful.

Moreover, it seems unwise, in the present connection, to call upon the

notion of nonlogical necessity or analyticity, Katz (1964). An expression, p,

is nonlogically necessary if the meaning of its predicate is fully included in

its subject or vice versa. Thus, (19) is analytic:

While such cases are patently analytic, analyticity, itself, does not provide

a foundation for a theory of meaning since it relies upon a prior notion of

meaning for its own definition - comparable objections could, doubtless, be

levelled at my own appeal to synonymy above.

Given that there is only one world, one actual state of affairs, we might be

tempted to say that propositions are true if they express facts. The notion of

a fact is difficult to disentangle from what I referred to above as a "particular

truth". For simplicity, let us say that facts are actual truths and that anything

which is only possible is not a fact. Appeal to facts is usually appeal to

extensions and, as we have seen already, it is improper to adopt an exclusively

extensional view of meaning. Frege showed that, while the evening star and

the morning star have the same extension, they certainly do not have the same

sense. Moreover, we frequently speak not of actualities but of possibilities

and whether these possibilities are viewed as reasonable - perhaps there are

ten planets - or unreasonable - there could be fiery dragons - their expression

requires intensions, not extensions. Thus, the intensional approach to meaning

seems very sensible. It is worth mention, here, that Montague himself (1970a)

tried, without success, to construct an extensional semantics, only to abandon

it in his famous (1973) paper.

Counter/actuals 11

1.5 Counterfactuals

uncontentious. One interesting problem which it raises concerns cross-world

identity. Lewis (1973) discusses in considerable detail counterfactual sen-

tences, for example:

This sentence can be used appropriately if and only if, in the actual world,

Jack is not a rich man. If it is true, it must be so with respect to a nonactual

world and, in such a case, is the individual denoted by Jack the same individ-

ual in both worlds? Lewis proposes that we accept that the worlds concerned

be as similar as possible, differing only sufficiently to make the sentence

counterfactual. We should, therefore, trace the counterfactuality of (20) to

variation in nonessential properties of the individual constantly denoted by

Jack.

It is apparent that the problem of cross-world identity, although fairly

simple in cases like (20), can assume enormous dimensions. Even if the dis-

tinction between essential and accidental properties were clear-cut, it would

still be difficult indeed to account for such extreme cases as:

While, therefore, I shall follow Montague's practice and regard proper nouns

as rigid designators, I am conscious of at least some of the metaphysical

difficulties.

I regard the central task of semantics as the study of the rules by which

word-meanings are combined into complex units - which is not to say that it

takes no heed of word-meanings. In order for the theory to be compositional,

it must take account of how lower-order meanings combine to form higher-

order meanings and, ultimately, the semantic values of sentences themselves.

A compositional semantics has, therefore, to be framed in such a way that it

relates the two levels of content and expression in accordance with the syn-

tactic properties of sentences. Hence, part of the task of providing a semantic

description is the provision of a syntactic analysis.

12 Some topics in semantics

It is important to stress that the syntactic analysis has the sole function

of enabling the semantic description. Syntax is not an end in itself in the

framework of Montague's programme and, in this, that programme differs

fundamentally from the work of the transformationalists and other formal lin-

guists. The syntactic model to be used is chosen for its ability to characterise

the compositional nature of sentence-meaning and not for its ability to ex-

plain formal syntactic phenomena or to predict syntactic relations. Syntactic

phenomena are interesting only if they have a bearing on semantic issues. It

is in this spirit that I devote a substantial part of this study to the syntax,

especially chapter 7.

It will, however, be immediately apparent that the question of what con-

tribution to sentence-meaning is made by syntax is not always a straight-

forward one. Carnap (1961) emphasised that the analyst should strive for a

one-to-one relation between form and meaning, to establish an "intensional

isomorphism" between the two. A major task in such an enterprise is to

determine which syntactic variations are meaningful and which are purely

formal - among others, Fodor (1977) discusses alternatives like the father

of my father and my father's father. This task also requires, of course, that

we settle questions of synonymy between apparently equivalent word and

phrase-pairs, e.g. spinster and woman who never married. The establishment

of such an isomorphism is exactly what our opening vignette supposes to be

the central aim of mathematical linguistics.

At the moment, however, it seems unlikely that Carnap's aim is within

practical reach. On the one hand, it is clear that rather than thinking in

terms of isomorphy, we must explore the link between form and meaning

in terms of the weaker relation of homomorphy - chapter 2. There is not a

general one-to-one relation between expressions and meanings, but a many-

to-one relation in many instances. The semantic content of a sentence - its

"prepositional content" - is, as we saw earlier, often expressible in a number

of alternative ways. The examples provided earlier mostly involved different

language encodings of the same proposition. However, it is obvious that many

different syntactic patterns may be equivalent semantically, including Fodor's

examples referred to above and, in many cases, such alternative formulations

as active and passive.

Pragmatics 13

1.7 Pragmatics

the analysis of sentences whose lexical items have fixed values. In most of the

examples so far, it is permissible to view the parts as having restricted values.

Such restriction may be achieved by setting up a model whose individuals,

their properties, and the relations holding between them, are predetermined.

However, natural languages make use of lexical variables whose domains

cannot be so easily fixed. The set of personal pronouns, for instance, form

a class of indexicals whose references vary from one context to another.

Carnap's sentence, quoted at the outset, illustrates the point. Another example

is:

(22) may be true for an addressee on a particular occasion and false for

the same addressee on another. Evidently, the semantics must incorporate

a theory of language in use. This theory, the Pragmatics, appears, at first,

to be dangerously vague. However, given Montague's own formal account

of pragmatics (1968) and the work of other scholars, especially Cresswell

(1973), this aspect of meaning can be fairly rigorously described and need

not result in unwanted vagueness.

The pragmatics is needed, in any case, if the semantics is to be capable

of accounting for temporal and place indexicals. Such systems are excluded

from standard logics since they introduce contingency into the evaluation of

propositions and, hence, make truly deductive reasoning impossible. Thus,

for example, (23) is usually treated as if it made no reference to time:

More radically, (24) could not be treated at all in standard logic because of

the indeterminacy of the adverb.

for their evaluation on the subjective opinion of the speaker.

tem, but they clearly cannot be excluded from a natural-language semantics.

14 Some topics in semantics

other than declaratives. Declaratives are, of course, of especial importance in

philosophy since they are viewed as expressing propositions uncluttered by

such modalities as interrogation. However, current work in Government and

binding theory, building on earlier studies both in Transformational Linguis-

tics and Generative Semantics, provides crucial insights into the semantics

of other sentence types, especially questions. I shall attempt a fairly detailed

discussion of such work in chapter 5 and return to questions in chapter 6.

Central to much contemporary work in pragmatics is Speech-act Theory,

Austin (1962) and Grice (1975). One of the most difficult problems in making

use of this theory is the formulation of "felicity conditions" and their inclu-

sion in a formal system. Fortunately, however, the work of several scholars,

including Lakoff (1972, 1975), has demonstrated that it is proper to broaden

the scope of satisfaction to include appropriateness or felicity and I shall

make use of this extension.

The question of how we might include Gricean implicatures into a formal

semantics is far less clear. Evidently, when a maxim like relevance is de-

liberately broken, the semantic result is all-important. However, as Fodor's

discussion (1977) suggests, such implicatures do not fit readily into a formal

semantics and I shall, therefore, have nothing to say about them.

Even more contentious is the question of whether to include other aspects

of language in use such as connotations and metaphors in a formal descrip-

tion of natural language. It has not, to date, seemed possible to build these

phenomena into the semantics for lack of a rigorous theory of their function.

Thus, while it is obvious that old maid is metaphorical in:

such matters are not reflected in mathematical semantics. Recent work, such

as Kittay (1987), shows that the essential formal theory is at least in prospect.

Even so, I shall not attempt to pursue such matters here.

the basic unit - basic in the sense that only sentences have truth values.

Propositional relations 15

The basic status of sentences does not, however, imply exclusion of inter-

est in inter-propositional relations which, as Katz (1966) and many others

have argued, constitute a vital part of the subject matter of semantics. In-

deed, within the confines of Montague's own work - as with most other

formal linguists, including Keenan - Faltz (1985) - certain relations which

hold between propositions figure prominently.

Especially important is the relation of entailment. It is obvious that we

must be able to say which propositions logically follow from any assertion,

as (29) from (28).

another, q, if and only if ρ is at least as informative as q. Thus, (28) contains

all of the information conveyed by (29). In addition, (28) asserts the disjunc-

tion of two other propositions either of which may be false, so prohibiting

the inference of (30).

The examples just given may appear rather uninteresting, since they reflect

purely logical properties of the truth-functional connectives and and or. How-

ever, questions of entailment can be highly complex. Consider, for example,

the relation between (31) and (32) in which causal factors are involved:

(31) The storm caused the hayrick which was made by John to collapse.

compared with:

Obviously, (34) follows from (33), but (32) is not entailed by (31). This is

so because, in (31), the object of caused is an infinitive complement with to

collapse as its main verb, but, in (32) the object of caused is an infinitive

with to make as its main verb.

The relation of Presupposition has been an important part of philosophical

enquiry for many years and, more recently, linguistic discussion has also

focussed on this topic. Probably the most famous example is Russell's (1905):

16 Some topics in semantics

If there exists a unique individual who is the present king of France, then

(35) is obviously true or false. However, if such a person does not exist, it

is arguable that (35) is merely pointless. I return to this topic at some length

in chapters 4 and 6.

As we have already seen, Leibniz's law plays a central role in establishing

the degree to which noun phrases are interchangeable. The relation of identity

is of great semantic interest. It is, for example, important to our understanding

of a set of problems concerning the evaluation of certain types of argument.

An instance from an early paper by Montague-Kalish (1959) - see also the

discussion in Quine (1960) - is:

(36) The number of planets is 9. Kepler was unaware that the number of

planets exceeds 6. Therefore, Kepler was unaware that 9 exceeds 6.

Clearly, this is nonsense. In spite of the attention such puzzles have received,

their resolution is still to be achieved to everyone's satisfaction and my own

treatment, chapter 4, will, I hope, not be without interest.

1.9 Ambiguity

A most crucial factor in the semantic analysis of natural languages which has

a bearing on all of the kinds of issues referred to above is their pervasive

tendency towards ambiguity. It is an essential task of the theory to resolve

ambiguities as a sine qua non to the assignment of values to expressions. The

formulation of a mechanism for the resolution of ambiguity therefore plays a

dominant role in the grammar, being fundamental to the compositional view

of meaning.

Of course, problems of ambiguity have featured in language studies for

centuries. Linguists have been concerned with lexical ambiguity, as in:

binding theory has been largely dependent on the investigation of a particular

source of ambiguity, namely, ambiguity of coreference, illustrated by:

Formal logic and natural languages 17

The solutions which have been proposed in the theory for such problems

have, in my view, enormous importance for semantics generally and I shall

discuss them at length in chapter 5.

Montague's treatment of ambiguity is not novel, although he puts more

emphasis than is customary on some types, notably intensional ambiguity, as

in the sentences discussed above involving the verb seek and ambiguities of

quantifier scope, as in:

unsatisfactory since it ignores the kind of lexical ambiguity reflected in (37).

In fact, Montague's work largely ignores the structure of particular noun

intensions, verb intensions, etc.. Thus, he showed little interest in differences

in meaning between given adjective pairs, such as tall and short or adjective

types such as thin and correct, or verbs such as walk and run. Naturally,

given his predominantly formal interests, he was careful to make explicit

the differences between the uses of logical words such as necessarily and

possibly, or the and a/an. For the rest, the decision that a given lexical item

should have this or that meaning is simply taken in light of the particular

problem under investigation.

In my view, ambiguity is arguably the most important problem in se-

mantics and I shall devote most of chapter 4 to examining some of the types

involved. However, while I shall, in chapter 8, draw up some "semantic rules"

for individual words, the words themselves will be representative only and

will, therefore, be few in number. Further, the rules will relate to fairly for-

mal questions having to do with the satisfaction of propositional functions -

what is required for them to become true or appropriate propositions - and

will offer very little of interest to the study of ambiguity in the context of

lexicography.

support of a formal logic. In particular, such a logic may be expected to

provide a rigorously defined, nonambiguous language into which the natural-

language expressions can be translated, so that, if we have the semantics

18 Some topics in semantics

for the logical expressions, and if the translations are precise, then, in an

important degree, we have the semantics for the natural-language expressions

also.

The logic which Montague employs, besides being intensional, is both

modal and tensed. However, it rests upon the standard logics of the propo-

sitional and predicate calculuses and I shall, therefore, offer a fairly broad

discussion in chapter 3 of such logics as well as a more detailed account of

Montague logic proper. The version of the latter upon which my exposition

will be based is that set out in Montague (1973). I shall also draw on the

work of other scholars, most notably, Cresswell (1973, 1985), whose use

of lambda abstraction in linking syntactic and semantic representations, or

"logical form representations", is especially valuable.

The brief outline of semantics provided in this chapter may give the impres-

sion that the primary concern is with English. While this book will be entirely

based on English data, it is certainly not intended to be solely about English

as an individual language. My reason for confining myself to English exam-

ples is merely a function of my status as a native speaker of the language

and a lack of confidence in my non-English intuitions.

Although two of Montague's papers contain the word "English" in their

titles, the theory is intended to be universal in the broadest possible sense. In-

deed, the title of his philosophically most important paper Universal grammar

(1970b) is more reflective of his programme than any other. For Montague, it

is vital that semantic theory be maximally general and thus, for him, the term

"universal grammar" embraces all languages, artificial as well as natural. In

this usage, "universal" does not refer, as is common in linguistics, to features

of all natural languages. Mathematical semantics, in its purest form, is not

at all concerned with establishing the actual universals found in natural lan-

guage. The theory is, therefore, not concerned with psychological issues of

language acquisition, nor yet with statistical probability. The focus is solely

upon formal universals and this focus is based upon the assumption that there

is no essential difference between the artificial languages of mathematics, in-

cluding logic, and those we call natural. This view does, in fact, have a long

tradition in philosophy; see for example, the classic paper by Church (1951).

Thus, Mathematical semantics is, in essence, the semantic theory of lan-

guage in general and, as such, is as much part of mathematics as it is of

Universal semantics 19

philosophy or linguistics. In this spirit, its scope does not include the kind of

psychological dimension referred to above. However, from the stand-point

of natural-language studies, it may be that the exclusion of psychological

considerations is ultimately impoverishing - it is certainly not in line with

the currently popular interest in so-called "Cognitive Linguistics". Even so,

I shall not, in this book, make any attempt to bring such considerations into

the discussion.

The kinds of issues touched on in this chapter will constantly recur as

central themes in this book. I do not pretend to provide an exhaustive ac-

count of them, let alone an explanation of the philosophical problems which

surround them.

I now turn from the discussion of the scope of the semantics to an account

of some of the background notions from mathematics, logic, and linguistics,

which are required to appreciate both Montague's work in particular and the

enterprise of mathematical semantics in general. Naturally, to those readers

who are well versed in the various disciplines concerned, I shall have little

of interest to say in the preliminary chapters.

Chapter 2

Background notions from mathematics

In writing this chapter, I have been sharply conscious of the fact that it might

be considered by some readers to be superfluous. To some, its content will

be profoundly familiar. For such readers, it would probably be best to pass

over the next few pages altogether. To others, the discussion may appear

unnecessary because the next chapter on logic deals with most of the issues

commonly associated with formal semantics.

Indeed, it is not strictly necessary to know anything about mathematics in

order to follow the remarks, arguments and technical developments in this

book and there are parts of this chapter which will scarcely receive mention

in the sequel. My motivation for presenting a brief account of background

notions from mathematics is that these notions, besides being helpful in ap-

preciating the highly technical discussions of Montague and other scholars

working in mathematical linguistics, such as Cresswell, serve to place the

more familiar discussion of the next chapter in a different perspective and,

in doing so, considerably deepen one's understanding.

2.2 Sets

The development of set theory from the ideas of Cantor (1932) has been

among the major achievements of modern mathematics and its application in

much formal semantics is central.

Intuitively, a set is a collection of elements whose membership is deter-

mined by some characteristic which they share with all others in the set.

Thus, among numbers, the positive numbers form one set which contrasts

with that of the negative numbers. The wellformed expressions of a natural

language constitute a set which contrasts with the informed ones and so forth.

Intuition also serves to assure us that set membership is not always clearly

defined. Many sets, e.g. the set of beautiful things, are "fuzzy". I shall not

Sets 21

discuss such sets here, though their existence will be taken for granted in the

sequel.

I f S is any set and a, b, c, . . . are elements of S, then S = {a,b,c, . . . } and

for any a contained in S, a is a member o f S, written (a e S).

The members of a set may be grouped in terms of the notion of a subset,

i.e. some grouping of elements in respect o f a given characteristic. If S

contains the subset a, a is a "proper subset" o f S, written (a c S), if and

only if, " i f f ' , S contains elements not in a. If it turns out that there are no

elements in S which are not also in a, a is a mere subset of S, indicated by

(a C S). If everything in S is also in a and vice versa, then, obviously, (a =

S).

In accord with the above, w e say that t w o sets, S and T , are "identical"

iff ((S C Τ ) & ( T c S)), i.e. if S and Τ have exactly the same members.

If a is a proper subset of S, then the set o f elements in S which are not

in a constitute the "complement" of a, written " - a " . Thus, if S is the set of

numbers and a is the subset of natural numbers, then the subset in S which

comprises the non-natural numbers is the complement, -a, of a. Similarly, if

S is the set of wellformed sentences of English and a is the subset of positive

sentences, then the subset in S of negative sentences is the complement of a.

In fact, it is common practice for the notion of a complement to be iden-

tified with negation both in formal logic and in linguistics. This is not, o f

course, to be confused with the metalinguistic convention in which " c o m -

plement" is the label for a constituent acting as the object o f a verb or

preposition, though that usage ultimately derives from the same notion o f set

completion.

It is customary to accept the existence o f a set containing no elements at all.

This set, the " e m p t y " , " v o i d " or "null" set, is symbolised " 0 " . Frequently,

the notation (S e 0 ) is used to indicate that S has no members, i.e. is a

member of the null set. Thus, the first prime number > 2 which is even is an

element of 0. A n analogous instance from English is provided by the set o f

sentences consisting of a single word - ignoring ellipsis. Another example of

a member o f the null set is the fabulous unicorn which figures so prominently

in philosophical and linguistic discussion.

From the above example, it will be apparent that, if [J is the universal set,

then the value o f any statement which is true is a member of [J. Since the

complement, -|J is the empty set, it contains the values of all false statements.

Thus it is that the empty set, 0, is frequently employed to represent falsehood,

while " 1 " often symbolises truth.

Zermelo (1908) required that the empty set be a member of every set.

Hence, any set S, in addition to its characteristic elements, a, b, c, ...,

22 Background notions from mathematics

contains the empty set. Further, since every set is said to contain itself as a

member, the null set contains one member, namely, itself.

The "intersection" or "meet" of two sets S and Τ is the subset of S which

is contained in Τ plus the subset in Τ contained in S. This subset may be

symbolised {S & T} and may be verbalised as the set whose members are

both in S and T.

Since a given element, a, must belong to both S and Τ to be in the

intersection of S and T, it follows that the intersection may contain fewer

elements than either or both of the intersecting sets. Given the set, S, of

books and the set, T, of works of art, then, clearly, the set of objects which

are both books and works of art is smaller than either S or Τ - at least this

is so in our world.

When two sets, S and T, are "joined", the result is the "logical sum" or

"union" of S and T, symbolised {S ν T}. The "joint" of two sets contains

those elements which are in either or in both of those sets. Thus, the union

of two sets is always greater than is either one in isolation. The set of things

which are either books or works of art or both clearly is more numerous than

either set taken alone.

It is evident from the above that the relations of intersection and union

correspond, in the field of sets, to the relations of conjunction and disjunc-

tion in natural languages. It is, further, clear that intersection corresponds to

logical conjunction and that the status of union is precisely that of inclusive

disjunction, not the exclusive variety, see chapter 3.

Intersection and union correspond mathematically to multiplication and

addition - they are commonly called the "logical product" and "logical sum"

respectively - and since their natural-language equivalents are conjunction

and disjunction, it is not unusual, e.g. Reichenbach (1947), to symbolise

and as * and or as + . To see the plausibility of these equations, it is only

necessary to consider the result of adding 0 to 1 and of multiplying 0 by 1.

Obviously, (1 + 0) = 1, while (1 * 0) = 0. Any disjunction, (p or q), is true,

i.e. has the value 1, if either disjunct is 1. Any conjunction, (p & q), is false,

i.e. has the value 0, if either conjunct is 0.

Thus, using ρ and q as propositional variables, the following equivalences

hold:

(a) (p & q) = (p * q);

(b) (pvq) = (p + q).

These equivalences are particularly important in the context of certain

rules of equivalence, especially the distributive laws (see below for further

discussion and chapter 3).

The cardinality of a set 23

When two sets, S and T, share no elements in common, they are "disjoint".

Thus, the set of natural numbers and English sentences is a disjoint set, which

is, in effect, the null or void set. The term "disjoint" is thus frequently used

in the sense 'distinct'.

Since it is possible to confuse the names of set elements with the elements

themselves, it is common practice to interpret, say, "S =(a,b,c, . . . ) " as

standing for the set of distinct objects denoted by a, b, c, . . . rather than the

set of names themselves. Following Carnap's (1961) usage, a set is taken "in

extension" unless otherwise specified.

the operation of addition is in terms of bringing the members of one set into

a one-to-one correspondence with the members of an ordered set. Thus, if

we take the set of natural numbers, Ν, = {0, 1, 2, 3, . . . , n} as being an

ordered set containing subsets, e.g. {1,2,3,4,5}, we may bring another set,

say the fingers of one hand, into a one-to-one correspondence with it. This

process in which the elements of the one set are paired with those in the

other establishes a relation of "similarity" between the two.

Among the real numbers, the set of rational numbers is, of course, infinite

since there is no highest number. However, since, by definition, that set

can be counted, it is said to be "denumerable" and any set which can be

brought into a one-to-one correspondence with it is a "denumerable set", or a

"denumerable infinity". In contrast, the set of irrational numbers, the "endless

decimals", as Cantor showed, is nondenumerable.

To establish the "cardinality" of a set, we have only to establish the simi-

larity relation just referred to between it and some subset of the set of natural

numbers. If a set contains no members, as already mentioned, it is said to be

"empty", or "null" - equivalently, "void" - with cardinal number 0. If a set

has only one member, it is called a "unit set" and is usually symbolised "I".

In ordinary counting, it is universal practice to take the last member of a

natural number subset which is brought into a one-to-one relation with the

members of some other set as the number of that set. Thus, we say that

5 is the number of fingers on one hand, rather than specifying the set as

{1,2,3,4,5}. When we employ this abbreviatory convention, we arrive at the

cardinal number of the set or the cardinality of the set.

24 Background notions from mathematics

just the individual elements, but their groupings as well. The set of all subsets

of a set, including the set itself and the void set, is called the "power set".

Thus, it follows that the cardinality of a power set is 2", so that, for example,

a set with three elements will have a power set whose cardinal number is the

cube of 2, i.e. 8. It is to be noted here that the ordering within subsets is not

significant. Hence, {a,b} = {b,a}, etc.. To calculate all possible permutations

is a more complex and, for our purposes, irrelevant process.

It is important to note that in order to know that two sets, S and T, are

cardinally equivalent - have the same cardinal number - it is not always

necessary to know what that number is. To illustrate, again using an example

from Russell (1919 ): assuming that a given shoe-shop has no broken pairs in

stock, we know that the set of right shoes is cardinally equivalent to the set of

left shoes. Another illustration of the same point, this time from Reichenbach

(1947) is provided by the seats of a theatre and the size of the audience. If

all the seats are taken and no patron is standing, we know that the set of

seats and the set of patrons have the same cardinal number, even if we are

ignorant of the number involved.

ordered pairs, < s, t > , where s e S and t e T. The notion of an ordered pair

will be defined below in terms of the notion, Function. For the moment, it

is sufficient to remark that: if a pair is ordered, for example, < s.t > , then

that pair is not equivalent to any other ordering of the same elements, e.g.

< t,s >.

Mathematically, the members of a product set, {S X T}, are such that

each member from S occurs as the first member paired with each element in

T. Thus, if S has three elements and Τ has five, then each element of S will

appear in five separate pairs. Thus, if S = {a,b,c} and Τ = {d,e,f,g,h}, then

{S X T } comprises the pairs:

(1) {< a,d >, < a.e >, ...< a.h >; < b,d >, < b,e >, ...<

b, h >;

< c,d >, < c.e > ... < c,h >}.

Hence, the cardinality of a product set is the cardinal number of the one

multiplied by that of the other, namely, {S X T}.

Relations and functions 25

the consideration of relations and functions.

Essentially, a relation holds between two elements in such a way as to

bring them into a pair, which may or may not be ordered.

Thus, a relation like < brings the elements of the set, N, of numbers into

a set of ordered pairs such that one is less than the other. Similarly, the

relation, is the author of, brings the elements of the set, S, of writers into an

ordered relation with elements of the set, T, of written works, such that, for

each pair, the one is the author of the other. It is to be observed that, in this

example, the relation, is the author of is not equivalent to is an author of.

In contrast to these examples, the relations, = and is married to, bring

two elements into an unordered pair. If "a = b" is true, or, if "a is married

to b" is true, then the inverses of these statements are also true.

Symbolically, if we use R to indicate a relation and the variables χ and

y for the elements concerned, we may write "y R x" to mean that y stands

in the relation, R, to x. Further, since a set of ordered pairs of elements is

a subset of the relevant product set, we may say that, for the relation in

question, (R e {S X T}) or, if one set is involved, (R 6 {S X S}).

When a relation holds between the members of one set, say the set, N,

of numbers, it is said to hold "in" that set. When the relation holds between

the members of two sets, it is said to be "from" the one set "into" the other.

Hence, < is a relation in the set of numbers, while is the author of is a

relation from the set of writers into the set of written works. A relation of

one set into itself is often referred to as a "transformation".

It is to be remarked that, in stating that a relation, R, holds, the ordering

of the variables in the symbolic expression is opposite to what would seem

to be intuitively natural. Instead of "y R x", we might have expected "x R y".

The former ordering is, however, conventional in mathematics. Thus, given

the numbers 1 and 2 and the relation < , the ordered pair < 2. 1 > satisfies

the relation since "1 < 2" is a true statement. Similarly, if y = Dickens and

χ = Oliver Twist, then the pair < Oliver Twist, Dickens > satisfies the

relation, is the author of

The conventional ordering described above seems more natural when con-

sidered in respect of the interpretation of graphs. If the number of elements in

a relation is finite, we may exhibit them in graph form with the intersections,

or lattice points, indicating each ordered pair. As is customary, the horizontal

axis is taken to be the x-axis and the vertical the y-axis. On the x-axis, the

26 Background notions from mathematics

independent variables are written and, on the y-axis, their dependent coun-

terparts. In reading such a graph, it is practice to read the elements on the

x-axis first.

The elements in a relation which comprise the first components of the

associated pairs - the elements on the x-axis - are known as the "domain" of

the relation, while those making up the set of second components - elements

on the y-axis - are referred to as its "range" or its "value". Thus, if the

relation, R, is is the author of, the domain is the set of written works and the

range is the set of writers. Finally, the set of elements which together make

up the domain and the range is called the "field" of the relation.

Obviously, the relation, < , is potentially multi-valued. Thus, if U is a set

of numbers, and χ = η, for some n, there may be a number of elements, y,

which pair with η to satisfy the relation. Similarly, the relation, is an author

of, will be multi-valued since books, etc. may be co-authored - hence the

indefinite article, an, in the English name for this relation.

A relation which is uniquely valued is conventionally known as a "func-

tion". Thus, for instance, the relation between any number and its square,

cube, etc. is a function, as is the relation, husband of, in a monogamous

society.

If we regard the set of pairs satisfying a relation as constituting the re-

lation - an equation which is proper since an exhaustive list of such pairs

constitutes a definition of the relation - we may rephrase the above definition

of a function as a uniquely valued relation by saying that a function is a set

of ordered pairs sharing no common first member. As an illustration, let U

= { 1,2,3}. Then the cube-function defined over U is: { < 1,1 > , < 2 , 8 > ,

< 3,27 > } . By contrast, the relation, is the cube root of, is not a function

since, for any power, the absolute value may be positive or negative. Hence,

for instance, 8 has the cube roots 2 and -2, so that 8 appears as the first

member of two distinct pairs.

This is a useful way of looking at functions, in the context of natural

language, since it emphasises the functional VS relational status of given

expressions. Thus, Oliver Twist is the first member of only one pair defining

the function, is the author of, i.e. < Oliver Twist, Dickens >, since the

book in question had only one author. By contrast, the expression written

by denotes a relation since, for any argument, it may have several values.

Thus, written by includes many pairs sharing the same first member, e.g.

< Dickens, Oliver Twist >, < Dickens, Great Expectations >, ...

Functions may be generalised symbolically as F(x), where F is the function

variable and χ the domain variable. Thus, if F is the cubing function, F(3)

= 27. If F is the function, husband o f , then F(Mrs. Thatcher) = Dennis

Equivalence relations 27

since the value of F(x) is y, it is common to employ the function expression

in place of y itself. Thus, F(x) = y.

A function such as cube is a simple function in the sense that only a single

operation is performed on a given argument. It is obviously possible to create

complex functions, which involve two or more operations. Such complex

functions may be viewed as comprising functions whose domain contains

other functions and their domains. As illustrations, consider the following, in

which F is the squaring function and G the factorialising function, F(G(2)),

i.e. 4; G(F(2)), i.e. 24.

Complex functions are not, of course, restricted to mathematics. An ex-

cellent example from kinship relations, provided by Thomason (1974), is the

following in which F = mother of and G = father of Combining these func-

tions with respect to an appropriate argument yields either F(G(x)) or G(F(x)).

Given the definitions, the first of these expressions yields the paternal grand-

mother of x, while the value of the second is the maternal grandfather of x.

In theory, there is no limit to the degree of complexity which such functions

may assume. In stating the semantic rules for representative English words,

chapter 8, many of the functions - values assigned to words - are complex

functions. Thus, for example, seldom denotes a complex function, having,

as its domain, propositions standing as argument to the function denoted by

often.

It is to be remarked at this stage that, although the term "function" is re-

served in mathematics and in the writings of Montague for uniquely valued

relations, in other disciplines, including formal logic, the expression is some-

times used more loosely for relations with multivalued arguments. In fact,

some scholars, including Reichenbach (1947), employ the term "function" as

a synonym for "predicate" or "verb". Thus, run is a one-place function, kill

is a three-place function.

between them and the set itself is membership. Thus, we say "s e S" just so

long as there is some characteristic property by virtue of which s is a member

of S, even if that property is only membership itself.

28 Background notions from mathematics

When we consider relations between sets and subsets, the most fundamen-

tal is that of equivalence or equality. Thus, the expression "S = T" claims

that:

equivalence just given implies that S = S.

When we say that a set is equal to itself, we assert that the equivalence

relation is a "reflexive relation". Equivalence, however, is not the only re-

flexive relation. Thus, parallel to is also usually held to be reflexive since

any line is taken to be parallel to itself. Similarly, the relation as big as, or

that denoted by born on the same day as are also reflexive relations.

In addition to being reflexive, it is intuitively obvious that equality is

"transitive", by which is meant:

If χ is born on the same day as y and y on the same day as z, then, clearly,

χ is born on the same day as z.

Finally, it is apparent that the definition of equality involves the assumption

of symmetry. We say that a relation, such as equivalence, is a "symmetrical

relation" if it holds in both directions. Thus:

(D.3) if S = T, then Τ = S.

day as y, then y is born on the same day as x.

Relations, such as parallel to, which have the property of holding for

equivalence are called "equivalence relations". Such relations will always

have the properties of reflexivity, transitivity and symmetry.

A relation which is not reflexive is sometimes called an "irreflexive" re-

lation. Thus, < is irreflexive, since, if (x < x) were true, then (x = x) would

be false which is patent nonsense. As well as being irreflexive, < is clearly

"nonsymmetrical". This is so because, if a < b, then the reverse cannot hold.

Although < is irreflexive and non-symmetrical, it does have the property

of transitivity since, if a < b and b < c, then a < c.

Clearly, a relation which is irreflexive, non-symmetrical and intransitive

is not an equivalence relation. Thus, son of is a nonequivalence relation, as

is parent of Hence the need for the prefix grand in these and similar cases

to express a transitive-like relation as in:

Boolean algebras 29

(2) John is the son of Peter and Peter is the son of Jack. Therefore, John

is the grandson of Jack.

Mary is a grandparent of Sally.

has any one or all of the properties mentioned above is not always a simple

yes/no matter, especially in respect of relations denoted by natural language

expressions. Thus, the relation brother of while it is irreflexive and transitive,

may or may not be symmetrical, as can be seen from the following examples:

John is a brother of Fred.

to indicate such inbetween values. Hence, brother of is a mesosymmetrical

relation.

It is customary to further classify relations according to the degree of their

places or arguments. Thus, a relation like husband of is a one-to-one relation

in a monogamous society and is thus a function in Montague's strict usage.

The relation is a finger of is also, stricto sensu, a function since it is many-

to-one. The relation native language o f , on the other hand, is one-to-many,

while pupil of is many-to-many.

Finally, it is worth noting that natural languages do not always have spe-

cific terms to denote given relations. In English, orphan denotes the child of

deceased parents, but there is no corresponding term for the relation of being

a bereaved parent.

algebra. In that algebra, the elements are sets and the operations are those on

sets. In general, any algebra is a system (A,F) consisting of elements, A, and

operations, F, defined on A. Thus, if A = the set of numbers and F = { + ,

* , - , / } and the relation == is defined, then (A,F) is the algebra of arithmetic.

30 Background notions from mathematics

after George Boole (1854). The elements of the algebra may be indifferently

interpreted as actual sets, or as propositions, as sentences of a natural lan-

guage, etc. (Langer, 1953, offers an amusing demonstration of the fact that

the slicing of a cake can be thought of as a Boolean algebra!).

In fact, it is the case that any system in which the relation, < , is defined

and which has the three operations, disjunction, conjunction and negation,

i.e. V, & and -, is a Boolean algebra if it satisfies the following postulates.

c. (χ & (y & ζ)) = ((χ & y) & z); similarly for disjunction.

f. (χ ν 0) = χ; (χ & 1) = χ.

Postulate (7a) establishes the disjoint status of 1 and 0. It is the fact that

these elements are disjoint which, of course, permits postulate (7e). Since 1

and 0 = truth and falsehood respectively, postulate (7a) also requires that

these values be distinct, thereby guaranteeing the law of excluded middle.

Postulate (7b) is the familiar rule of commutation. Thus, in arithmetic, the

operations of addition and multiplication are commutative since the result of

adding two numbers or of their multiplication is indifferent to the ordering

involved. Similarly, in a natural language, the operations of disjunction and

conjunction are commutative, provided they are of the logical variety (see

chapters 3/8).

Postulate (7c) is the rule of association. According to this rule, groupings

are irrelevant in multiplication and addition and, indeed, the associative law

permits the equation of bracketed and bracket-free expressions under the

appropriate operations. In natural languages, the operations of disjunction and

conjunction are also generally associative, as can be seen from the following:

(8) John came and Mary and Jane left. — John came and Mary left and

Jane left, (so too for or).

noted that, formal logic and natural languages allow for a second distributive

Boolean algebras 31

law in which or and & supplant each other in (7d). Clearly, this second law

does not hold in arithmetic since (x + (y * ζ)) φ ((χ + y) * (χ + ζ)).

The postulates in (7e) proclaim, on the one hand, the contradictory status

of a conjunction of a proposition and its negation and, on the other, the

tautological status of the disjunction of a proposition and its negation.

In terms of sets, it is obvious that any element, a, cannot belong both to

a set and to its complement. That is to say: the set of elements belonging

to S and -S is the void set, 0, and any statement to the contrary is false,

i.e. has the value 0. Conversely, the set of elements belonging either to S or

its complement -S is the universal set 1 and any statement to that effect is

true, i.e. has the value 1. I return again to the question of contradictions in

natural languages. Here, it is to be noted that, in spite of their apparent lack

of informativity, tautologies such as (9) and (10) occur fairly frequently in

natural discourse as expressions of emotions such as resignation.

natural language since they enable the systematic identification of conjunction

with multiplication and disjunction with addition. In chapter 3,1 shall provide

some discussion of and and or in the context of formal logic. It will be seen

that, in that context, two statements joined by and result in a false statement

if either is false. If two statements are joined by or, the result is a false

statement only if both disjuncts are false.

Let χ = 1 and y = 0 and let 1 and 0 represent truth and falsehood

respectively. Since (1 * 0) = 0, while (1 + 0) = 1 , it follows that truth

times/and falsehood equals falsehood and truth plus/or falsehood equals truth.

Thus, as noted earlier, multiplication equals and and addition equals or. It

is, however, important to note that, if the conjuncts are not propositions, the

{and — *) equation fails. Thus, in English, and is often used to mean + in

informal statements of arithmetic, as in:

Like any formal system, including a logical system, Boolean algebras must

be consistent and complete. A system is consistent if and only if, for any

formula a which can be derived in it, the negative - a is not also derivable.

For the system to be complete, any wellformed formula a which is not a

postulate must be derivable in it as a theorem. This is possible only, of

course, if the postulates are valid - true under any interpretation. It also

32 Background notions from mathematics

derivation, or inference, in chapter 3.

Any two algebraic systems may be related in a number of ways. The simplest

cases to consider are those in which there is one operation only, which may

arbitrarily be treated as though it were either addition or multiplication. Since

it is convenient, at this point, to consider number systems, the additive or

multiplicative operations do, in fact, correspond to their arithmetical uses.

However, it is important to realise that this correspondence is not necessary.

Thus, the expressions "a * b" or "a + b" may be taken as designating any

operation on two arguments, so that "*" = "+".

Given two systems, say of numbers, one, S, may correspond precisely

to the other, S \ just in case we are able to associate each element in S in

a one-to-one relation with each element in S' and if, further, the operation

is preserved under the correspondence. Such a relation is referred to as an

"isomorphism" and may be simply illustrated by the following case.

Let S be the set of natural numbers and S' be the set of their common

logs - logs to the base 10. Then, for every a and b in S - for arbitrary a and

b - there will correspond a unique element a', b' in S'. If, for example, a

= 10, then a' = 1,. If b = 100, then b' = 2. If, now, the operation in S is

multiplication and that in S' is ordinary addition, the relation between S and

S' will be isomorphic, as Table 1 testifies.

Table 1. An isomorphism

S <—• S'

a = 10 <—> a' = 1

b = 100 <—> b' - 2

(a * b) = 1000 <—> (a' + b') - 3

algebraic point of view, no distinction to be made between the two systems

S and S'. They are, in effect, equivalent. It should be noted, however, that

this equivalence holds only because no account is taken of the properties of

the elements and operations. Thus, it makes no difference to the isomorphic

Effective processes 33

status of the relation that the operation is multiplication in the one case and

addition in the other.

A more general and, therefore, weaker relation between two systems is

that in which the correspondence between the elements of the two is not one-

to-one, although the operation is still preserved under the correspondence. A

relation of this kind is called "homomorphic". The following illustration is

from Moore (1962).

Let S be the set of natural numbers and S' be the set of integers comprising

just 1 and -1. Let every even number in S be associated with 1 in S' and every

odd number in S with -1 in S'. If the operation in S is ordinary addition and

that in S' is ordinary multiplication, then these operations will be preserved

under the correspondence, as Table 2 shows.

Table 2. A homomorphism

s S'

a = 1 < — a' = -1

b = 2 i b' =1

(a + a) = 2 <— b' i.e. (a' t a') = 1

(b + b) = 4 <— b' i.e. (b' * b') = 1

(a + b) = 3 <— a' i.e. (a' * b') = -1

portant in mathematical semantics since it plays a fundamental part in the

reconstruction of the relation between meaning and expression. Here, it is

necessary only to point out that, since the isomorphic relation is narrowly

defined, i.e. insists upon a one-to-one relation between the elements, it is to

be viewed as a type of homomorphism. This is so because there is noth-

ing in the latter to require that the correspondence be literally many-to-one

and, thus, one-to-one relations are included among those with homomorphic

status.

language is identified with the set of rules which map objects on the plane

of meaning onto objects on the plane of expression. The ultimate aim of the

linguist should be the description and explanation of this set of rules.

34 Background notions from mathematics

The system of rules itself may, as Gladkij and Mel'cuk suggest, be re-

garded as a function, or "mapping", with a very complex structure. To de-

scribe it in its entirety requires that we identify and describe all of those

simple functions which combine to make up the whole and, ultimately, to

account for the manner of their combination. Among others, we should de-

scribe:

b. The function which maps syntactic structures onto actual strings of words.

c. The function which maps abstract phonological forms onto their phonetic

realisations.

d. The function which maps suprasegmental features, such as intonation, onto

surface representations.

of course, with the first two of these tasks and the methodology which it

employs must be algorithmic that is to say: it must take the form of a

step-by-step procedure. In the terminology of computer science, the descrip-

tion of the semantic-to-form function must be "effective".

The study of effective procedures is a specialised branch of modern math-

ematics to which a brief description cannot do justice - Curry (1976) gives

a detailed exposition. However, the fundamental principle is simple enough.

A process is said to be effective if and only if it leads to the achievement

of a given goal, say the syntactic description of a sentence, from an initial

set of elements, say abstract syntactic categories, in a finite number of steps.

Such a process, moreover, may involve no ambiguity which requires appeal

to an infinite class of possibilities.

If we call the elements on which the process can operate "admissible

elements", then we can outline what is required of such a system as:

b. We must know what transformations apply to the elements and their effect.

c. We must know when the goal has been reached, i.e. when the process is

complete.

consisting of a set of initial elements, B, often called the "base", and a set of

transformations, or "commands", M, referred to as the "generators". Among

the elements in M, will be a subset of transformations which terminate a

derivation and one which initiates the derivation. A derivation is complete

when it outputs a terminating transformation. If no further transformations

Effective processes 35

can be applied to a given string which has not terminated, we say that the

derivation is "blocked".

As a simple example of such an algorithm, based on Curry, consider

the following reduplicating system in which the members of Β are upper-

case letters and the lower-case equivalents are auxiliary symbols - symbols

which mark given elements or strings of elements as legitimate inputs to

given commands. The goal is simply to copy an expression, E, consisting of

elements in B.

a. aA ==> AaA.

b. XxY = > XYx.

c. a = > · -.

d. - = > a.

Here, command (12d) is the start-command, having the void set to the left

of the arrow, and (12c) the stop command, having void to the arrow's right.

Command (12b) merely ensures that elements and auxiliary-marked elements

interchange to permit the operation of (12c). Command (12a) generates the

requisite number of copies and, since it may take its output as input, it may

be applied an infinite number of times. In fact, of course, the number of

applications of (12a) will be determined by the number of elements in E.

Thus, if Ε = aa, its copy will be "aa" and so forth.

The above algorithm makes explicit reference to an alphabet in Β con-

sisting only of A. It should, however, be clear that the number of admissible

elements is not limited. Thus, if Ε is the English word cat, then we can derive

its copy simply by expanding the algorithm to allow for the fact that three

letters are involved as follows:

b. aA —> AaA.

c. tT — • TtT.

(14) CcCAaATtT.

(15) CAcCaATtT.

36 Background notions from mathematics

This string will input the terminating command, suitably expanded, which

erases the auxiliary alphabet to yield:

(16) CATCAT.

The algorithmic technique is, of course, very familiar to the modern lin-

guist in the form of a standard phrase-structure grammar and its application

will be assumed in the remainder of this study.

Chapter 3

Background notions from formal logic

necessity, to be very brief and, in consequence, sometimes rather superficial.

The science of formal logic is of immense complexity and contains many

subdisciplines, including, according to some, e.g. Whitehead-Russell (19 ΙΟ-

Ι 3), mathematics itself. It is also fitting to add that there is a vast number

of works both introductory and advanced on particular logics and that, since

some of these at least have a very wide readership across several disciplines,

including linguistics, it is not appropriate to attempt the repetition of their

content here.

I shall, therefore, offer a broad account only of those systems which are

particularly relevant to linguistic semantics. Only in my discussion of Mon-

tague's intensional logic (1973) shall I attempt a reasonably detailed presen-

tation.

propositions and whose operations are the functions: conjunction, negation,

disjunction, implication and equivalence. The propositional variables are taken

from the set { p, q, r, . . . } and the operations are symbolised by: &, v,

A, —> and < — r e s p e c t i v e l y : where A is exclusive disjunction and <—•

symbolises " i f f ' .

The syntactic formation rules of the system restrict the wellformed for-

mulae, wff, as follows.

(R.a) ρ is a wff.

38 Background notions from formal logic

(R.b) If ρ and q are wffs, then (p & q) is a wff, as are: -ρ, (ρ ν q), (ρ Λ

q), (p — • q), (p < • q).

are wff.

(p & (q & r)), ((ρ ν q) ν r), . . .

The logical constants are defined by means of truth tables which display

the truth values, {0, 1}, to be assigned to nonatomic propositions on the bases

of the values of the atomic propositions.

ρ q (p & q) ρ -ρ

1 1 1 1 0

1 0 0 0 1_

0 1 0

0 0 0

Ρ q (Ρ ν q) Ρ q (Ρ A q)

1 1 1 1 1 0

1 0 1 1 0 1

0 1 1 0 1 1

0 0 0 0 0 0

q (p — > q) p q (p <—> q)

1 1 1 1 1 1

1 0 0 1 0 0

0 1 1 0 1 0

0 0 1 0 0 1

tween these constants and their natural language counterparts - see McCaw-

ley (1981) for a particularly detailed exposition. Here, I note a few facts

only.

English and frequently appears to be used nonlogically as a temporal

connective, as in:

The calculus of propositions 39

That the conjunction is here nonlogical is confirmed by the fact that the

meaning changes if the order of the conjuncts is reversed, as in:

tor, meaning 'and then', it is historically more plausible to attribute the tem-

poral basis of the relation between the conjuncts to features of their semantic

representation. Perhaps, each conjunct in (2) and (3) should be assigned mu-

tually exclusive temporal indices as part of the auxiliary.

The distinction between inclusive and exclusive disjunction is usually sig-

nalled in English by means of periphrases as in the following pair:

Since the ambiguous cases seem to be the rule rather than the exception,

most logicians take or as inclusive unless otherwise stated.

As in other natural languages, the relation between English if and logical

implication is tenuous. If carries connotations of causality which make it

difficult to equate with — O n l y the second line of Table 5 seems natural.

Adherence to the other lines yields such strange truths as:

ural language for special emphatic purposes - emphasising the incorrectness

or unlikelihood of the antecedent - they are not used to assert truths in the

ordinary sense and combinations like (6) and (7) are probably not used at all

with intention. All three cases according to the logical account of implication,

however, express truth. In order to arrive at an approximation to English if

we require a connective which is not strictly truth-functional and, for that

purpose, we should appeal to modal logic rather than the classical systems

of the propositional calculus (section 3.5).

40 Background notions from formal logic

is usually more efficient to do so with the aid of inference rules. We may

derive all such rules from the following set of axioms - the system is due to

Whitehead-Russell (1910-13)).

(9) Axioms

a. (ρ ν p) —> p.

b. q — > ( p v q).

c. (ρ ν q) —> (q ν p).

Given these axioms, derivation may be by: uniform substitution - substi-

tution of one variable for another; substitution by definition; application of

the rule of "detachment", modus ponens\ and "adjunction".

In the system, three equivalences provide the definitions for "substitution

by definition".

The adjunctive rule merely states that: "if both ρ and q are true", then (p

&q).

As a simple example of how the calculus works, consider the following

proof of (12).

(12) Theorem: (p —• -p) —> -p.

b. Substitute (p —> -p) for (-ρ ν -ρ) in (a) by definition (D.2). QED

As in the case of the Boolean algebra outlined in the previous chapter, the

above system is both complete and consistent.

The semantics of the propositional calculus is, indeed, impoverished. Since

the logical constants denote particular functions which have been assigned

The nature of propositions 41

part of the semantics of the system. Moreover, since the axioms depend upon

the logical relations, we might think of them as semantical. However, since

the propositional variables are uninterpreted, they are without meaning. Thus,

a formula like:

(13) (pv-p).

(14) (p&-p).

is invalid by necessity. This is not to say, of course, that such formulae can

never find expression in every-day discourse. As remarked in chapter 2, the

tautological status of (13) may be exploited to express resignation, as in:

properties, as in:

sitional variables are of no semantic interest, the notion of a proposition is.

as the discussion in chapter 1 suggests, fundamental to the semantics of nat-

ural languages. It seems appropriate, therefore, to comment briefly - though

derivatively - upon this general question at this point.

In chapter 1, I took a simple view of a proposition as a function with

domain in the set of possible worlds. Cresswell (1973) provides a more

sophisticated discussion of the nature of propositions and of their properties:

necessity, impossibility, identity, etc.. I shall largely confine myself to his

discussion.

Oversimplifying for the moment, Cresswell equates propositions with the

sets of possible worlds in which they are true - where a given world is said

to be "possible" iff it is consistent with the logic concerned.

Thus, on this view, a proposition is a set and has the properties of sets.

For example, if a proposition, p, implies another, q, then the members of p,

i.e. worlds in which ρ is true, form a subset of q, i.e. worlds in which q is

42 Background notions from formal logic

true. This is so because, if the implication holds and ρ is true, then q must

be true under the usual interpretation of — I f q is true, however, ρ need

not be so, again according to our material understanding of — H e n c e , the

axiomatic status of the equation ((-ρ ν q) = (p —> q)).

This way of looking at propositions is most illuminating, especially when

we come to consider such modalities as logical entailment (section 3.6).

The simple equation of a proposition with a set of possible worlds is, how-

ever, preliminary in Cresswell's discussion and he later abandons it in favour

of a relation between propositions and the more complex notion, Heaven.

This is done to avoid unwanted consequences, such as there being only one

necessarily true proposition and to allow for the solution of semantic prob-

lems such as those surrounding belief-type statements. I shall describe this

elaboration later in the discussion of modal logic (section 3.7). Here, it is to

be noted that there are other candidates for the role in question, including

moments of time (Prior, 1968). There are also those, including Montague

(1973), who take possible worlds as primitive notions. I shall not attempt to

evaluate these alternatives in this study.

3.4 Monotonicity

marking that its inferential arguments, like those of all classical systems of

logic, are monotonic. A system is said to be "monotonic" when the validity

of its arguments is in no way affected by the introduction of new facts. In

everyday reasoning, by contrast, the underlying system is nonmonotonic. For

example, the argument (15) has a conclusion which may be "defeated" by

the introduction of a hitherto unknown fact, say, that Jennifer is a part-time

journalist.

(15) Jennifer, a linguist, earns £400 a month. Therefore, her annual in-

come is £4,800.

course is an important aspect of human psychology. I doubt, however, that it

can, or should, be incorporated into the semantic description of natural lan-

guages. Certainly, I do not regard this major difference between formal and

natural systems as disqualifying the former from a central role in describing

the latter.

The predicate calculus 43

therefore, in no way concerned with their internal structure. The predicate

calculus - also known as the calculus of functions, or the calculus of classes -

contains the propositional calculus as a subpart. This calculus, however, goes

further in that it treats propositions in terms of their internal structure. Es-

sentially, this means that the calculus analyses propositions in terms of their

functions - verbs - and the arguments to those functions - noun phrases.

It seems appropriate to begin the discussion with a brief presentation of

one of the oldest classifications of statements in formal logic. Aristotle distin-

guished four classes of statement based upon the types of quantification and

the positive/negative polarities. Statements are either universally quantified,

symbolised "V" or particularly quantified, symbolised "v". In addition, they

are either positive or negative.

The four types of statement are:

and appropriate brackets, each of these statements may be symbolised as

follows:

(16) a. (i.x)(B(x)^F(x)).

(19) a. (v,x)(B(x)&-F(x)).

(17) b. There exists at least one χ such that χ is a bird and χ flies.

44 Background notions from formal logic

(19) b. There exists at least one χ such that χ is a bird and it is false that χ

flies.

which it is denied that a single χ exists that fails to . . . , both of the universal

statements above may be substituted by:

(16) d. It is false that there exists at least one χ such that χ is a bird and

does not have feathers.

(18) d. It is false that there exists at least one χ such that χ is a bird and χ

is a mammal.

The statements considered so far have been simple in that they have in-

volved only one argument and, consequently, only one quantifier. If a given

function's degree > 1, then, clearly, more than one variable may be required

and each will have to be bound by its own quantifier. Thus, the statement:

with the requisite variables and restricting functions, as follows:

In this expression, the inner clause restricts χ and y to humans, while the outer

clause asserts that χ loves y under the condition stated in the inner clause.

(20) is, of course, an Α-statement since it makes a claim about all humans

and so the universal quantifier has the particular quantifier in its scope, i.e.

to its right. It is to be observed that, even if there are those who love only

themselves, the symbolisation is still correct since there is no rule that only

one variable may be used for a given individual. The rule is, rather, that if

different values are involved, they must be represented by different variables.

Thus, the symbolisation of (21) below is incorrect.

The predicate calculus 45

course, have any other in its scope and the main clause must be conditional.

In fact, however, (20) is ambiguous. On another reading, it is equivalent to

the normal sense of (22), which, being particular, is symbolised, along with

the alternative reading of (20), as (22a). In this symbolisation, the particular

quantifier has the universal in its scope and the main clause is conjunctive.

The difference in quantifier scope between (20a) and (22a) reflects a funda-

mental difference in meaning between the two expressions - one that features

frequently in the linguistic literature. In (20a) it is claimed that, for everybody,

there is at least one person he/she loves, even if it be only himself/herself.

In (22a), on the other hand, it is asserted that there exists at least one person

of whom it is true to say that everybody loves him/her.

It is appropriate, at this point, to refer briefly to the oldest part of the

calculus of classes, namely, syllogistics. Of the three types of syllogism,

the categorial is part of the predicate calculus, while the hypothetical and

disjunctive are, properly speaking, part of the propositional calculus. The

categorial syllogism is important in the present context not only because of

its pervasive exploitation in everyday argument, but because the semantic

problems associated with such syllogisms form an important part of current

philosophical and linguistic discussion and frequently figured in Montague's

writings.

Consider the following syllogism:

(23) All angels fly. All cherubim are angels. / All cherubim fly.

This argument is in the mood, "Barbara", since its premises and conclusion

are A-statements.

The terms of the syllogism are identified as follows:

(24) The "minor" term is the subject of the conclusion. The "major" term

is the predicate of the conclusion. The "middle" term appears in the

premises but not in the conclusion.

According to (24), the minor term of (23) is cherubim, the major term is

fly and the middle term is angels.

We may summarise the rules of validity for a categorial syllogism as

follows:

46 Background notions from formal logic

premises.

We may say that a term is "distributed" if and only if it applies to each and

every member of a class. In an Α-statement, the subject alone is distributed. In

an I -statement, neither term is distributed. In an Ε-statement, both terms are

distributed. Finally, in an O-statement, the predicate term alone is distributed.

Armed with the above definitions of terms and rules of validity, it is simple

to decide whether or not a given syllogism is valid - the conclusion neces-

sarily follows from the premises. Thus, for example, the following argument,

although it has about it the ring of truth, is clearly not valid since it infringes

rules (R.c) and (R.d).

(26) Some humans are women. Some women have long hair. / Some hu-

mans have long hair.

In this case, common sense tells us that the syllogism is not valid since

it is nowhere stated that all women are humans - the middle term is not

distributed - and it might well be the nonhuman women only who are blessed

with long hair. This example suggests, moreover, that rule (R.c) is superfluous

in view of rule (R.d) which, by the definition of distribution, disallows a

syllogism with two I-statements as premises.

It is to be noted that proper nouns may be taken as distributed terms, so

that, for instance, a statement like (27) is an A-statement:

The predicate calculus 47

is a syllogism in the mood, Barbara. In fact, there are those, e.g. Russell

(1946), who object to this analysis, but it appears to enjoy general acceptance

and is in accord with Montague's (1973) treatment in which a proper name

denotes the set of properties which constitutes a unique individual.

An argument variable which is not bound by a quantifier is said to be "free"

and a formula containing free variables is said to be "open". The formulae

given so far have all been "closed" and, therefore, represent propositions. It

is common to call an open formula an "open proposition", but I shall, for

the time, continue to use "propositional function" or "formula" for formulae

with free variables.

When we consider the formation rules for the predicate calculus, we find

that they correspond to those for the propositional calculus save for the fol-

lowing additional rules needed to govern the construction of open and closed

expressions.

ments, then F(Tn) is a wff, i.e. a proposition or formula.

((ν,χ) σ) is a wff, i.e. a proposition.

((V.JC)CT) is a wff, i.e. a proposition.

lus is achieved by converting expressions containing quantifiers into atomic

propositions as in the propositional calculus and proceeding with the cal-

culation through the normal rules of inference. However, whereas in the

propositional calculus the truth values of propositions are taken as given, in

the calculus of classes, the situation is considerably more complex. This is

so because we are predicating properties of individuals. Thus, in order to say

whether a given assertion is true, it is necessary to know whether a given

individual exists and does, in fact, have the predicated property.

In order to establish such facts, we assume a particular state of affairs

or possible world. Part of such a state of affairs will be the individuals

it contains. Let us extend our earlier notion of individuals (chapter 1) to

include whatever might be called "things". Thus, the individuals in a state of

affairs may include, beside people, buildings, trees and the like, ideas, days

of the week, even propositions. Let us further assume that the properties of

48 Background notions from formal logic

the respective individuals are fixed and that the relations holding between

them are also part of the specification of the state of affairs.

We say that the set of individuals in a given state of affairs is a "domain",

6. We may then say that a predicate, F, has its domain in δ. While most

proper nouns will have unique values in <5, some, e.g. Pegasus may have no

value at all in a given state of affairs. Further, there is likely to be a large

number of elements in the domain which do not have names of their own.

If F(x)6 is a propositional function with domain in δ, then an individual,

a, in δ, satisfies F(x) if and only if F(a/x) is true - where "a/x" means 'a

substitutes x'. The set of all individuals satisfying a given function is its

extension.

If V is a function which assigns values, i.e. denotations, to names, Ω is

a function assigning values to predicates and G assigns values to variables,

then < V.(2,G > is an "Interpretation", I. If F is a one-place predicate,

then (2(F) is an unordered set and, if F is an η-place predicate, then u ( f )

is an ntuple and will frequently be ordered. If L is some language, say a

fragment of English, then L' is an interpretation of L. I return to a more

formal treatment of these assignments in section 6.7 below.

Given our understanding of the particular and universal quantifiers, we

may say that the following propositions are true with respect to a given

interpretation, I, if and only if the first is satisfied by at least one element in

δ and the second by each individual in the extensions of the predicates.

(31) ((v.x)(F(x)&H(x)).

(32) ((V.x)(F(x)^H(x)).

not have to be true for (p —> q) to be true, permit us to make universally

quantified statements about individuals which do not actually exist in a given

state of affairs, as well as actual members of δ. Thus, (33) may be vacuously

true even for a world lacking flying horses.

from the vacuous truths which the nature of if sometimes forces upon us.

Two of his examples are (34) and (35).

The predicate calculus 49

Clearly, under the normal value assignments of English, these two sentences

are synonymous. However, if, with McCawley, we are prepared to accept

that a man who has no children is a person who loves all of his children,

then, it would seem that if (34) and (35) are true, so is (36).

Since the equation of (36) with (34) and (35) is ridiculous and leads to

contradictions, we may wish to restrict universal quantification to individuals

judged, in some way, to be relevant to the purposes of the discourse. This is

a sensible principle, but it is important to recognise that it is one of use, not

of formal logic.

While it is easy to state the conditions under which a simple particularly

or universally quantified statement is true, the situation is less straightforward

when two or more quantifiers are involved, as in (37).

Η = hate.

In order to evaluate this expression, we must first give a value for the inner

propositional function, ((V. >') (K(y) —> H(x,y))). This is simple with respect

to the values assigned to y, but not so for χ since that variable is free.

A way out of this difficulty is suggested by the axiom referred to earlier

in this chapter, namely (ρ —> (ρ ν q)). Let the inner formula in (37a) be

satisfied by a/y. If F(a/y) is true, then so is (F(a/y) ν F(a'/x)), where a' is any

arbitrary assignment.

Once the inner propositional function in (37a) has been satisfied, it is as

easy to evaluate the remaining function as for any expression involving a

single quantifier. We simply assign an appropriate value to χ which may, but

need not, be a'. Since this technique may be applied repeatedly in the evalu-

ation of a given expression, there is no bound upon the levels of complexity

which can be accommodated.

The calculus outlined here quantifies over individuals only - even though

the notion of an individual is very broadly conceived. A system limited in

this way is known as a "first order" calculus. It is possible to extend the first

order calculus to quantify over properties. Such a "higher order" or "second

order" calculus has all of the expressive power of the classical calculus, but,

in addition, can analyse sentences like (38).

50 Background notions from formal logic

(38) would be:

manner. Thus, rapidly in (39) is a property which may be predicated of the

verb runs, so that the verb is an argument to a function.

Clearly, if adjectives and adverbs can be treated in this manner, so can

sentence modifiers like necessarily which take propositions as arguments, as

do such clauses as it is strange that. In Montague's work, including (1973),

the principles of the higher order calculus are central and will be assumed in

this study.

It is important to stress that the interpretation of expressions in the pred-

icate calculus is, classically, extensional. Although we may think of it as

based upon the notion of a possible world, that is not to say that we are to

pass beyond that simple idea and conclude that the richer notion of sets of

possible worlds - alternative assignments - plays a part in such interpreta-

tions. It is only when the calculus is supplemented by a modal system that

the possibility of alternative interpretations for given sentences becomes a

reality.

so-called "Modal logic". In this logic, both the calculus of propositions and

that of classes are supplemented by a set of modalities, the most important

of which are Necessity and Possibility. Thus, a proposition, p, is said to be

true or false by necessity. Alternatively, ρ may possibly be true or possibly

false.

Modal logic 51

section 3.2, a proposition is necessarily true if it is true in all possible worlds

and is necessarily false if it is true in none. We may reformulate these alter-

natives as follows. A proposition, p, is necessary if it has all possible worlds

as members, i.e. contains the universal set. A proposition is necessarily false

if it has no possible worlds as members, i.e. is equal to the void set. It follows

that ρ is possibly true if there is at least one possible world in which it is

true, i.e. if it has at least one member. As noted earlier, the notion, Possible,

is interpreted as 'consistent with some logic', McCawley (1981).

It will be recalled that, earlier (section 3.2), certain complex proposi-

tions were said to be valid and others invalid. Since validity is rooted in

truth-functionality, we may say, with Cresswell (1973), that a proposition is

logically valid iff the semantic values assigned to its logical constants are the

same in all possible worlds. Thus, using by now familiar examples, (40) is

logically valid in all classical logics - "L" = Necessarily:

(40) L(pv-p).

true. By contrast, (41), being contradictory, is logically invalid in classical

logics:

(41) (p&-p).

If we consider the statuses of (40) and (41), it is apparent that they exhibit

a kind of necessity which is purely formal. Such propositions depend for

their status upon the functions represented by the logical constants not upon

the content of the atomic propositions involved.

The kind of necessity exemplified by (40) and (41) contrasts with "con-

ceptual necessity" exhibited in:

of semantic values to the words mother and has borne children are the same.

However, equally obviously, this necessity is not preserved under substitution,

as (43) demonstrates:

The point of the above examples, of course, is that the substituted an-

tecedent in (43) is taken to have the same truth value as its counterpart in

(42), but the complex expressions differ in truth value. We observe, therefore,

that conceptual necessity, unlike logical validity, is nontruth-functional. It is

52 Background notions from formal logic

this nontruth-functional necessity which gives modal logic its chief interest

for the linguist.

The examples (42) and (43) are both complex. However, certain simple

propositions can also be necessary. Thus, reverting to a problem touched on

in chapter 1, Frege's famous sentence (44) is true by necessity, but (45) is

false, even though the semantic assignments are referentially the same in both

cases.

property of disallowing the substitution of referentially equivalent expres-

sions whose senses are not identical - the so-called "Leibniz' law". Along

with other structures, they create "opaque" contexts and, for that reason, fig-

ure prominently in the discussion of central issues in semantics, including

intensionality.

Hughes-Cresswell (1968) employ the necessity operator in combination

with material implication, — a n d conjunction, &, to define two other im-

portant logical notions, namely, Logical entailment and Equality.

If we allow the symbol to represent entailment, then it has the following

definition.

(D.4) If (p <—> q), for any ρ and any q, then L(p —> q).

Entailment" as the relation between a subset, p, and its containing set, q,

such that the one is necessarily a subset of the other, i.e.:

To illustrate:

(46) If Jack broke the window with his fist, then Jack broke the window.

the case that Jack broke the window with his fist, then it necessarily follows

that he broke the window. The reverse relation does not hold. Moreover,

if the consequent is false, then the antecedent is false: if (p q), (-q >

-p). In chapter 6, I shall discuss the relation of presupposition which though

somewhat like entailment and often associated with it, turns out to have a

rather different logical structure.

Modal logic 53

tailment in terms of the notion of informativity. Ρ entails q if ρ is at least as

informative as q. This intuitive account is in accord with the more formal,

set-theoretic definition given above. When we claim that ρ is at least as in-

formative as q, we refer to the fact that it may be semantically more detailed.

The force of the adverbial in (46) is to narrow down the act of breaking to

a particular subset of such acts.

Second, let the symbol, < — h a v e the following definition:

(D.6) If (p <—> q), for any ρ and q, then L((p q) & (q p)).

According to (D.6), the set of possible worlds which are the proposition,

p, is a subset of those which are the proposition, q, and vice versa. Therefore,

ρ is equivalent to q and q is equivalent to p. Thus, human being is equivalent

to person, but pianist merely entails musician. This relation is often known as

"strict implication", McCawley (1981), and is regarded by many to be closer

to the meaning of English if than is material implication. Like entailment,

of course, if the consequent, q, is false, then so is the antecedent, p.

To symbolise Logical Impossibility, or invalidity, we merely prefix the

necessity operator to a negated proposition, as in:

(47) L-(p).

What (47) asserts is that the proposition, p, simple or complex, is the empty

set. It should be noted, that logical impossibility, invalidity, is not the same

thing as conceptual impossibility. Whereas the former is a matter of logic,

the latter is not.

As with the other operators, impossibility must be related to that of pos-

sible worlds, i.e. worlds consistent with some logic. I am not, here, thinking

merely of physical impossibility.

If a proposition, p, is not impossible, then it is a possibly true proposition.

Thus, using Μ to stand for the possibility operator, (48) is a true statement

if ρ is not impossible:

(48) M(p).

The assertion here is, of course, that there is at least one possible world in

which ρ is true, i.e. ρ contains at least one member.

It is obvious from the gloss of "possible" as 'not impossible', that Μ is

equivalent to L flanked by negatives. Thus, an alternative to (48) is:

(49) -L-(p).

54 Background notions from formal logic

that ρ is necessary could legitimately be symbolised:

(50) -M-(p).

of in a number of ways other than those discussed above. In every-day usage,

necessity is frequently thought of in terms of presumed knowledge. We say

that, because we know, or believe we know, that such and such is the case,

something else must be the case. Thus, (51) is necessarily true, given the

truth of the fact about Harvey, but it is not logically so:

(51) Harvey discovered the circulation of the blood. So, before Harvey,

that blood circulated was not known.

cessity. It is at the heart of nonmonotonic reasoning and is central to our

understanding of belief-statements and others involving verbs of "proposi-

tional attitude".

Yet another way in which we may think of necessity is in terms of be-

haviour. If we live in a world with a certain moral code, then that code places

obligations upon us as well as permitting us to make certain choices. It is

obvious that the notions of obligation, permission and prohibition have much

in common with those of necessity, possibility and impossibility. Thus, in a

rather loose way, (52) and (53) correspond to necessary and possible truths

in formal logic.

course, important to acknowledge that such a system is not entirely parallel

to modal logic. Most importantly, the operators, Obligation and Permission,

are based not upon the notion of a logically possible, that is a consistent,

world, but on that of a morally ideal one.

While modal logic has obvious applications to the formal study of natural

language, it may, at first, seem that deontic and similar logics have little to

do with such studies. As Allwood et al. (1977) point out, however, deontic

concepts such as obligation are reflected in language in much the same way

as their logical counterparts. Thus, for instance, the modal verbs in English

are used to express obligation etc. as well as other types of necessity. Hence,

the ambiguity of (54) between epistemic and deontic interpretations.

Modal logic 55

It is also true that such systems can be valuable tools in the furthering

of our understanding of fundamental concepts such as the nature of possible

worlds and the relations which may hold between them.

Thus far, I have taken for granted the plurality of possible worlds. In

fact, it was not until Kripke's famous paper (1959) that the idea of basing

a semantics of modal logic on sets of possible worlds was accepted. Before

then, modal logic had been founded on one-world systems and so was of

rather limited interest from the viewpoint of natural language studies. The

introduction of multiples of worlds into the system made it possible to apply

modal logic to the analysis of natural language expressions in which mean-

ing is not wholly extensional. Thus, for instance, (55) represents a common

type of expression which cannot be accounted for within the one-world, i.e.

extensional, framework of ordinary logics.

rather than a single world, questions naturally arise concerning the relations

which hold between these worlds. In chapter 1, 1 referred to the problem

of cross-world identity. Another important question is that of accessibility.

Given a world, w\, as a starting-point, what characterises sets of other worlds

which are accessible from it?

In so far as classic logics are concerned, we might say, borrowing from

Cresswell (1970), that certain worlds are "classical" in that the laws of validity

hold in them. Thus, in a classical world, & will always behave in accordance

with the standard truth table for conjunction, and similarly for negation and

the other logical functions. It follows, therefore, that so far as such functions

are concerned, any classical world is accessible from any other. However,

we may wish to allow even what are usually logical words such as and and

not to represent functions which do not behave in the standard manner and,

if that is so, then the sets of worlds involved will not be accessible from

classical worlds. Of course, it does not follow that because a classical world

is accessible from another classical world that the same holds for nonclassical

worlds.

Another way of looking at the notion of accessibility is in terms of com-

patibility. A world in which there is no distinction between a square and a

circle is not compatible with one in which those figures are distinct. Cresswell

(1973) uses a situation much like this to introduce heavens into his system as

the constitutive elements of propositions. Consider the following assertion.

56 Background notions from formal logic

are obliged to say that the proposition which Jack believes is the empty set,

namely, a world in which there are square circles. This would seem to amount

to saying that Jack believed nothing! Moreover, it could be taken to mean

that (56) had exactly the same meaning as:

simply because, if a proposition is a set of possible worlds, then the propo-

sitions in the complements of both of these sentences contain the same set,

namely, the empty one. Such considerations oblige us to regard as identi-

cal propositions which are logically equivalent. Clearly, two propositions are

identical only if they contain the same set of possible worlds and, since the

same requirement defines the relation of logical equivalence, it seems to fol-

low that propositional identity equals propositional equivalence. This is very

undesirable. We certainly would not wish, for example, to claim that because

(58) is true, then (59) must be true.

such a proposition is a set of possible worlds, then it is the set of all such

worlds and, thus, all valid propositions are erroneously regarded as identical.

This error is like that referred to in chapter 1, namely, that the meaning of a

proposition is its truth value.

It would appear, then, that a proposition cannot be a set of possible worlds

in a straightforward way.

Cresswell's proposal is that we think of propositions as sets of heavens

which are, themselves, made up of "protopropositions". Thus, in the case of

(56), Jack's belief-heaven would contain at least the protopropositions:

their standard usage. It is a trivial fact that, for example, circular and square

could be made synonymous.

Modal logic 57

In this theory, protopropositions are sets of possible worlds and may not,

therefore, be anomalous. However, heavens are mere collections of proto-

propositions. There is no requirement that they should not contain contradic-

tory protopropositions such as those above.

In order to distinguish between expressions like (56) containing contra-

dictions and those conforming to possibility, Cresswell establishes a subset

of heavens which he calls "world-heavens". A world-heaven is a set of pro-

topropositions which jointly determine one and only one world. Hence, we

conclude that propositions are sets of heavens and that some of these heavens

are world-heavens, i.e. define logically consistent sets of possible worlds.

For two propositions to be identical, they must contain the same heavens.

This is a much stronger condition than that on equivalence which requires

only that the propositions contain the same world-heavens. If two propositions

are identical, they are, of course, equivalent - equivalence is a necessary

condition of identity - but the reverse does not hold.

It is to be stressed that these remarks concern propositions, not the actual

sentences which denote them. Thus, we can scarcely claim that two statements

are identical just because they denote propositions which contain exactly the

same set of heavens. Obviously, at the most general level, a French and

English sentence denoting the same proposition are not identical and, on a

narrower view, two different statements may, in the same language, have

identical referents without themselves being identical. I return to the difficult

question of identity in chapter 4.

Cresswell's approach outlined above has much in common with that of

Hintikka (1962). In essence, Hintikka proposes that a sentence like (56) be

analysed in terms of the operator Believe and a nucleus consisting of a propo-

sition whose content may be part of John's belief-world. The proposition is,

then, true if it is compatible with John's belief-world. I shall return to Hin-

tikka's analysis and a more recent study by Cresswell (1985) later (chapter

4).

As I suggested earlier, for modal logicians, much of the interest in this

logic centres around the question of accessibility or compatibility. Among

the issues which they address are those pertaining to the properties of the

accessibility relation within a given system. For example, within propositional

logic itself, one possible world must obviously be reflexive with respect to

accessibility. This is a clear requirement of logical consistency. Hence, in

such a system, the following axiom holds:

58 Background notions from formal logic

also be transitive and symmetrical.

In contrast to the situation within propositional logic, that in deontic logic

is less clear. Thus, for instance, since the worlds in a deontic system are

morally ideal worlds, the actual world is not accessible from its ideal self.

Thus, when the actual world is included in a deontic system, the accessibility

relation is not reflexive (McCawley, 1981). Hence, under such circumstances,

the axiom (60) does not hold.

which makes possible the conversion of a propositional function into an

expression of another type, frequently a predicate. This technique, known

as "lambda abstraction", is employed extensively in much current work in

natural language formalisation, including Montague (1973), Lewis (1970) and

Cresswell (1973, 1985).

Consider, first, a rule which states that a given category of expressions, 7,

is formed by the combination of a functor category, β , and n-arguments of

category a . For the purposes of exposition, let 7 be the category of Sentence,

β that of Intransitive verb and a that of Nominal. Such a rule would combine

a nominal like Percy with a verb like runs to yield a sentence:

known as a "Categorial grammar" and its discussion will figure prominently

in much that follows - especially chapter 7. For the present, let us assume

that we have such a grammar and that it can be used to provide the sentences

of a natural language with descriptions of their syntactic derivations.

In cases like (61), the situation is perfectly straightforward. However, (61)

is, by no means, representative of the majority of sentential constructions.

Recalling the discussion of the interpretation of sentences involving multiple

quantification (section 3.5), how would one derive a sentence like (62)?

Lambda abstraction 59

that everyone is related to God - so that an alternative representation is also

required, namely:

semantic representations corresponding to (62a) and (62b). These alternatives

must both include the formula, (R(x,y)), which is common to (62a) and (62b).

At the same time, we must provide (62) with syntactic derivations which, as

far as possible, mirror its semantic representations.

As a first step, we might say that a verb like is related to is of category,

3, and that it combines with two words of category a, such as everyone and

someone, to form a sentence. This simple approach is not, in itself, sufficient

to accommodate the facts of (62a) and (62b), including the formula which

they share and the relative orderings, in which they differ, of the quantifiers.

Let us say that we have a rule which says that, when a formula contains

a variable which is within the scope of the lambda operator, Λ, the whole

has the status of an intransitive verb. Such a verb would have the following

form:

lambda abstract:

lambda abstraction, we would have:

function, (Runs(x)), (61a) can be converted into the standard logical equiv-

alent of (61) simply by the substitution, Percy/x, and the deletion of the

operator, Λ, along with the superfluous brackets. If, instead of performing

the actual substitution, we include the variable among the deletions, we have

(61) exactly.

The representation of (61) as (61a) is, however, more complex than either

the syntax or the semantics requires. We gain nothing whatever from its

employment. However, consider again the more complex problem of (62)

with its alternative readings. Since lambda abstraction allows us to create

verbs from propositional functions and, since it can be used to reflect scope

60 Background notions from formal logic

representations as follows:

apart from being easily assigned a semantic interpretation, their power resides

in the fact that, while the scope relations are reflected correctly, the linear

positions of the English words correspond to that of the actual sentence (62).

Again, as with the representation of (61), (62c,d) may be converted into

structures equivalent - assuming the use of the logical signs - to (62a,b),

simply by the substitutions, Everyone/x and someone/y, and the indicated

deletions. Alternatively, the natural English string, (62), may be obtained by

deleting all logical symbols.

Probably the best known exponent of the technique just outlined is Cress-

well (1973, 1985). Cresswell shows that, by employing lambda abstraction,

an enormous array of natural-language structures can be represented so as

closely to reflect the link between syntax and semantics. I shall follow his

example in this study.

There are, of course, several technical aspects to lambda abstraction which

I have not mentioned. I shall, in chapter 7, show how Cresswell incorporates

lambda abstraction directly into a categorial language in such a way as to

allow for the construction of any category of expressions. Here, I shall com-

ment only on the principle of Lambda conversion.

Clearly, if an expression, a , is to be converted into another, a ' , then α

must be semantically equivalent to a ' . Cresswell (1973) discusses, at length,

an equivalence relation, due to Church (1941), called "bound alphabetic vari-

ance". The details of this relation are complicated, but the basic principle is

not. Two expressions, a and a ' , are bound alphabetic variants if and only if

they differ just in respect of free variables.

The equivalences in question will be as follows.

a. If a differs from a ' only in having free χ where a ' has free y, then

a — a'.

b. If a differs from a ' only in having free variables where a ' has none,

then a = a ' .

Montague's intensional logic 61

Any expressions, a and a ' , meeting one of these equivalences are bound

alphabetic variants and may be converted into each other.

As indicated, from the viewpoint of mathematical semantics, the attrac-

tion of lambda abstraction is that, incorporated within categorial grammar, it

makes possible the construction of semantic representations in terms of the

syntax. Thus, it permits the straightforward association of the two planes of

meaning and expression.

enlarged version of modal logic which allows for intensional interpretations,

along with lambda abstraction, we obtain an Intensional logic. If, further, we

enrich such a system with tenses, it becomes a Tensed intensional logic. Mon-

tague (1973) employs such a logic to provide the semantic representations of

natural-language expressions. This section will focus upon his development.

The enlargement of the modal logic takes the form of the addition of two

more operators, one for intensionality and the other for extensionality. Using

Montague's symbolisation, we indicate the former, for any expression a , by

A

a and the latter by v a .

This enlargement is made possible by virtue of the interpretation of modal

systems in terms of sets of possible worlds rather than an arbitrary world as

in the case of the predicate calculus. Instead of thinking of the denotation of

a given expression, say a definite description, as some entity in a possible

world - its extension in that world - we may regard the expression as referring

to the set of its extensions in all possible worlds.

To repeat the commentary in chapter 1: the range of its possible extensions

is what is understood to be the intension of an expression. Thus, the intension

of the evening star is the set of all of its possible extensions, including, in our

world, the planet Venus. The intension of the morning star is its extension in

each possible world, including the planet Venus in our world. We conclude,

therefore, that while the evening star and the morning star have the same

extension in our world, they might have different extensions in other possible

worlds and, thus, they have different intensions. This is why Frege's famous:

62 Background notions from formal logic

The intension/extension distinction is an ancient one in philosophy (see,

for example, Dowty et al. 1982). However, in its modern form, it is usually

traced to Carnap's development of Frege's idea that an expression has both a

sense and a reference. In Carnap's original treatment (1947), the intension of

an expression was a function with state descriptions or models as its domain

of arguments and extensions in its range of values. Lewis (1970), along with

other scholars, including Montague (1973), refined on the Carnapian view of

this function by making its domain an ntuple of relevant factors - relevant

to the determination of meaning - including possible worlds and moments

of time. Such ntuples are called "indices" and their elements "co-ordinates".

In chapter 6, I shall discuss indices in some detail, including Lewis's

system. Here I shall simplify by saying that the domain of a function is a set

of indices made up of a possible world and moment of time and its values

are extensions. I take it that certain expressions may have extensions which

coincide with their intensions. Thus, a sentence denotes a proposition and

has a proposition as its intension, i.e. a function from indices to truth values.

The intension of many proper nouns, e.g. Scott, is a function from possible

worlds and moments of time to a unique individual and is, thus, coincident

with its extension.

As the remarks in the opening chapter suggested, the notion of an intension

is fundamental to an understanding of the notion of Meaning. Again following

Lewis (1970), we may say that to say what a meaning is is, in part, to say

what it does. Since intensions relate possible worlds to extensions, they are

obviously part of what a meaning does.

Since this chapter is devoted to background notions in formal logic, it

would be pleasing to present intensional logic as a purely formal system.

However, one of Montague's major interests in developing his system lay in

its applicability to natural language. It seems strained, therefore, to discuss

this logic without referring to its application. What follows will, therefore,

constitute an important - albeit derivative - part of what I have, myself, to

say about the semantics of natural languages.

In the previous section, I introduced, in very general terms, the notion of

a categorial grammar. While I shall not elaborate on this notion until chapter

7, it is again convenient to use it here. Essentially, a categorial grammar is a

simple context-free grammar which allows for the construction of infinitely

many "derived" categories from a small number of "basic" ones. Such gram-

Montague '5 intensional logic 63

and, ultimately, to Husserl.

Montague (1973) assumes two basic categories, e and t. We may think

of these as the categories of entities and sentences respectively. The letter

"t" stands for "sentence" because only sentences denote truth bearing expres-

sions.

From these two basic categories, we derive others of the form, (a/a) or

(a/b). In terms of functions, such derived categories have their range of values

in the category named by the leftmost symbol and their domain of arguments

in the category represented by the rightmost symbol. Thus, (a/a) takes, as

argument, a member of category, a, and yields a value in a. Similarly, (a/b)

takes a member of b as argument and has a value in a.

The utility of such a system is that it readily lends itself to the con-

struction of complex expressions in a manner which explicitly reflects their

compositional structure. Such a system, therefore, lends itself naturally to the

exploitation of Frege's principle of compositionality.

As a simple instance of a derived category in English, let (t/t) represent the

category of sentential adverbs, including modal operators, such as necessarily.

Such expressions concatenate with sentences to form sentences, as in (64).

Functionally: a sentential adverb is a function whose argument is a sentence,

member of t, and whose value is a sentence, member of t. In like fashion,

we may think of a one-place predicate, such as walks, as a function with

argument in e and range in t. Thus, walks, being of category (t/e), takes

an expression of category e, say Percy, as argument and yields, as value, a

member of t, namely the sentence:

graphs suggest. For instance, it proves useful to set up a system of rules of

functional application which spell out the applications of functions to argu-

ments and any morphological or other changes those applications may bring

about. In addition, it is necessary to provide a lexicon which lists the basic

expressions belonging to each category, basic or derived. The lexicon will,

of course, be language-specific.

Let us assume, in addition to the two syntactic categories, e and t, the

existence of a semantical object, s. S may be thought of as the set of senses

or intensions. Let Y represent the set of "Types". Then Y is the smallest set

such that:

64 Background notions from formal logic

(67) Members of Y

a. e and t e Y;

The intensional logic employs constants - primed tokens of their natural-

language counterparts, e.g. man' = man - and variables of each type. Each

type is written in the reverse order to that used for the syntactic categories

and 7' is replaced by ','. Finally, derived types are enclosed in angles. Thus,

the type notation corresponding to (a/b) is < b, a >.

(C) of (67) permits intensional types of any category, basic or derived.

Montague uses an assignment function, F, whose domain is the set of all

constants such that:

longer denotes a member of type e, but an intension of type < s,e > . Verbs

like looks for', which create opaque, or "oblique", contexts, take as object

argument a member of < s,e >, say F(Atlantis'), and yield, as value, an

intransitive verb, e.g. looks for'(F(Atlantis')), which denotes a member of

type, < s,<< s,e >,t » . Such a verb, in its turn, takes a member of

< s,e > as argument, say F(Percy'), and yields, as value, a proposition,

member of < s.t >, i.e. the proposition denoted by:

Since < s,t > is a function with domain in possible worlds and moments of

time and range in truth values, the value of the proposition denoted by (69)

will be in {1,0}.

This account of (69) is greatly simplified and departs from Montague's

treatment on several counts, including the fact that he would take for as a

separate item - an intensional preposition. The point is that the verb looks

for does not presuppose the existence of its object and the fact that it takes

a member of < s, e >, rather than the extensional type, e, allows for this. In

addition, the subject of the verb must be rendered extensional by a suitable

postulate, see below.

As another illustration, consider an oblique context created by the senten-

tial adverb necessarily. Let necessarily' be of type, < s,< s.t > t >. That

is to say: let it be an intensional adverb. Accordingly, necessarily' takes a

Montague 's intensional logic 65

value. This permits the solution of Frege's evening star paradox. Necessarily

claims universal truth or falsehood of its complement. Necessarily', there-

fore, demands that its argument be an intension not an extension, which is

particular to some arbitrary world and moment of time.

We tend to think of oblique contexts in terms of classes of verb, adverb, ad-

jective, etc. which create them. However, as Cresswell (1973) demonstrates,

the necessity for "intensional objects" is not restricted to such constructions.

He gives the following example of a sentence which depends, for its ambi-

guity, crucially upon the fact that the subject noun phrase denotes a function

whose values change with its temporal arguments.

(70) The prime minister of New Zealand will always be a British subject.

Whether such sentences provide "the most plausible evidence" of the need

for intensional objects, or whether they are, at some level of analysis, of

a kind with the more obvious opaque cases, is unclear. However, it is very

apparent that opacity must be of central concern in semantics and Montague's

intensional logic was constructed with this concern at its heart. I take up the

topic, including Cresswell's examples, again in chapter 4.

I gave the type for necessarily' above as < s,< s.t > t >. This is,

however, a simplification. In fact, the function, F, assigns all constants a

member of type < s.a >, so that necessarily' will actually be of type,

< s. < s,< s.t > t > > , in which < s.< s.t > t > = a. This manoeuvre

proves, ultimately, to lead to simplification in the grammar. Its effect is to

make a completely general treatment possible in which all expressions are

initially treated intensionally. During the computation of the meaning of any

sentence, those intensions which are inappropriate are reduced to extensions

through the use of the operator V in a manner to be discussed later in this

section. Thus, while, on one reading, the object noun phrase in (69) must

remain intensional, that in (71) must be extensionalised. This is so because

photograph, like find mentioned in chapter 1, requires an extensional object.

semantic rules so that they sometimes apply to intensions and, at others,

to extensions. This alternative is, however, undesirable since it diminishes

the generality of the analysis without resulting in a significant reduction in

complexity. Yet another alternative is to interpret the class of individuals so

widely as to include intensional objects which may, then, act as arguments to

66 Background notions from formal logic

functions just as ordinary extensional objects do. This is the approach which

I adopt in later chapters of this study.

It is to be noted that (c) of (67) allows for an infinite iteration of intensions.

This is so because, if < s, a > is a type, then so is < s, < s, a » and so on.

This unwanted iteration is of no semantic consequence since, by definition,

an intension is a function from all possible worlds and moments of time

to extensions. Hence, the intension of an intension is a constant function

and endlessly to apply it to itself leads to nothing more than an infinity of

identicals.

In the interests of readability, I shall often omit one or all tokens of the

intensional symbol, s, when referring to given types unless they are central

to the point at issue.

It will be evident that the operation of a categorial grammar, as sketched

earlier, is completely general. There is nothing to prevent the generation of

arbitrary sequences most of which would be ungrammatical. If we say that,

where a and b are categories, (a/b) is a category, then, since adverbs and

common nouns are categories, so is (adverb/common noun). This sanctions

the creation of such odd strings as necessarily leopard. Indeed, if we treat all

words as part of the lexicon, including articles and other grammatical words,

we could even generate such monsters as leopard the, or such the and. There

is nothing wrong with this liberality in the context of universal grammar.

Indeed, its presence is to be welcomed since we can never be sure that

a given concatenation will not be required. One consequence is, of course,

that, in concert with most current theory, we are led to view language-specific

rules as filters which permit the passage of only a subset of the grammar's

output. Parallel considerations hold for the peculiar semantic types which are

assigned to the relevant expressions. However, it may be that the semantic

rules which remove nonsense are less language-specific than their syntactic

counterparts. I discuss a logical example below.

The intensional logic, like any other formal system, must contain a set

of formation rules which specify those expressions which are well-formed.

Such expressions are called "meaningful expressions" and their specification

is such as to allow for the licence referred to above, while retaining the

customary restraints of standard logics. These rules provide for the inclusion

of lambda expressions and the usual wffs of the predicate calculus as well as

the modal, tense and intensional operators. I reproduce Montague's formation

rules below, commenting only on those which are of special interest or whose

significance is not immediately apparent.

Montague's intensional logic 67

each type and each is a meaningful expression of that type. Among such

variables are those which range over predicates as in the higher-order predi-

cate calculus. The logic also employs infinitely many constants of each type.

It is necessary that these sets be denumerable since each variable is indexed

by a natural number. The idea of a language with an infinite vocabulary is

not, as Cresswell (1973) shows, implausible, especially if we regard numbers

as words.

and determines their status. For example, suppose that α is a formula, i.e.

of category t, and u is a variable of type e, then ( A , u ( a ) ) is a verb, that

is, a member of ME<e t>. As we saw in the previous section, this verb, a

function, applied to an argument of the appropriate type, namely of e, yields

a sentence.

Comment: This rule stipulates the domain of arguments for any function and

gives the status of the value for those arguments. To illustrate: let a be a

verb, i.e. a function of type < e.t > , and β an appropriate argument, i.e. a

member of e, then the value of et for that argument is a member of t. If α =

runs' and β = Percy', then runs'(Percy') c. t.

Although rule (R.c) dictates an inflexible condition on wellformedness -

the argument for a given function must be of a specified type - it leaves free

the specification of function and argument. Thus, paralleling the earlier dis-

cussion, we could, conceivably, have a function, < e, < t.t > > , represented,

say, by necessarily", which took as argument a member of e, say Percy', to

yield a sentential adverb, i.e. (necessarily" Percy'). This adverb would then

concatenate with a proposition in the usual way to yield a proposition, e.g.:

> Ο, (Φ <—> R ), ((V,m) (ο)), ((v,u) (φ)), (L(cp)), (W (φ)), (Η (ο))

e ΜΕ,.

68 Background notions from formal logic

Comment: This rule provides for all of the customary wffs of the predicate

calculus - of any order. It also allows for the operators of modal logic -

represented by L, so that possibly must be derived - and tense operators.

Montague's tense provision is rather slight, allowing only for future, sym-

bolised W, and past, symbolised H, with present unmarked. Cresswell (1973)

argues that so-called "Tense logic", even in Prior's own formulation (1968),

is not particularly helpful in the analysis of the tenses of natural language.

Dowty et al. (1981) provide a full discussion of tense in the context of Mon-

tague grammar and I shall briefly return to his treatment below.

fixed by the intensional and extensional operators. It is obvious that v . is

productive only if a denotes an intension - its application to an extension-

denoting expression would be vacuous.

It will be seen below that the utility of these operators is in providing

flexibility in applying functions to arguments, in spite of the rigid constraint

of (R.c) above.

to (R.G).

Having provided the syntax of the logic, through the formation rules, it

is now time to turn to its semantics. First, the possible semantic values -

possible denotations - for the different types must be provided. This is done

by the following definition, where A, I, J represent the set of individuals,

the set of possible worlds and the set of moments of time respectively. The

notation is to signify 'the set of possible denotations of a with respect

to A,I,J' - for brevity, I shall often simply write Da. As usual, the notation

xy signifies a function with domain in y and values in x.

a. D*-,J = A.

Comment: This simply establishes the set of possible semantic values for any

expression of type e as the set of individuals.

As noted earlier, since the set of individuals is taken in the context of all

possible worlds and moments of time, A must include individuals which do

not occur in the actual world, such as Pluto. The inclusion of such nonactual

individuals is, of course, necessary if the logic is to be useful in the analysis

Montague 's intensional logic 69

of natural language. It will also be recalled that many things are included in

the set of individuals which may not, normally, be thought of as individuals,

including propositions and formulae.

Since we can, and often do, talk about possible worlds and moments of

time, these entities also may be members of A. Thus, to say that an expression

has such-and-such a semantic value relative to < A,/, J > is to say that it

has that denotation with respect to the set A. The subsets I and J are picked

out for especial mention because they are denotation-determining in many

cases. That is to say, they are used to fix the extensions of expressions.

I should, however, mention that the intensional logic does not contain

expressions which denote ordered pairs of I and J, indices, directly. This point

is made by Dowty et al. (1981) who refer to a thesis by Gallin (1972). It seems

that this reflects the fact that "natural languages do not make explicit reference

to indices". Thus, for example, the phrase here and now has absolutely no

meaning in the absence of a context of use.

(73) b. = {0,1}.

proposition is asserted by Montague to be a truth value.

It is to be noted that Montague's intensional logic employs a binary truth

system, falsity/truth. His commitment here is a profound one since it involves,

among other things, adherence to the Russellian theory of definite descriptions

(see chapters 1, 4 and 6).

This approach obviously has significant implications for the semantics. As

we saw earlier, it is clearly possible to take another view, namely, that adopted

by Strawson (1950). This alternative claim amounts to saying that sentences,

like Russell's, which suffer from presuppositional failure - it presupposes

the existence of a king of France - are neither true or false. This approach

leads naturally to the adoption of a multi-valued system in which, in addition

to 0 and 1, we might include an indeterminate value, or even a range of

approximations to truth or falsehood. The standard introduction to such logic

is probably still Rescher (1969) at least for non-Polish speakers. I return to

Russell's account and the controversy it generated frequently, especially in

chapter 6.

Comment: (c) says that the denotation of a complex type < a.b > is a

function from the possible denotations of a to the possible semantic values

of b. Thus, if < a.b > is an intransitive verb, member of < e.t > , then

its possible denotation is a function from individuals or sets of individuals

70 Background notions from formal logic

to truth values. If < a,b > is a transitive verb, member of < e. < e,t >>,

its denotation is a function from individuals to a function from individuals

to truth values. The denotation of loves' is a function from A - taken as

objects - into a function from A - taken as subjects - into { 0 , 1 } .

To say that the values of certain functions are truth values is, of course,

to say that those functions are propositions.

Comment: The possible denotations of type < s,a > are functions from all

indices - ordered pairs of possible worlds and moments of time - into the

possible denotations of a.

As discussed earlier, the need for such functions in the semantics stems

from opaque contexts in which we cannot say that given expressions have

ordinary extensions as their semantic values. Montague uses the term "in-

dividual concept" for members of < s,e >; "property" for members of

< s, < a,b >> and "proposition" for < s,t >.

Montague provides further justification for his use of individual concepts

as denotations for nouns by his treatment of certain "extraordinary common

nouns" such as temperature. Such nouns, he claims, denote functions with

shifting values. As he, himself, expressed it (197lb/1973; p264): "the indi-

vidual concepts in their extensions would in most natural cases be functions

whose values vary with their temporal arguments". The most interesting cases

are those in which the noun in question occurs in subject position, as in:

I return to the analysis of sentences like these later (chapter 4). In the mean-

time, it is apparent that there is much in common between Montague's "ex-

traordinary common nouns" and Cresswell's extraordinary complex proper

nouns such as the prime minister of New Zealand.

Of course, the extraordinary behaviour of some nouns in subject position

does not alter the fact that, in the majority of cases, to predicate a property

of something does imply that thing's existence. Thus, it is a convenient

simplification to say that a verb denotes the set of elements of which it is

true. Montague capitalises on this convention by allowing any expression 7

of type < a,t > to denote the extension of a. Thus, if a e a, then 7 ( a )

asserts that the things denoted by a are, in fact, members of the set denoted

by 7. Thus, if 7 is an intransitive verb, then a e e and 7 denotes a set of

individuals. It is easy to adjust this formulation so that, if 7 is a member of

< a. < b.t > > , then 7 denotes a set of ordered pairs, i.e. is a two-place

verb.

Montague's intensional logic 71

< s,a > , is completely general. There is no reason why a should not stand

for a derived type, including < < s. e >, t > . In such a case, < s, a > would

represent the type, < s , « s,e >,t > > . Such properties are the denotations,

stricto sensu, of intransitive verbs and are functions from world-time pairs

to functions from individual concepts to truth values, i.e. propositions.

As observed in section 6.5, properties may, themselves, have properties.

Thus, we might say that, in (75a) the property of walking has the property

of being universally instantiated by human beings.

In such cases, every man has the complex type < s,<< S , « s.e >,

t » , t » . This type looks formidable indeed. However, if its s-tokens are

ignored, it will easily be seen to represent a type which takes an intransitive

verb, < e, t > to form a sentence, t.

The elegance of this way of treating quantifier phrases can readily be

appreciated by looking at an example. Let π be a property of the type just

described and let the notation, { x } , mean 'x has such-and-such a property'.

Then, the logical equivalent of (75a) will be:

Here, the lambda expression is a noun phrase and (75b), after lambda

conversion, becomes the proposition:

In great measure, the beauty of (75b) resides in the clarity with which it

shows the status of every man as a higher-order property of the verb walks.

This is not, however, to claim that it fully represents the meaning of every. In

chapter 7,1 shall discuss further the status and structure of quantifier phrases.

In fact, Montague extends the term "property" to refer to the denotation

of any type < a,b >>. In this generalised use, we may, for example,

have properties of propositions, i.e. members of <s,<s,t>t>. As noted

earlier, a sentential adverb such as necessarily' would be of this type.

As a final case, consider an expression, 7 , which is of type < s, < a,<

b,t >>>. If we allow the second member of this expression to be of type,

<< s,e >,<< s,e >,t > > , it will be seen that the denotation is a two-

place relation. Montague calls a relation of this kind a "relation-in-intension".

Of course, for many transitive verbs, as noted already, their status in the final

computation will have to be extensional.

72 Background notions from formal logic

"sense" and "intension" as that between the set of possible intensions of

a given type and the actual intension for a given expression of that type.

The assignment function, F, which has all constants as its domain, yields as

value for any constant, a , of type a, a member of Sa. Thus, F(leopard') has a

common-noun intension selected from the possible common-noun intensions,

i.e. one which picks out the set, {x: leopard(x)}, in each world-time pair.

Evidently, intensions will always be senses, but there may well be senses

which, being never selected, are not intensions in a given language. Thus,

by setting up the set of senses, Montague frees the logic from any particular

language and, indeed, from the confines of human languages in general, be

they natural or artificial.

Having established the possible denotations for each type, the system is

completed by the construction of an "interpretation" or "intensional model"

which, as with the models of modal logic, assigns extensions to actual mean-

ingful expressions. Such an intensional model, symbolised, M, is a quintuple

< >4,7,7, > . Here, A, I, J are as before; —> is a simple ordering on J,

i.e. an ordering on moments of time; F is the assignment function referred

to above. Obviously, the crucial element of Μ which distinguishes it from a

mere denotation-function is the ordering —

As well as nonlogical constants, such as walks' and leopard', the logic

employs denumerably many variables and these, as in the predicate calculus,

are assigned values by a function, g. Thus, g(u) e Da, whenever u is a variable

of type a. For example, if he„ is the nth variable of type, e, then the value

of g ( h e m ) is the individual denoted by hem under the assignment.

In the presentation of the semantic rules, it proves convenient to adopt

notational conventions which explicitly indicate an intensional vs extensional

interpretation-assignment of semantic values. Thus, by a M , g is understood

the intension of the meaningful expression, a , with respect to Μ and g. By

contrast, by a M , l j - g is meant the extension of a with respect to Μ and g.

in this latter notation, < i.j > , a "point of reference", represents a member

of the product set, < IXJ >. To illustrate: let a = the king of France', then

a M ' g is the function which picks out an individual at each possible world

and moment of time, or returns 0. On the other hand, denotes some

individual at a particular world-time pair, or returns 0.

Montague's semantic rules which spell out the precise interpretation for

any given meaningful expression are elaborations of and extensions to those

Montague's intensional logic 73

them below with comment where this seems necessary.

are intensions, not extensions.

intensions. Hence the specification of the pair, < i j > , in the rule.

function, h, with domain, Dh, such that, whenever χ is in the domain,

h(x) is , where g' is the M-assignment like g except for the

possible difference that g'(u) is x.

the truth of a formula is established by satisfaction, outlined in section 5.

Of course, (R.c) is concerned with lambda-expressions and such expres-

sions are functions. Thus the equation of the lambda-expression with the

function, h, whose value for some element, x, in the domain of the variable,

u, is the g'-assignment in G.

ί

that is the value of the function ' for the argument 8M .

then the value of a for the argument 8 is a truth value. In general: the inter-

pretation of any functor is a function which gives a value for an appropriate

argument.

M

(R.e) If a, 8 e MEa, then (a = is 1 iff a i s ·'·.'·•<·'.

arguments to the equality relation are not specified. It is required only that

they be of the same type.

Thus, if a and 8 denote extensions, then (a = 8) is true at a world-time

pair < i.j > iff a and 8 have the same extension at that world-time pair.

Hence, the sentence:

74 Background notions from formal logic

is true at present, but was not always so. If, on the other hand, a and β

denote intensions, then (a = β ) is true iff a and β have the same extension

at each world-time pair. It follows, as Dowty et al. (1982) point out, to claim

intensional equality for two expressions is far stronger than merely to claim

their extensional equality.

It will be noted that Montague defines equality in terms of is. I shall

discuss some of the problems surrounding this verb in the next chapter. Here,

it suffices that Montague distinguishes two uses of the substantive verb, viz.

the be of predication and the be of identity, symbolised, = . In view of the

earlier discussion and that which is to follow, it would appear that his usage

is somewhat loose here.

v, —> and <—>.

exists χ e Da such that is 1 and g' is as in (R.C); and

similarly for ((V, u) φ).

j' e J .

terpret "L" as 'always necessary'. This is so, of course, because Montague

includes moments of time in his models.

As remarked earlier, Montague does not employ the possibility operator,

M, so that that modality must be symbolised, "-L-". The interpretation for

"-L-" will be like that for "L", except that the universal quantification over

members of I and J must be made particular. Clearly, for -L-, i' and j' must

be an ordered pair, member of < IXJ > and there is no reason for freeing L

from the same condition even though it is not technically necessary.

Μ

(R.h.2) is 1 iff φ i s 1 for some j' such that j -> j' and

j/j'·

Comment: Take j as the moment of utterance and j' as some moment later

than j, then:

Montague's intensional logic 75

(79) It is snowing.

is true.

(R.h.3) (H0) M > i J < g is 1 iff d / 4 ^ ' * is 1 for some j ' such that j ' -> j a n d j '

ΦΙ

Comment: If j is, again, the moment of utterance, then a past tensed sentence

will be true at j iff its present tense form was true at some moment, j ' , earlier

than j.

Dowty et al. (1981) show how this simple tense system can be expanded

very considerably without the necessity of introducing additional symbols -

though we might wish to use them for stylistic reasons. Thus, for instance, it

will always be can be obtained by flanking W by negation signs and similarly

for it has always been, using H. Naturally, these extensions lead to increas-

ingly complex interpretive rules as the moment of utterance's relation to the

time at which the present tense sentence is true becomes more complicated.

sulting expression denotes an intension which, by definition, is the set of all

possible extensions of a at all possible worlds and moments of time. Hence,

at any world-time pair, < / . /' > , Λ α denotes an intension and so no particular

member of < IXJ > is mentioned in the second part of the rule.

M

-iJ^<iJ>).

operator converts it into an extensional expression. This is indicated in the

rule by specifying the function's argument < i.j >.

We may illustrate the mechanics of the two operators, A and V. It will

be recalled that (R.c) in (72) lays down a strict condition by which the type

specifications of argument and function must match. Thus, a function of type,

<< s.e >.t > , must have an argument of type < s.e > , while < e.t >

must take an e as argument.

In the semantic analysis of natural-language expressions, this strictness is

at times inappropriate. The operators, A and V, are prefixed to an expression

to reverse its intensional/extensional status - as indicated in (R.i) and (R.j).

Thus, Ae — < s.e > and v < s.e > — e. Hence, if ο f « .ν.ί- > . i > and

3 € e, then a( ß) = t. If 7 e < e.t > and δ e < s.e > , then 7(v<5) = t.

A

I have already used the notation, ©{x}, to mean that χ has such-and-such

a property, φ. This brace-notation is an abbreviation for v <?(*).

76 Background notions from formal logic

expressions. To use a familiar example from Montague (1973), the ambiguous

sentence (80) requires that, on one reading, there must be at least one unicorn

to be true - the de re reading - but, on the other - the de dicto reading - this

condition is not required. Montague's representations - slightly simplified -

are (80a) and (80b). In each, u is an individual variable of type e and J is a

constant of type e.

In the first representation, the existential quantifier phrase has the entire sen-

tence in its scope and the whole may be glossed as:

(80) c. There exists at least one individual, u, such that u is a unicorn and

John seeks u.

The second representation is rather more complex. First, the oblique context

is created by writing the verb at the beginning with the consequence that

its arguments must be intensionalised, AJ and Au. The object argument is

the lambda-expression which asserts that the object of John's search is some

individual concept which has the property of being a unicorn.

< Μ,i,j > iff is 1 for every M-assignment g.

function is satisfied with respect to a model if it is true for every assignment

of values to its variables in that model.

Montague's system is completed by a set of meaning postulates which filter

out interpretations of the intensional logic which would not be "reasonable

candidates" for interpretations of English. These postulates lay down the

conditions which must hold in order for given propositions to be true. Thus,

for example, a proposition involving the verb find can be true iff both its

subject and object are extensional. By contrast, the verb seek requires merely

that its subject be extensional. Moreover, a proposition in which seek figures

is true iff another which is just like it save that its verb is try to find is true.

While several of the postulates are very general, for example, proper nouns

are rigid designators, others are designed to handle semantic problems which

are particular to Montague's data. Thus, for example, the rule which states

that the subject of an intransitive verb, e.g. run, must be extensional ex-

Montague 's intensional logic 77

plicitly excludes the verbs rise and change from that requirement. Within

Montague's theory, this special treatment is afforded to such verbs in order

to accommodate the behaviour of nouns like price and temperature which,

as we have seen, Montague took to be extraordinary.

Chapter 4

Vagueness and ambiguity

4.1 Background

There can be few indeed who are not aware of the fact that all natural

languages are pervaded by vagueness and ambiguity. Indeed, there have been

those, including Frege, who have seen these hallmarks of natural language

as shortcomings so severe as to render them unsuited to exact reasoning.

While it would not be appropriate, here, to enter into a discussion of the

psychological merits and demerits of ambiguity and vagueness, it is to be

noted that there have been many scholars, e.g. Sweet (1891), who have seen

these not as disadvantages of natural systems, but as contributing to their

fundamental purpose, everyday communication.

From the viewpoint of mathematical semantics, however, there can be

no equivocation. The characteristic vagueness and ambiguity of natural lan-

guages provide the greatest challenge to the hypothesis that there is no es-

sential difference between them and formal, artificial systems. It is a major

preoccupation, therefore, of formal linguistics to search for ways to overcome

this challenge. From the perspective of general linguistics also, the ability to

resolve ambiguities and cope with vagueness are essential features of the hu-

man linguistic capacity, so that to account for them should be a fundamental

aim of any theory of language.

In fact, progress to date has been almost entirely in the description and

explanation of ambiguity, with barely any significant advance toward a formal

theory of vagueness. This is in spite of the current enthusiasm for Prototype

theory among cognitive linguists - see, for instance, Taylor (1989).

One reason for the relative lack of progress in respect of vagueness is

that the majority of linguists have concerned themselves with the structural

properties of sentences rather than with theories of lexical content and it is

on the latter level that vagueness is most obviously manifested. Ambiguity,

on the other hand, though it frequently derives from meanings at the word

level, is prominent at the higher, structural level. Structure in sentences is a

question of dependencies and connections and these phenomena are governed

by rules. Such rules are of central interest to formal linguists, mathematicians,

Background 79

measure, language independent and their study, therefore, offers insights into

universal grammar. Lexical content, by contrast, seems to be a language-

specific matter so that neither lexicography nor psycholexicology provide

firm bases from which to draw universalistic inferences.

In the framework of mathematical semantics, the question of vagueness,

at least for the overwhelming majority of items, may be treated as a sec-

ondary problem whose solution can be put off until questions of structural

meaning are settled. We are, after all, free to assign arbitrary meanings to the

basic items of the lexicon and arbitrarily to decree that those assignments be

distinct, so in effect, ruling vagueness out of consideration. With only one

significant exception, I follow this general approach, though I obviously do

not totally ignore questions of word meaning, including in my remarks on

ambiguity. Indeed, my discussion of semantic rules in chapter 8 has rele-

vance to the meanings of lexical items though it is primarily concerned with

general assignments to parts of speech in the context of truth and pragmatic

valuations.

The exception to which I have just referred is the set of indefinite quantifier

compounds whose members include: something and everything as well as the

temporal quantifiers such as always. These items, by virtue of their logical

status, quite apart from the fact that they are of very high frequency, cannot

be passed over. While it would be possible cavalierly to assign them arbitrary

initial values which are later adjusted, it seems best to treat them differently

since, being indefinite, their domains are restricted by the sentential context.

Quine (1966) outlines the method for restricting the domain of these

quantifier-noun compounds. An instance is provided by:

Clearly, something cannot, here, be allowed to range over just anything there

is. For the symbolisation to make sense, its domain must be restricted to

drinkables. Thus, a reasonable symbolisation would be (lb) rather than (la).

thing are assumed, as in:

80 Vagueness and ambiguity

along with the negative cases, including never, receive analogous treatments,

being restricted to moments of time.

(5) a. (V,jc) ((time(x) & {wears a hat at x}(Percy)) —> {wears a bowler

at x](Percy)).

able writers have based their discussions of the subject on his ideas. While I

shall, hopefully, be able to expand somewhat on what he had to say, drawing

as I shall on more recent work, my general approach will be cast in the mould

of his discussion.

4.2 Ambiguity

level. Thus, to take a classic illustration, it is common to claim that the noun

bachelor is so-many ways ambiguous and, on the basis of this fact, to derive

the ambiguity of:

suggests that we may use truth assignment as a criterion for ambiguity. Thus,

if (6) is true when taken to say that John never married, but false when

asserting that he has a university degree, then (6) is ambiguous. The point is

that words in isolation have nothing to do with truth. We should, therefore,

strictly speaking, reserve the term "ambiguity" for truth bearing expressions

and use the term "polysemy" to refer to the potential of individual words

to contribute to ambiguity. I shall not, however, always be consistent in

reflecting this distinction simply for reasons of style.

Accepting the need for a word to be polysemous in order to contribute

to ambiguity, it seems proper to distinguish between genuine polysemy and

Ambiguity 81

ample:

bore. Similarly, the noun pen 'enclosure' is homonymous with pen 'writ-

ing instrument'. The doubt which arises in interpreting cases like (7) comes

not from ambiguity but from confusion of identical sounds/spellings, which

scarcely seems to be a semantic issue.

Homonymy is of interest in etymology, but is not a condition for ambigu-

ity. It is important, of course, to be clear on what one means by "homonymy".

As Lyons (1968) points out, it would be wrong to assert that the word ear

'organ of hearing' is homonymous with ear 'spike of corn' just because there

were originally two separate words involved. The two words came together

so long ago that their original independence is quite unknown to the vast

majority of the present speech community.

In spite of the labours of lexicographers, when polysemy is extreme, it

constitutes mere generality and this does not lead to ambiguity. Quine (1960)

makes this point with reference to such adjectives as hard. There seems to

be no good reason to say that because hard may combine with question and

also with chair it results in ambiguity. Indeed, as Quine says, there is an "air

of solipsism" about such conjunctions as:

terms, notably, true and false. Quine's (1960) suggestion is that the difference

between true sentences and true laws of logic is just that between sentences

and laws of logic. Certainly, at the very least, it is necessary to distinguish

between the use of these adjectives in modifying, say, love and proposition.

True love is love and false love is not love. To assert that a proposition is

true, however, is to say much more than that it is a proposition. Similarly,

to say that a proposition is false is not to say that it is not a proposition. I

return to these predicates below, section 4.

We tend to think of ambiguity in terms of senses, but it is also possible

for it to arise as a consequence of function. Particularly striking examples of

this are provided by structures consisting of an agentive noun modified by

certain adjectives. Quine's illustration (1960) is poor violinist. When poor

is used predicatively, then the expression refers to a violinist who is either

unskilled or impoverished. When poor is used attributively, the phrase refers

to a violinist who plays badly. This kind of ambiguity is, probably, rare in

82 Vagueness and ambiguity

actual use. I do not think one would normally use a phrase like poor violinist

unless the property of being a musician was the point at issue. It would be

odd to say:

contexts of situation can be thought up which would favour such a reading.

The ambiguities considered so far have involved so-called "lexical" words,

but ambiguity is also created by "grammatical" words. Particularly interesting

are polysemous quantifiers like the article in a leopard. In such cases, the

quantification may be particular or universal, though the ambiguity is often

resolved by the sentential context. Thus, (10) is taken as particular because

the auxiliary is present progressive, but (11) would normally be universal

because the auxiliary is just present.

The same is true if the substitutes for a in these examples. I shall return to

the interpretation of quantified phrases in chapter 8.

A grammatical word which figures very prominently in the philosophical

and linguistic literature in the context of ambiguity is the substantive verb

be. I referred in chapter 3 to the fact that Montague (1973) treated this verb

as having two uses, predication or identity. Thus, in (12) is is predicative,

but in (13) it denotes the relation of identity.

Hintikka (1989) points to the fact that some philosophers, including Frege

and Russell, treat the substantive verb as four-ways ambiguous. For such

scholars, be may be predicative, or existential. It may denote identity or

class inclusion. Existential be usually appears in combination with there as

in:

theory is that the uses of be are logically irreducible, not that they appear in

Ambiguity 83

it does not carry over into natural language. On the one hand, it is often

difficult - Hintikka would say impossible - to distinguish one sense from

another and, on the other hand, the sentential environment is often decisive.

To do justice to the semantics of be requires a monograph in itself. I shall

limit myself to a few intuitively grounded remarks here.

Montague (1973) provides two examples of his analysis of be. They are:

I shall defer discussion of (16) for section 4, when I take up the distinction

between equivalence and identity in the context of propositional attitudes.

In the meantime, it may be accepted that in (16), the equality symbol does,

indeed, denote the identity relation since the proper nouns which flank it

must be interpreted as without sense, i.e. extensionally only. Equivalently, in

the spirit of chapter 1, we may regard proper nouns as having senses which

are indistinguishable from their denotations. In many cases, however, such

an exclusively extensional interpretation is not possible and, hence, the verb

be predicates equivalence. The clearest instances of this are those involving

definite descriptions, as in the much quoted Fregean sentence:

what might, at first, look like class inclusion can be thought of as mere

predication. Obviously, to assert (17) is to assert that Bill is a member of the

class of men, but the symbolisation which accompanies (17) claims that the

predicative be amounts to the same thing. Hintikka's (1983) treatment of be,

though very different to Montague's general development, displays a similar

attitude to such cases. Thus, for example, he treats is in (19) as predicative.

What distinguishes cases like (15) from others like (17) is that overt quan-

tification is involved in both noun phrases. The symbolisation should, there-

fore, reflect this additional complication, but the predicative status of be is

not affected.

If the subject noun phrase of (15) were pluralised then the verb and com-

plement would have to agree in number, giving:

84 Vagueness and ambiguity

The only additional assertion which (20) seems to make over (15) is that

the class of leopards, like that of cats, has more than one member. If the

subject were definite and plural, then the reference is either to a subset of

the set of leopards - say those immediately in view - or, perhaps, as Chafe

(1970) suggested, the class in question is felt to be limited to a relatively

small number. In all such variants, be is still predicative.

The case of existential be is very unclear. Hintikka (1979) shows that, in

his Game-theoretic semantics, it is necessary to replace the be in the phrase

there is by a be of predication. Thus, to use his own example:

(22) Steffe is a school girl and she can beat anyone at tennis.

ever, it is quite apparent that he is correct in his analysis. Clearly, in order

to establish the truth of (21) one would need to test out various possible

satisfactions of the main clause and these would involve predicative be.

There remain troublesome cases like (23), where existential be does seem

to be required.

In such cases - which are, of course, very rare in normal discourse - be can

be replaced by to exist. Searle (1971) argues that to exist is not, in fact, a

predicate at all and Russell's (1905) discussion demonstrates the same point.

Much though we might wish them further, however, such cases as (23) do

occur and they therefore provide the need for existential be.

The ambiguities discussed so far may, as already suggested, be eliminated

by the simple expedient of decreeing that a given word shall have one and

only one interpretation. Just as we may assign different logical constants

to the polysemous connectives, or and i f , so there is nothing to prevent us

deciding, for example, that there are four or five constants corresponding to

the English word bachelor and distinguishing each by indexing it. What is,

clearly, essential is that the vital senses are distinguished and the case of be

provides a paradigm instance.

We might, of course, treat be as a purely grammatical morpheme which

bestows predicate status on nonverbal constituents. Such a treatment certainly

has the appeal of being simple!

Structural ambiguity 85

On the level of syntax, ambiguity arises when there are alternative ways in

which parts of complex expressions may be inter-related. I shall discuss a

few only of such ambiguities.

Even though I shall not treat ambiguities of coreference, illustrated in (24),

until the next chapter, it seems appropriate, in the present general discussion,

to point out that they can be very complex in natural languages. Quine's

(1960) example (25) is a striking instance.

(25) A lawyer told a colleague that he thought a client of his more critical

of himself than of any of his rivals.

within a given sentence. Thus, to use a very familiar example, again from

Quine (1960), it is not clear whether all has not in its scope or vice versa

in:

If we take all as having wide scope, including the negative, then the sentence

is false. This is so because it asserts that nothing which is gold glisters.

On the other hand, if we give the negative wide scope, including all, the

sentence is true. These contrasting scope assignments are clearly exhibited

in the alternative symbolisations:

(26) a. (V,x) (Gl,x —> -G,x): 'If any χ glisters, it is not gold.'.

b. -(V.JC) (Gl,x —> G,x): 'It is false that, for each x, if χ glisters, χ is

gold.'.

O-statement.

Another important and much discussed case of scope ambiguity involving

quantifiers and negation, again due to Quine (1960), is provided by (27):

This sentence has two possible readings. On one - the least likely - not is

in the scope of everybody and the whole means (27a). In the second, the

quantifier is in the scope of the negator and the meaning is equivalent to

(27b).

86 Vagueness and ambiguity

sents would probably be encoded as:

has wide scope. Thus, to repeat his original examples, the scope of any in

(29) stretches over both clauses to include he as well as member. In (30), the

scope of every is just the referent of member.

illustrated by those above in which a quantifier and the negative are involved.

Two quantifiers may also compete for scope width. A much discussed instance

of this type, discussed in chapter 3, section 5, is:

On one reading, everybody has something in its scope and something is,

therefore, nonspecific. On the other reading, something has everybody in its

scope and is, in consequence, specific.

Sentences like (31) have added interest to the linguist because they may

be transformed into the passive voice with a resultant change in the linear

order of the quantifiers, as in:

The debate here is whether the passive structure retains the ambiguity of its

active counterpart. Many, e.g. Lakoff (1971a) have argued that, in fact, the

active/passive contrast, at least for most speakers, resolves the scope am-

biguity - the scopes are reflected in the linear ordering. Others, including

Cresswell (1973), maintain that the alternatives are both to be regarded as

ambiguous. In a classical transformational grammar, of course, this debate

reflects on the broader issue of the meaning-preserving properties of trans-

formations.

The fact that there is disagreement as to the ambiguous status of such cases

might, at first, appear worrying. It might be thought to bring into question the

practicality of attempting, in a principled way, to formalise natural languages.

Structural ambiguity 87

After all, if we cannot agree on what is ambiguous and what not, how can we

ever reach a stage at which we can claim to have removed ambiguity? The

only sensible response is, probably, to ensure that our treatment is sufficiently

general that it provides not only for the clear cut cases but can be applied to

the less certain ones as needed.

An interesting clear cut case is presented by a sentence like (33), where

the negative can be construed as being within the scope of the propositional

attitude verb believes or vice versa.

While (33a) claims that Percy views the universe as finite, (33b) may mean

that he has no opinion one way or the other.

As we have already observed in connection with the sentence:

also be analysed in terms of scope relations. The same phenomenon is ob-

served in the more complex (35), involving a that- clause - here the com-

plement of a verb of propositional attitude - where two different readings

are assigned to the noun phrase an aunt of yours, one specific and the other

not - the example is much like Quine's (1960):

the nonspecific reading, the reference is indefinite. Quine - and later, Mon-

tague (1973) and Cresswell (1973) among others - resolves this ambiguity

by supposing that the noun phrase in question is interpreted either as being

outside the opaque context or as being within its scope.

Using Quine's (1960) convention - reminiscent of the notation of the

lambda calculus - we may display the difference as:

(35) a. Some aunt of yours is such that I understand that you visited her:

i.e. specific reading.

88 Vagueness and ambiguity

b. I understand that some aunt of yours is such that you visited her:

i.e. nonspecific reading.

tence. It is to be noted that the ambiguity is not dependent on this fact. (36)

is ambiguous in a precisely analogous way:

or nonspecifically in context with some other quantifiers. The same holds for

opaque constructions comparable to (35) and (36), as can be seen from:

somebody seems to be confined to complement constructions. Thus, both

specific and nonspecific readings are possible in (39), as they were in (37)

and (38), but in (40), the interpretation is specific only.

cannot have the reading:

(40) a. Percy is looking for somebody such that Percy is looking for him/her.

Ambiguities involving scope are not confined to quantification and nega-

tion. As is well known, groupings in modifier-head structures can also be

interpreted in alternative ways. A striking example based on Quine's (1960)

illustration is:

Structural ambiguity 89

Here, it is not clear whether Percy collects European butterflies which are

big as European butterflies go, or European butterflies which are big as any

butterflies go. In the first case, big is assigned wide scope, namely (European

butterflies). In the second case, its scope is narrow, namely, (butterflies).

In a traditional, transformational grammar, the different scopes in (41)

would, of course, be explained on the assumption that in the wider of the two

European is derived from a restrictive relative clause, while, in the narrow

case, it comes from a nonrestrictive, appositive clause. This can readily be

seen by the punctuation of:

tions. Thus, in (43) in the park may be grouped either with the verb or with

the object noun phrase:

noun. Hence, there is no uncertainty as to grouping in:

tion, which is very frequently employed in English. The following warning

seen on a mountain pass in Africa illustrates:

Of course, the fact that common sense requires that we take one reading over

the other is neither here or there.

Another important source of ambiguity involving conjunction is exhibited

in sentences like:

90 Vagueness and ambiguity

and his mother are playing cards together or separately. In the one reading,

we might wish to say that the conjunction is of two noun phrases and, in

the second, of two separate sentences. This latter suggests the operation of

reduction by the deletion of one member of an identical verb phrase pair,

though it is not easy to reconcile the notion of identical verb phrase with the

requirement that the participants be different.

One major motivation for reductions, including those exhibited above, is,

presumably, to avoid prolixity, even at the expense of creating ambiguity.

This natural goal seems often to be behind various nominalisations such as

the one illustrated in Chomsky's (1957) famous sentence:

As is well-known, of course, the ambiguity in (47) stems from the dual role

played by flying which may represent either a reduced relative clause:

ambiguous nominal is:

where hunters may be either the subject of the verb or its object.

The ambiguous status of (48) is immediately apparent. More subtle, at first

glance, is the ambiguity of (49), quoted by Charniak-McDermott (1985),

where the functional roles of what and the dog are unclear.

likely reading is one in which what is the object and the dog is the indirect

object, but this reading is not mandatory. Without access to some deeper level

of analysis, a deep structure or a logical representation, in which to is present,

we can have no way of deciding what function is assigned to which noun

phrase. The important role played by experience/common sense in interpret-

ing such examples is revealed starkly by comparing (49) with (50) which is

grammatically similar, but favours precisely opposite role assignments to the

interrogative and lexical noun phrase.

De dicta vs de re 91

times combines with grammatical function to produce ambiguous structures.

Thus, in (51), it is not clear whether film represents a verb or a noun, func-

tioning as subject or noun-modifier. It is unclear whether rushes is a verb or

a plural noun, or if like is a verb or prepositional adverb.

(51) is a statement - probably a newspaper headline - and rushes is a verb

and so on.

4.4 De dicto vs de re

guity summarised in the ancient distinction between "de re" and "de dicto"

readings. The most obvious illustrations of the distinction are in alternative

interpretations of reported speech. In the de dicto reading of (52), the senten-

tial complement is taken to be exactly what Percy said. In the de re reading,

the complement is judged merely to be equivalent to what he actually said.

Here, since we cannot be sure that Percy did not, for instance, say:

(52) probably represents the simplest case of this kind of ambiguity. If

embedding operations are performed on ambiguous structures, very dense

systems of complex ambiguity can be created. Consider, for example:

(54) Percy says that Jack heard that Sally wants to be introduced to the

butcher.

Sally or the butcher are taken de re or de dicto either alone or together in

all combinations.

92 Vagueness and ambiguity

The terms "de re" and "de dicto" are not always to be taken literally. It

will, for example, be recalled from chapter 3, that Montague employed them

to stand for extensional and intensional readings of sentences like:

This usage is reminiscent of Russell (1905), who employs the terms "primary"

and "secondary occurrence" for "extensional" and "intensional" respectively.

The terms "de dicto" and "de re" are also used - e.g. Allwood et al.

(1977) - to refer to the ambiguity of cases like:

Here, in the de re reading, John's belief is, indeed, about actual prizewinners -

he is not mistaken in identifying any given person as a prizewinner. In the de

dicto reading, on the other hand, John's belief does not, necessarily, pertain

to all prizewinners. This is so because he may mistakenly identify at least one

loser as a prizewinner or, equally mistakenly, identify at least one prizewinner

as a loser. In the de re interpretation, therefore, each member of the set of

all prizewinners stands in the relation to Percy of being thought by him to

be Mexican. In the de dicto reading, on the other hand, Percy stands in the

relation of believer to a set of propositions only some of which concern

prizewinners.

A most extensive and sophisticated discussion of statements involving

propositional attitudes is provided by Cresswell (1985). One of his fundamen-

tal claims is that the source of the ambiguity characteristic of such sentences

is to be located, not in the verb itself, but in the complement clause and,

specifically, in the complementiser that. This treatment may be illustrated by

Cresswell's example sentence:

As already argued in chapter 1, the truth of (57) does not imply the truth of:

object of verbs like believe is taken as a proposition, i.e. as being of type

< s, t >. Such an interpretation, however, does require that (58) follow from

(57) since, in this view, the meaning of < 5 + 7 > is understood to be its

referent, namely, the number 12.

Cresswell's solution is to assume that on one reading, the de re interpreta-

tion, the object of Percy's belief is not a proposition, but rather the references

of the parts of the complement in terms of the structural relations holding

De dicto v.v de re 93

between them. In effect, Percy believes of the ordered pair < 5 . 7 > that it

has the property of summing to 12. He believes that, given as argument the

ordered pair < 5 , 7 > , the function denoted by " + " yields 12 as value. The

pair is ordered since the truth of (57) does not even require us to assume the

truth of:

of the expression "5 + 7" and its extension, the number 12. In Cresswell's

analysis, the sense of "5 + 7" is the structure < 5.7. + > and the sense of

the entire complement in (57) is the structure: < < 5,7. + > 12. = > .

It may, at first, seem implausible that < 5 + 7 > could have a sense

different from < 7 + 5 > . In fact, Cresswell's reconstruction of a situation

justifying the claim is, in my view, difficult to accept. He asks us to imagine

a particular division of a line on a map. If it is 5 kilometres from a to b and

7 from b to c, then, it clearly makes a difference to read the map from c to a

rather than from a to c. The weakness of the illustration comes from the fact

that it is really about distances, not about numbers. In effect, it amounts to

saying that distance a precedes distance b, going in one direction, whereas

distance b precedes distance a going in the other and this can surely have

little to do with + .

This objection is, however, a quibble and the general correctness of the

view that " < m+n > " could have a different sense from " < η +m > " seems

inescapable. Provided we are not restricting our attention to a community of

logically omniscient beings, there is no reason to deny the possibility that

someone should fancy that ordering is crucial in addition. He might, for

example, have learned a set of equations by heart without ever learning

about the function of addition itself.

The word that, in this solution, is a surface form corresponding to two

distinct underlying items. One of these, thats, is a function which operates

on the references of the parts of the complement sentence to yield its sense

which is, on one reading of (57), the extension of the clause:

The other underlying item is thato which is a function whose domain and

range of values are in the set of propositions.

The adoption of this solution has a number of consequences. On the level

of syntax, it requires that the word that be separated from the verb of propo-

sitional attitude. This is in contrast with Montague's approach (1973), where

believe that is treated as a single syntactic unit. This is not a trivial issue

94 Vagueness and ambiguity

and semantic analyses. If we trace the source of ambiguity to that and insist

that that be part of the verb, then, presumably, we would be obliged to set

up two alternative underlying items for each such verb and this would be

implausible.

On the semantic level, one important problem which Cresswell's treatment

highlights is the status of certain predicates such as is true and its negative

is false. It would be pointless to try to reproduce his treatment of this subject

in detail. We may, however, note that these truth predicates have two uses,

one in which they apply to quotations - the usage in Tarski truth formulae,

chapter 1 - where paradoxes may result, and one in which they apply to

propositions as in:

us to take the complementiser that as representing the underlying item thato,

not thats. Since thato denotes the identity function, its value is identical with

its input and, hence, the complement clause:

is simply:

(63) 5+7—12.

that the function of is true is to bestow sentence status on the that clause.

As Cresswell (1985) points out, however, the redundancy of is true is not a

general property of that predicate since it is not redundant in cases like:

true be predicated of propositions is that we are then forced to accept that

the identity relation holds between, say, (57) and (58). This is so because, if

(64) is taken as a report of (57), then it must also be a report of (58) and, as

we have seen, this need not be so.

Examples like (57) and (58) are extremely interesting because they involve

the equality symbol " = " . I suggested in the previous chapter that the notion

of equivalence is somewhat weaker than that of identity. Let us assume that

the terms "equivalence" and "equality" denote the same relation.

From the viewpoint of the first-order predicate calculus, two expressions

are identical if the one can be substituted for the other without affecting truth

De die to vs de re 95

values. The kinds of sentences we have been considering in this section are

not, however, first-order. Verbs of propositional attitude make higher-order

statements about other statements or propositions. We thus need to define the

notion of identity more carefully.

In the tradition of Leibniz, we might say that two expressions are identical

if everything truly said of the one is truly said of the other, but this is very

rarely the case in sentences of propositional attitude. Thus, " = " is identity in

(58), but, in (57) it does not denote identity but some laxer notion. Even in

a simple case like:

(65) 4 + 4 = 8.

I would claim that " = " does not stand for identity since I could, for example,

say of "4 + 4" that it consists of three symbols and I cannot say the same

of "8". On a nontrivial level, "4 + 4" is not identical with "8" because, as

Frege would say, its sense is different and it is this profound fact which is

reflected in the superficial fact about the number of symbols. Further, it is

this profound fact that is so clearly captured by Cresswell's (1985) treatment

of that in which the notion of sense is linked with structure.

It seems, therefore, that, even in the case of mathematical statements, we

must be clear as to whether we are talking of sense or reference, or both, when

we claim that the relation involved is one of identity or mere equivalence.

While the value of < 4 + 4 > is equal to 8, " < 4 + 4 > " is not identical

with "8".

The need for caution in the interpretation of " = " is dramatically demon-

strated by a pseudoproblem which Montague - Kalish (1959) examined at

some length and for which they proposed a solution turning on the meaning

of that much like Cresswell's discussed above. I commented briefly on this

"puzzle" in chapter 1 and repeat it here as:

(66) The number of planets = 9. Kepler was unaware that the number of

planets > 6. Therefore, Kepler was unaware that 9 > 6.

meaning of " = " which is, here, not identity. The major premise of (66)

asserts that the set of planets is in a one-to-one relation with the sequence

of numbers whose last member is 9. Whether we regard 9 as a set or merely

as the successor of 8, makes no difference. The point is that nowhere in the

syllogism is it claimed that the number of planets is identical with the number

9. The same situation holds with respect to "6" and "the number of planets"

in the minor premise. In the conclusion, however, "9" and "6" denote the

96 Vagueness and ambiguity

from the premises and the whole is invalid.

These remarks on " = " reflect the common-sense view that no two things

which are different are ever identical. This is truistic, but important even so.

For one thing, it raises the serious question: what constitutes a difference?

I do not pretend to have a deep answer to this question. However, it seems

reasonable to say that, from the linguistic point of view, the recognition of

difference depends upon our power to express degrees of difference in the

language at our disposal - such a language might, of course, be graphical,

gestural, etc.. If any difference between two objects is so fine that it cannot

be stated, then, the objects have "the identity of indiscernibles".

This line of thinking suggests that " = " denotes identity rather rarely, as

in pointless assertions such as:

(67) 8 = 8.

Elsewhere, " = " denotes the laxer notion of Equality. If we accept Cresswell's

(1985) treatment of that, it would be appropriate to say that " = " denotes

identity when in the scope of thatQ and equality in that of thats.

As we saw earlier, in English, be often does duty for " = " . The remarks of

the above paragraphs seem, therefore, to hold for that verb also. Thus, when

Montague (1973) treats is in (68) as denoting identity, he is claiming that

the object named Bill is identical to that named by Mary and, presumably,

the purpose of the utterance is to make a linguistic point.

As suggested above, the case is rather different when the names have

sense, as in:

Kneale (1962) say, each has a property which the other lacks. The referent

of the evening star has the property of being known by all rational men to

be identical with the referent of the evening star and likewise for the referent

of the morning star. Thus, in (69) is does not denote identity.

It is further clear that the same holds for be in such peculiar cases as:

than identifying. This much is obvious. However, the case is interesting be-

De dicto vs de re 97

cause its peculiarity arises from the mistaken belief that "7" could be substi-

tuted for the number of wonders of the world to yield the true statement:

(71) 7 is prime.

Clearly, (71) is necessary, but (70) is certainly not. Even so, the erroneous

identification of the number of wonders of the world with the number 7 gives

the impression that we could legitimately construct the syllogism:

number of wonders of the world is prime.

In this strange argument, the is of the minor premise is not the is of identity,

so that, unless we assume some novel name for the successor of 6, the middle

term is ambiguous and the conclusion does not follow.

When the substantive verb is flanked by proper nouns in the complement

of a verb of propositional attitude, the semantic facts may not always be

so straightforward. As Cresswell's (1985) discussion demonstrates, in these

circumstances, the ambiguities which may arise can be subtle indeed. How

are we to interpret the object clause of the propositional attitude verb says

in (73)?

may, in fact, have uttered a number of different sentences, such as:

(74) Aphrodite is the goddess of love.

In the de dicto interpretation, (73) must surely have to be a mere variant of:

This seems unlikely because (75) is barely acceptable. We do not use the

present, simple says with a quotational object - unless the usage is historic

present, or a stage direction or some such. Even so, if (73) may be taken

as a mere variant of (75), we are forced to assume that be, in the de dicto

reading, denotes identity.

Consider the following set of circumstances. Percy, at time j, utters:

Sally, who is ignorant of the identity of Venus, says at time j", later than j ' :

98 Vagueness and ambiguity

This linguistic toing and froing might be disturbing. Cresswell is assuredly

right when he says that, in the case of verbs like believe, we should locate

ambiguity in the complement clause rather than in the verb of propositional

attitude itself. In the case of sentences like (73) through (78), however, the

ambiguity does seem to reside in the verb of the main clause.

The important point to emerge from such cases is that we must take into

account the fact that say has two senses - one corresponding to 'utter' and

one to 'claim'. In the 'claim' sense, say may be used in the simple present

and the object is de re or de dicto. In the 'utter' sense, - save for special

uses such as historic present - say happens only to be used in the past tense

and the complement must be taken de dicto.

The complement clauses discussed so far in this section have all been

sentential. McCawley (1981) discusses cases like (79) and (80) where the

complement is infinitival.

and a de re reading, depending on whether Monty wants to meet anyone who

is the president or a particular individual irrespective of whether he or she

remains president.

The case of (79) is, however, more subtle. As McCawley shows, this

sentence is three ways ambiguous. On one reading, a de dicto reading, Monty

wants himself to hold the office of president. On two other readings, both de

re, Monty wants (a) to himself become the person who is the actual president,

or (b) wants himself to become whoever might hold the office of president.

I shall return to the verb want in chapter 8, when I propose semantic rules

for selected items.

Montague's individual concepts. These objects are of especial interest in that

they are functions whose values may vary with their temporal arguments.

Thus, the function which is the denotation of the king of France will have, as

Intensions and temporal quantifiers 99

value, individual χ at time j and individual y at time j ' . Since the function's

value is always a unique individual, the expression the king of France is a

complex proper noun. Let us overlook the tedious fact that this particular

function is a partial one with no value at present.

Cresswell pointed out that sentences containing such complex proper

nouns may be ambiguous when a temporal quantification is involved. I shall

discuss only cases with always, ignoring sometimes and scores of others.

Thus, (81) is ambiguous in that, while it must be true of the intensional ob-

ject - the king-of-France function - it need not be so of all its values: he

who is presently king may abdicate and convert to some other religion.

object with its arguments. Thus, one reading of (81) is symbolised as a

straightforward existential quantification over a set of people, (81a). On the

second, it is symbolised along the lines of (81b) - I ignore the uniqueness

clause.

(81) a. (V.x) (V. ν) (King of France(x) & {(time(y)) —> Christian at(y.x))}.

(81) b. (V.χ) (V.>·) {{(king of France(x) & time(y)) —> Christian at(y.x)}

<—> king of France at(y.x)}.

It is evident that the degree to which sentences like (81) are felt to be

ambiguous depends as much on the nature of the property being predicated

as it does upon the presence of a temporal quantifier. Certain predicates

denote what are intuitively felt to be essential properties of the intensional

object concerned. Other predicates merely denote properties of any one or all

of its values. Thus, the property, Baldness, is not a necessary part of being

king of France and, hence, (82) though it is technically ambiguous, is likely

to be regarded as being either true or false of some individual.

Sentences (81) and (82) have future-time reference. If the tense is past,

the situation with respect to ambiguity changes, as can be seen from:

If (83) is taken to make a claim about the intensional object, then it is false -

there was a time when the kings of France were drawn from other families.

If it is taken as an assertion about some particular individual, then it may be

true or it may be false.

100 Vagueness and ambiguity

to one of baldness, then the ambiguity is located not in the function/value

dimension, but in the present/past dimension.

individual. In the second interpretation, it is a general claim about all kings

of France, including, perhaps, some present one, any one or all of whom

may, at some stage, have boasted a fine head of hair.

In the present tense, when a quantifier like always is involved and the

verb denotes an essential property of the intensional object, only a functional

interpretation seems sensible, as in:

However, when the denotatum of the verb is of uncertain status, then either

interpretation seems possible. An instance is:

The situation, in English, is, however, complicated by the fact that the

simple present is frequently used to express habitual aspect. Thus, when no

temporal quantifier is involved, assertions may be interpreted as ambiguous

or not according as they are in simple present or present progressive. Thus,

in:

the reference may be equally well to the intensional object as to any of its

values. If it is true of the intensional object, it is obviously true of any value,

but the reverse situation does not hold. However, in:

it can only be some present individual who is in question - this case is similar

to one discussed earlier in section 4.2.

4.6 Modalities

Straddling the boundary between syntactic and lexical ambiguity is that which

arises from the set of modal verbs in English. These verbs function as aux-

Modalities 101

according as they are viewed as lexical items or as logical operators.

Thus, for example, we may treat may as polysemous and include 'possi-

bility' and 'permission' among its senses, or we may take the ambiguity in

(89) below as reflecting differences as between logical modality and deontic

structure - see chapter 3, section 5.

that the ambiguities to which modal verbs give rise are significant. Thus,

parallel to the two readings of (89), we have two readings for (90), one

involving permission, the other capability.

centred on obligation.

complex matter in English than would at first appear. One important com-

plicating factor is the idiosyncratic nature of the interaction between modal

verbs and negation. Thus, for example, while (91) has two readings, (92) is

unambiguous - at least in respect of must.

The modality of (92) is, clearly, obligation. If we wish to retain the necessity

reading of (91) under negation, we must supplant must with can, as in:

However, since can is, itself, many-ways polysemous, (93) is open to readings

over and above those appropriate to (91). Specifically, (93) can be interpreted

in terms of the modality of possibility as well as necessity and obligation. To

add to the confusion, can, in British English, denotes possibility in negative

constructions only, while, in American English, (94) could be read as meaning

'It is possible that . . . ' :

planted by may or could.

102 Vagueness and ambiguity

sentence-type. Thus, for example, must is not ambiguous in questions. In (95),

the only plausible interpretation is one involving obligation, not necessity.

On the other hand, can in (96) is ambiguous between permission and ability.

It might be objected that the remarks of this section are too specific to

English to merit inclusion in a general study in semantics. Indeed, a similar

objection could be brought against other problems which are addressed here,

such as the language-specific use of given quantifiers, article systems, con-

junctions and so forth. However, I cannot imagine how one would profitably

explore the semantics of natural languages without considering specifica of

natural languages. As with the remaining discussions of this study, I take

the problems associated with English modal verbs to be typical of issues in

universal semantics. If one were to consider specifica from other languages, -

not necessarily languages which make use of auxiliary verbs - we would,

I am sure, encounter complexities which, while they might well differ in

magnitude, would, ultimately, be of similar kind.

Ideally, of course, a study in natural-language semantics should be based

upon representative data drawn from all of the world's languages. To meet

such an ideal seems, however, to be beyond the reach of a common mortal.

Less ideally, one should scrutinise data taken from several, preferably unre-

lated, languages. The difficulty is, of course, that to be sensitive to semantic

issues frequently requires a very high degree of competence - if not native-

speaker competence - in the object language. As I confessed in the opening

chapter, I am a native speaker of English only and it is that fact which per-

suades me that I should restrict myself to English data. It is certainly not my

intention to provide a detailed account of English semantics.

4.7 Regimentation

my discussion of selected types of natural-language ambiguity have been

largely intuitive in the present chapter. Even so, it is evident enough that, if

we are to approach their formalisation, it will be necessary, in Quine's terms

(1960), to devise ways by which to "regiment" natural languages, regimented

Regimentation 103

forms of, say, English will differ in the degree to which they depart from its

nonregimented, i.e. natural form. The degree and nature of the regimentation

will, of course, depend upon the interests of the investigator.

Quine's use of regimentation is extremely subtle and involves several

devices ranging from special syntactic structures - such as the use of such

that referred to and employed in this chapter - to bracketing. Paraphrasing

English through such devices yields an artificial language which may be

of considerable value especially in "analytical studies of reference, belief,

desire" etc..

Quine's use of regimentation is, as the above quotation suggests, motivated

by the desire to provide a tool for the investigation of important questions

in epistemology. In that enterprise, the chief concern is with the sharpness

of the tool, not its own intrinsic properties. For Montague and other schol-

ars whose work inspires this study, the focus is upon language itself rather

than the linguistics of cognition. This difference in focus leads, necessarily,

to a difference both in the degree and nature of regimentation. Montague's

"disambiguated language" is to be regarded as a system for representing the

meanings of natural-language expressions unambiguously and in accordance

with the principle of compositionality. In order to achieve such an analysis,

we must be able to provide an unambiguous representation on both the syn-

tactic and semantic levels. Since several natural-language terms, for example,

personal pronouns, place and time adverbs, . . . can only be interpreted by ref-

erence to the context of use, we must, moreover, be in a position to consider

the contextual properties of utterances.

In pursuit of these priorities, I shall, in the next chapter, present a brief

overview of relevant work in Binding theory and, in the next, a slightly

fuller account of linguistic pragmatics. After these preliminaries, I shall offer

a syntactic analysis of English within the framework of categorial grammar

which will enable me to draw up semantic rules for the language in such

a way as to come close, at least, to reaching the goal of syntactic-semantic

homomorphism to which this study aspires.

Chapter 5

Logical form in binding theory

At the outset of this study, I described the central preoccupation of the lin-

guist as the description of the rules which connect the two planes of content

and expression. The issue of levels of representation is a major one in much

current research. How many levels are required? What do they contain and

how, if at all, can they be psychologically justified? While many, including

Chomsky (1981b, 1986) envisage the need for a large number, including sur-

face, deep, lexical, phonetic and logical form, others, such as Köster (1987),

appear to advocate the rejection of a multilevel approach in favour of one

based on the notion of Domain.

From the viewpoint of semantics, however, there is little need to argue

the merits of a multilevel approach. The prevalence of ambiguity in natural

languages, if nothing else, encourages the analyst in the direction of such a

methodology.

A fundamental requirement of the semantic analysis of any natural lan-

guage is that it reflect the compositional nature of sentence meaning. As

the mathematical parable in chapter 1 suggested, we most naturally think of

meanings in terms of a level of semantic representation on which, as Cress-

well (1985) put it: "there is a one-to-one correspondence between a sentence

and its senses". Clearly, this level cannot be that of surface structure itself,

but must be some underlying stratum.

Whether we call the plane of content "deep structure", as in Cresswell

(1973), or "logical form", as in Cresswell (1985), also Van Riemsdijk-

Williams (1986) and Chomsky (1986), is of no consequence. The minimal

requirements of such a representation are clear enough. It must display all

of the semantic information captured by tensed, intensional logic, including

those aspects specifically formulated in the predicate and modal calculuses,

such as function-argument structure and the scopes of quantifiers and op-

erators. It must provide an unambiguous representation for each sentence,

departing as little as possible from surface structure. Finally, it should take

Logical form 105

matic factors.

While much of the apparatus needed to satisfy these requirements is avail-

able in the formal logics already discussed in chapters 2 and 3, and while

my approach to syntactic derivation will be categorial rather than transfor-

mational, it is obvious that current work in Government and binding theory

is semantically crucial. I shall, therefore, briefly discuss some aspects of that

work before moving to more traditional preoccupations of formal semantics.

Though I shall draw on Chomsky's own writings, especially (1986), my most

important source is Van Riemsdijk-Williams (1986) and it will be that text

to which I refer unless otherwise stated.

From the semantic point of view, the most important development within

research in the framework of transformational grammar has been the theory

of logical form.

Very similar, in some respects, to representations in Montague Grammar,

logical form represents the structural meanings of sentences in a logical lan-

guage without reference to lexical meaning. Unlike Montague Grammar -

broadly conceived - however, it disregards pragmatic factors and is uninter-

preted, so that the notion of Truth plays no part in its theory of meaning -

in so far as it can be said to have such a theory rather than taking meaning

for granted.

In essence, logical form, as described by Van Riemsdijk-Williams, is

an annotated version of the shallow structure of sentences. Shallow struc-

ture rather than absolute surface structure is chosen because it has not been

subjected to certain deletions - for instance, the deletion of complementiser

that - and various stylistic movement rules.

The semantic phenomena represented at the level of logical form in Bind-

ing theory have to do with coreference and scope assignment. These phenom-

ena may involve variables and depend upon the indexing of noun phrases.

Variables and indices, scope restrictions and brackets represent the annota-

tions of shallow structure and are subject to a system of rules. In current

versions, indexing is allowed to operate freely and, as in the case of Mon-

tague Grammar, inappropriate derivations are filtered out by wellformedness

conditions.

106 Logical form in binding theory

Variables are introduced into the scopes of quantifier phrases and wh-

phrases and, like any other noun phrases, receive indices.

Indices are also introduced to bind the results of movement rules which

leave traces. Thus, for example, the rule which moves an object noun phrase

to the front in a passive sentence leaves a trace behind which is coindexed

with the moved noun phrase, as in:

Other rules coindex two noun phrase constituents under certain conditions.

The rule for interpreting reflexives, for example, coindexes an antecedent

noun phrase with its reflexive pronoun. Another such rule coindexes a subject

noun phrase with an empty category Pro - not to be confused with "Pron"

'pronoun' - occupying subject position in an infinitive complement, as in:

tifiers and wh-phrases for the moment, it is clear that the coreference relations

holding between a moved noun phrase and its trace, or an antecedent noun

phrase and a reflexive, or between a subject noun and Pro are similar. This

fact is important because it means that the same constraints on wellformed-

ness which filter out inappropriate representations apply to all three sources

of coindexing.

In fact, the formulation of constraints on wellformedness may be regarded

as the major preoccupation of Binding theory, with very wide implications

for linguistics as a whole, including psycholinguistics and mathematical se-

mantics.

As mentioned above, the level of logical form also reflects quantifier in-

terpretation. Quantifiers are assigned scopes and, as in the predicate calculus,

they bind variables lying within their scopes. These bindings are also rep-

resented by indexing. Thus, quantifier interpretation has the effect (a) of

separating the quantifier phrase from the string which is its scope and (b) of

introducing variables into those strings. Typical of such representations are

(3a, b) which display alternative readings for (3).

A striking feature of (3a. b) is that quantifier words, rather than the usual

logician's quantifiers, bind the variables. It is also to be noted that the scopes

Wellformedness in binding theory 107

retain the surface word order of the natural language expression - as they

do in Cresswell's lambda formulae, chapter 7. Unfortunately, however, the

quantifiers themselves do not always retain their surface order.

In some respects, the relation between a quantifier and its variable is like

that between a moved noun phrase and its trace. This is especially so when

wh-movement is involved. Thus, Chomsky (1986) points out that who, in (4),

is an operator binding its trace tn in the same way that a quantifier binds its

variable.

Indeed, Chomsky actually identifies the trace with a variable, so that a pos-

sible representation for (4) could be:

Here, the surface word order is perfectly preserved in the logical form rep-

resentation. In the case of who, restriction to persons is required to maintain

the who/what distinction.

The similarity between quantifier interpretation and wh-movement on the

one hand and ordinary trace binding on the other, however, does not extend

to all constraints on wellformedness. As we shall see later, important filtering

conditions do not apply uniformally over traces and variables alike.

Before turning to some of the constraints on wellformedness, I should

mention that, in the theory of binding, as in this study, pronouns are taken to

be base-generated rather than being introduced transformationally as substi-

tutions for lexical noun phrases. This lexicalist approach is adopted, in part,

because it avoids the problem of deriving pronouns in such sentences as:

In a context grammar, of course, their solution would not be far to find - he

indicates old information, which can, in principle, be recovered.

Before considering some wellformedness constraints of Binding theory, it

may be useful to provide further examples of typical problems involving

108 Logical form in binding theory

and/or wh-questions.

In these sentences, the lexical noun may not be coreferential with the pronoun.

However, in the following, coreference is possible.

in (9, 10), Percy and himself in (11) must have identical indices.

Whereas, in (12), Percy and himself must not share the same index.

(13), it is clear that it is one of coreference but in (14), the same items have

disjoint reference.

the subject position in each infinitive clause of (15), then, the subject of to

persuade Sally must have the same index as Percy and be disjoint in reference

with the subject of to marry him, and vice versa for that subject and Sally.

In order to derive logical form representations, we can either construct rules

of indexing which contain constraints in their structural descriptions, or we

can allow indexing to apply freely and put the load of filtering on general

Wellformedness in binding theory 109

conditions. In fact, it seems that it is easier to follow the latter course. Let

us, then, assume an indexing rule of the form:

representations flowing from the total - and uninteresting - liberality of (R. 1)

are embodied in a set of principles. These principles, moreover, are taken to

belong to Universal Grammar so that they apply to all human languages.

I shall not attempt to discuss the psychological merits of this claim here.

However, I should acknowledge that, in the eyes of some, e.g. Köster (1987),

Chomsky and his followers, in formulating these essentially psychological

conditions, are working from a view of language which is fundamentally

opposed to that taken by Montague. If this really is so - some remarks in

Chomsky (1986) are particularly suggestive - then there would probably

be little sympathy among transformationalists for my desire to incorporate

such conditions into an account of semantics which has its inspiration in

Montague's work.

If we wish to search for universal principles of grammar, it seems natural

to do so from the starting point of phrase structure. One of the most significant

achievements of modern linguistics must, surely, be the insight that significant

linguistic rules, purely syntactic as well as semantic, are structure dependent.

Sentences are not mere linear sequences of lexical items, but hierarchies of

phraseal structures.

Just as computational operations such as question formation exploit struc-

ture, so too the same principle of dependency is at the heart of constraints

on coreference in logical form representations.

The simplest illustrations are provided by the behaviour of pronouns in

sentences like those listed in the previous section. As we know, a pronoun

may be free, in which case, its reference is determined by the extrasenten-

tial context. Alternatively, it may be bound, in which case, its reference is

determined by some antecedent in the sentence.

Using illustrations from Chomsky's (1986) lectures, the pronoun in (16)

is free, while who, in (17), is bound and it may either be bound or free.

sentence is uttered. In (17), on the reading in which it is bound, we determine

110 Logical form in binding theory

the references of who and it by referring to the references of the man and

the book.

Such remarks, however, are impressionistic only. The crucial point is that

these facts about reference are reflected in facts about structure and these, of

course, can be formally stated.

Let us begin with the following three definitions:

appears.

χ dominates y and neither χ dominates y, nor y x.

ing bracketing in which Sz is seen immediately to dominate NPX which

c-commands NPy. In the expression, Sz, of course, labels the sentence node,

NPX is the subject node and NPV is the object node.

and "free":

free in (19).

This is so because the smallest phrase in which the object appears is the verb

phrase, where it is free.

The pronoun it in (17), however, may legitimately be bound - though it

need not be - because the smallest phrase in which it appears is the verb

phrase of the relative clause and it is, there, free. Hence, its binding in the

main clause is not a violation of principle (R.2).

A parallel situation is reflected in the freedom of him in:

Wellformedness in binding theory 111

Here, the pronoun may, but need not, be bound to the subject of the main

clause, but must be free in the infinitive clause - I return to infinitives shortly.

If we replace him in (20) by a lexical noun, as in:

sume, therefore, the following general principle.

pronouns and lexical nouns in logical form representation. Let us refer to

them, along with a principle governing the reference of bound anaphors -

principle (R.4) to be stated shortly - as "the opacity condition".

The situation in respect of the relative pronoun who in (17) is quite dif-

ferent to that of it in the same clause. Quite obviously, who cannot be free

in that sentence. Intuitively, this is so since its reference must be identical to

that of the subject phrase the man of the main clause. We conclude, there-

fore, that who is here an anaphor bound to - coindexed with - the man, its

antecedent.

Selfevidently, to say that who is an anaphor in (17) is not to say very

much. If we consider the reference of himself in (22), it is obvious that that

pronoun also enjoys the status of a bound anaphor.

cases. Van Riemsdijk-Williams first define the prior relation "be in the do-

main o f ' as follows:

x.

which it occurs.

It is easy to see that the reflexive himself in (22) must obey this condition.

The bracketing in (23) displays the structural relations involved.

112 Logical form in binding theory

by the smallest S - the only S in this case - so that himself is in the domain

of Percy and condition (R.4) is met.

We may display the dependency relation between the man and who in

(17) as follows:

Here, it is clear that the pronoun who, while it is free in its own domain, the

relative clause, is not free in the smallest S of the subject of the main clause.

Hence, who is bound to The man and must obey condition (R.4).

Condition (R.4) also, as required, filters out some representations which

are inappropriate, such as:

Here, it is apparent that the anaphor is not bound in the smallest domain of

the c-commanding NP Sally and so the binding condition is violated.

Consider again the sentence:

Making use of Pro, this could have the logical form representation:

(26) a. [5 Percy 1 [yp tried [comp Pro\ to persuade Sally2] [COmp Pr°2 to marry

himill].

As required by condition (R.2), the pronoun him is free in its domain, the

second complement clause and has disjoint reference with Pro2, which is the

subject of that clause. As mentioned earlier, being free in its own domain,

him may legitimately be bound to some antecedent noun phrase in a higher

clause, in this case, Pro the subject of the first complement clause. Pro\ is

immediately dominated by the VP node and, therefore, has the VP phrase as

its domain. It is free in this domain and can, therefore, be coindexed with

some antecedent outside, namely, the subject of the main clause Percy. Since

him is bound to Pro \ it, also, has Percy as its antecedent. Finally, Pro2 is

free in its own domain, the second complement, and may, thus, be bound to

the object Sally of the first complement clause.

While (26a) is a legitimate representation of (26), it is not the only possible

one. This is so, of course, because (26) is ambiguous. Instead of coindexing

him with Percy, the pronoun could be isolated in its reference. This situation,

as we have seen, is not blocked by the opacity condition. Of course, the more

deeply embedded the pronoun becomes in structures like (26), the greater the

number of ambiguities. Thus, (27) is three ways ambiguous:

Wellformedness in binding theory 113

on him.

Consider, now, a case like:

Superficially, this is like (17). Again, the pronoun who must be bound to

the subject of the main clause the man. A moment's reflection, however,

suffices to convince us that, in spite of this similarity, the two sentences are

not parallel.

While, in (17), who is the subject of the relative, in (28) it is the logical

object, which has advanced to the front of the clause by NP-movement,

leaving a trace behind. This trace must be coindexed with its head, suggesting

the representation:

Here, the pronoun is an operator which binds the trace T. Such traces are

bound anaphors subject to condition (R.4) and so are their heads.

The requirement that NP-traces be subject to (R.4) is demonstrated by

the ungrammaticality of (29), where the head Bill has been moved out of a

c-commanding position with respect to the trace so that the latter is free -

the example is Van Riemsdijk's - :

The fact that who in (28) is an anaphor follows from arguments parallel to

those advanced in respect of the pronoun who in (17). The two cases are not,

however, the same. Since who in (28) is a fronted object, it may be deleted,

giving:

Consideration of the relative clauses in (30) and (31) shows that, while

in the former, the verb admires retains its lexical property of taking a sub-

ject and an object - represented by the trace the verb wrote in (31) has

lost an essential property since it has no subject. It is an important principle

of universal grammar, in this theory, that lexical items retain their essen-

114 Logical form in binding theory

principle", is infringed in (31) and so the string is not acceptable.

The projection principle can be employed to explain many facts. One

such is related to the distribution of reflexive pronouns. Such pronouns are

lexical and we may assume that, in the lexicon, they are marked as having

the property of requiring an antecedent noun phrase. The projection principle

will, then, rule out such ungrammatical strings as (32):

be stated for these anaphors since it is not embodied in principle (R.4).

It might, at first, appear that (R.4) should be restated so as to account for

the ungrammaticality of (32). While, however, this might be done, it would

not be strictly appropriate since (R.4) is a condition on representations, not

a constraint on syntactic rules.

Since the immediate discussion involves reflexives, this seems an appro-

priate point to refer to certain problems which, in Hintikka's view (1989)

undermine the entire theory of binding based on coreference. According to

Hintikka, each of the following sentences is acceptable.

suitable representations for them, it cannot predict what is grammatical and

what is not.

Take (33) first. Hintikka's assertion is that, if him is taken anaphorically,

it must be coreferential with Tom and Dick or Tom or with Dick. The first

possibility is, clearly, ruled out by the number mismatch involved. The second

seems inappropriate since it would imply an ambiguity on the anaphoric

reading which is not felt to be present.

Hintikka's difficulty with (34) is similar in that himself being a bound

anaphor, must obey principle (R.4) and the only head in its smallest governing

category to which it could be bound is each other. However, if this binding

is permitted, there is a number clash.

Wellformedness in binding theory 115

would be predicted as wellformed by Binding theory.

Each of these examples poses other difficulties of coreference. For in-

stance, in (34), both Tom and Dick must be coreferential with each other,

but then, there would be no meaning difference between (34) and (35).

If Hintikka is, indeed, correct, Binding theory is confronted with a serious

challenge by examples like these. Clearly, more work is needed. However,

I should say that I do not entirely trust Hintikka's intuitions. I do not, for

example, find (36) unacceptable. Indeed, I find it more so than (33) which

seems, to me, to be particularly odd if taken to mean:

(37) Tom admired Dick's gift to Tom and Dick admired Tom's gift to Dick.

reflexives which do seem to violate principle (R.4). Van Riemsdijk-Williams

cite, among others, the following:

Clearly, the antecedent of himself must be John, yet the latter does not c-

command the former. Such sentences, along with Hintikka's examples, obvi-

ously indicate the need for more detailed studies of reflexives and reciprocals

within the framework of Binding theory. The work of Jackendoff (1972) is

still very relevant. What seems certain, however, is that the opacity condition

has immense application and does, in spite of a number of minor exceptions,

constitute a "fundamental law of language".

Another recognised problem, though of a different sort, is posed by the

empty category Pro. This constituent occurs without antecedent in:

Such sentences raise questions as to the status of Pro in the theory. It has

become standard, e.g. Chomsky (1986), to distinguish between two uses. In

one, Pro is a bound anaphor which must have an antecedent, as in:

In the other use, Pro is a pronoun which occurs free, as in (39). In its

pronominal use, Pro cannot be marked for case, so that it must occur in

subject position - see below, section 5.4. Interestingly, the Pro-pronoun seems

only to have human, or human-like, reference. Thus, while sentences like (39)

are commonplace, (41) is probably unacceptable and (42) must be interpreted

metaphorically:

116 Logical form in binding theory

As indicated earlier in this chapter, a very important achievement of Binding

theory is its unification at the level of logical form of wh-questions and

overtly quantified sentences.

As noted, the rationale behind this unification is to be found in the fact that

wh-words and phrases, such as who or which leopard, bind trace variables in

much the same way as quantifiers in the predicate calculus bind term vari-

ables. Thus, it seems reasonable to represent wh-questions and overtly quan-

tified sentences similarly. I shall discuss the representation of wh-questions

first.

The detailed analysis of wh-questions in English is complex. My remarks

will not pertain to so-called "echoes", as in:

may follow a procedure very similar to that employed in deriving quantified

expressions. The wh-quantifier is prefixed to a string which is its scope and

in which it binds indexed variables.

Consider, first, (45) and (46) with their logical form representations.

cordance with the relevant selectional restrictions on the wh-words, what

and who. In other cases, restriction is determined explicitly in the surface

structure, as in:

Wellformedness in binding theory 117

If we confine our attention to cases like (45) and (46) for the moment, it

seems reasonable to assume that the question words who and what are to be

interpreted as having the status of proper nouns or definite noun phrases. This

is in spite of the fact that the range of appropriate responses to wh-questions

like (48) can include assertions involving reflexives, as in (49).

Correctly to interpret cases like (48) requires that we take care not to confuse

the question with its possible responses.

The logical form representation for (48) should, thus, be:

Since, on this view, wh-traces are indexed variables with the status of proper

nouns, they must, in accordance with the rules of coreference outlined in the

last section, be free in all domains. Van Riemsdijk-Williams offer a most

ingenious example to demonstrate this last claim.

strued anaphorically with any of the pronouns in (50). Thus, representations

like the following have to be filtered out:

when the pronoun in question follows the variable, as in the optional repre-

sentation corresponding to (51).

(51) Who does Sally claim hopes that she will win ?

a. (?x\) [x\: person [ Sally claims x\ hopes that she ι will win]]?

This structure, however grotesque, again accords with the referential freedom

bestowed on proper nouns by the opacity condition. The variable, x\, is free

in all domains and the pronoun may legitimately be bound to it.

The logical representations given so far have the pleasing property of re-

flecting the surface word order. It would clearly be advantageous to retain this

characteristic since the logical representations are then very easily associated

with their surface forms. The situation has, however, been rather simple thus

far. Consider, now, the more complicated case:

118 Logical form in binding theory

The moved wh-phrase in this case consists of two parts, the wh-word

whose and its complement sister. If we regard the process of wh-interpretation

as the insertion of variables for traces, then we might propose a representation

as follows:

(52) a. (?x\) [x\: person [x\ 's sister^] does Percy hope that he will marry

him

does not reflect the fact that the references of he and whose must be disjoint.

This is so because, unlike the trace tj, the variable JCJ is not c-commanded by

he. A solution which they advance, without insisting upon, is to "reconstruct"

the logical form representation in such a way as to bring the pronoun and

variable into the desired c-command relation, as follows:

(52) b. (?x\) [x\: personf does Percy hope that he will marry x i ' s sister]]?

statement of a complicated rule of reconstruction and divorces the word order

of the logical representation from that of the surface structure.

A number of alternative solutions have been suggested, including the elab-

oration of the coreference constraint on pronouns, Higginbotham (1983),

and premovement marking of disjoint reference, Van Riemsdijk-Williams

(1986).

A simpler alternative might be to allow wh-interpretation to insert variables

into wh-traces so that the traces are complex structures which might include

several variables as well as case specifications. Thus, the trace in (52) would

be something like {JCI'S, X2}. There is, of course, nothing objectionable in

marking variables for case. Although we do not normally think of a variable

in this way, as Chomsky (1986) has argued, traces, including trace variables,

have reference and do bear case information. I return to the question of case

later in more detail. For the moment, it suffices to remark that some very

general solution is necessary as evidenced by the widespread nature of the

problem. The following is another commonplace instance.

This sentence would seem to require a representation along the lines of (53a).

(53) a. (To (?x\)) [x\: personf did Percy say he had written {x\.(h,t}ff?

Wellformedness in binding theory 119

allows us to state the constraint on pronominal and variable coreference

in terms of Van Riemsdijk-Williams's "leftness condition". This condition

states that a pronoun may not be coreferential with a variable to its right. It

is needed to account for the referential facts of sentences like:

(54) Who did the news that she had got married shock?

will ensure that she and x\ are disjoint.

(54) a. (?x\) [x\: person[ the news that she had got married shocked x\]]?

Cases like these clearly do not rely on the opacity condition for the disjoint

reference of the pronoun and variable since the pronoun does not, at any

level, c-command the variable.

The leftness condition is very elegant because it is so simple. It happens,

also, to be a condition with extremely wide application since it constrains

referential relations between pronouns and variables in wh-questions in which

no wh-movement has taken place. Thus, in (55), his may be coindexed with

the wh-variable since the latter is to its left, as (55a) shows.

The wh-variable in (55) is not, of course, a trace in the proper sense since

no movement has taken place. It may, therefore, be advisable, with Van

Riemsdijk-Williams, to write a rule of wh-interpretation specially designed

to cover such cases. Since quantifier interpretation also does not involve

traces, the two rules would be similar.

The rule of quantifier interpretation adjoins a quantifier with restricting

and/or predicate clauses and inserts quantifier variables. The clause into which

the variables are inserted then becomes the scope of the quantifier. Logical

form theory thus displays well-known ambiguities of scope in much the

same way as the predicate calculus, except that the word order of the natural

language expression is usually preserved in the scope. To repeat an earlier

example, representations of the two scope assignments in (56) are given in

(56a) and (56b).

120 Logical form in binding theory

the surface word order of the actual quantifiers has not been preserved. This,

as remarked above, can be remedied by the use of lambda abstraction.

An important finding of Binding theory is that the leftness condition which

plays such an important role in the interpretation of wh-questions is also

at work in quantified expressions. Thus, the pronoun he in (57a) can be

coindexed with the quantifier variable to its left, but such anaphorical linking

is not permitted in (58a) because the variable is to the right of the pronoun.

5.4 Case

Chomsky (1986) claims that the theory of case is part of the theory of univer-

sal grammar alongside Binding theory. One general principle of the theory of

case is that every referential expression must have case. It seems appropriate,

therefore, that logical form representations should make provision for case

marking. This is not, of course, at odds with the fact that many languages,

such as Chinese, do not employ overt cases, or, as in the case of English,

make use of a very impoverished overt system.

It might, however, be argued that to include case marking at the level

of logical form is not well motivated. Logical form representations have to

do with coreference and scope and, perhaps, case relations could be accom-

modated elsewhere, for example, at the level of shallow structure itself. I

shall not explore such alternatives further here. Indeed, in (6.3), I advocate

the inclusion of case at the level of logical form as a natural expression of

ordering among participants in an utterance.

As is well known from the intense work on case which followed Fillmore's

famous paper (1968), it is all too easy, in one's enthusiasm for distinguishing

finely between one semantic structure and another, to slide into a situation

in which there seem to be almost as many distinctions as there are different

verbs. Let us assume, for our immediate purposes, a rather general case sys-

tem based on the notions of Nominative, Accusative and Oblique. Following

Case 121

Chomsky (1986), we may then set up the following general principles of case

assignment.

a. Finite verbs assign nominative case to their subject and accusative to their

object.

b. Infinite verbs assign accusative case to their object.

c. Prepositions assign oblique case to their complement.

It is to be noted that finite verbs, unlike infinites, are marked for tense and

subject concord. We may assume, with Chomsky, that it is this tense marking

feature which assigns nominative case to the subject of finite verbs. This

assumption also explains, of course, why, save in exceptional circumstances,

the subjects of infinitives are not case marked. It follows from the general

principle that referential expressions must carry case that they cannot occupy

subject position in infinitive clauses. Hence, the ungrammaticality of strings

like:

English, this is done by use of the vacuous preposition for, which bestows

oblique case on its complement, as in:

tinguish vacuous prepositions from those with a genuine semantic function.

Chomsky (1986) provides a very useful discussion of a particularly prevalent

problem in English - and other European languages - namely, the use of of,

or its equivalent. The general nature of the problem may be illustrated by the

following pair.

'partitive'. Thus, if the preposition is absent, the second article is inappro-

priate and the meaning of the phrase is fundamentally different, requiring

that there be at least three roads. In (63), of is a vacuous preposition merely

bestowing oblique case on the complement of the head, full, of an adjective

phrase. The motivation for this use is to be found in the fact that Adjectives

122 Logical form in binding theory

do not assign case to their complements, hence, the use of the preposition

to carry out this function. Nouns do not assign case either, thus, we find the

use of of to case mark complements of noun heads in noun phrases such as

foot of the mountain. By contrast, both verbs and prepositions do assign case

to their complements and, hence, of is not employed vacuously in verb or

prepositional phrases.

An alternative to saying that nouns and adjectives do not assign case to

their complements is, of course, to say that they assign genitive case. There

probably are reasons for taking this alternative stand. However, the notion,

Genitive, does not seem to be particularly well defined beyond such broad

types as alienable and inalienable possession and, for our present purposes,

we might as well consider genitive to be a subcategory of oblique.

In the previous section, I referred to the fact that, in current Binding theory,

variables are regarded as referential expressions which must receive case

assignment. Wh-movement creates a "chain" in which the moved constituent

is the head. Chomsky (1986) makes the point that, since the head carries the

semantic content of its trace variable, it cannot be moved to a position which

already carries case. If this restriction were infringed, then the head would

be ambiguously marked for its semantic role.

An interesting case which clearly illustrates the above remarks is the pas-

sive construction. In English, the passive operation results in the logical ob-

ject of a transitive verb being moved to the position of grammatical subject.

Since subject position is assigned nominative case, the head of the chain must

be in the nominative. The trace, however, being in object position, carries

accusative case. This is why (64) is wellformed, but (64a) is informed.

case and this is achieved through the use of the preposition by, as in:

It was noted earlier that the empty category Pro can occur as a bound

anaphor, as in:

Such cases are paralleled by others in which the subject of the complement

clause is disjoint from that of the main clause and is, therefore, specified, as

in:

Case 123

When an infinitive clause complements a verb like believe, Pro may not

occur, so that (68) is unacceptable.

shown in (70):

In part, the reason for the ungrammaticality of (68) resides in the fact that

Pro cannot be marked for case. Verbs like believe assign accusative case

even across clause boundaries, hence necessitating the case-marked reflexive

rather than the unmarked bound anaphor.

These remarks are, however, somewhat superficial. The complexities sur-

rounding clausal complements are considerable and frequently depend upon

whether the main verb is a true verb of propositional attitude, like believe or a

mere attitude verb, like want. Believe may take either infinitival complement,

as in the cases just cited, or sentential complement, as in:

admits sentential complements, as can be seen from (73), in which case, the

subjunctive modal is required.

plus a sentential complement, as in (74) and (75), but this option is not open

to want, as seen from (76).

complement be a proposition and this seems to motivate the specification of

124 Logical form in binding theory

is provided, in case the complement is sentential, either simply by the subject

of the sentential complement itself, or, redundantly, with an additional oblique

object. If the complement is infinitival and the belief concerns the subject of

the main clause, a bound anaphor is required, i.e. a reflexive pronoun. If the

subject of the complement is disjoint from that of the main clause, it appears

as an accusative marked lexical noun or pronoun.

Want, on the other hand, since it is not a true verb of propositional attitude,

requires no such specification and, hence, tolerates the empty category, Pro.

Pro combines with intransitives to yield clauses which rather than denot-

ing propositions, take "open propositions" as their referents. I discuss open

propositions later (6.3). For the moment, it suffices to say that they are not

true propositions, but, rather, unevaluated propositional functions.

These observations are, obviously, neither profound nor complete. They

do not, for example, quite fit the facts of a verb like claim which is usually

treated as a full propositional attitude verb, e.g. Cresswell (1985). However,

they do seem to have some intuitive value.

The fact that want permits infinitive complements with Pro gives rise to

a number of interesting ambiguities typified by Chomsky's sentence:

Here, the adjective may qualify the meeting. Alternatively, it may be taken to

refer to the "remote" subject they of the main clause. Chomsky's contention

(1986) is that adjectives may not modify heads across clause boundaries and

we must, therefore, assume the presence of Pro as subject of the infinitive.

It is this empty category which provides the head for happy, in the remote

reading, and Pro must, in this case, function as a bound anaphor.

The situation is different in cases like (78).

the idea that the infinitive is a complement with Pro as its subject, receives

support from examples like:

The Pro in (78) is not, however, a bound anaphor since it has no antecedent.

Rather, it is the pronominal use referred to above. This is further suggested

by the possibility of extraposition, yielding:

Logical form in semantic representation 125

The relation between it and the infinitive in (79) also suggests that the latter

is to be treated as a nominal rather than as a verbal. I return to this issue in

(7.3.3).

In this chapter, we have looked at logical form representations and their moti-

vation in Binding theory only superficially. However, it is evident, from these

few remarks, that the facts which such representations capture are central to

the meaning of many sentences. Facts of coreference and scope assignment

should find expression in semantic representation and, unless we decide to

treat the representations provided by Binding theory on a unique level, a com-

plete treatment should incorporate them into a more inclusive representation.

I shall not formally attempt such an incorporation here.

Indeed, the theory of logical form as developed in Binding theory is so

powerful that it may seem, at first, that there remains little to be accounted

for in a formal way. However, quite apart from the fact that they make no

appeal to truth conditions, the representations which the theory allows are

inadequate in several important respects. They do not reflect the composi-

tional nature of sentence meaning. They do not provide for all of the semantic

information embodied in logical formulations. The ambiguities which they

reflect are confined to those arising from scope assignment and coreference.

They make no provision for pragmatic factors. Finally, as formulated here,

they frequently depart radically from surface structures in respect of word

order. In what remains, some of these aspects of sentence meaning will be

taken up in greater detail.

Chapter 6

Pragmatics

a synonym for "study of language use". In this very broad usage, pragmat-

ics covers an enormously wide spectrum of research from sociolinguistics,

psycholinguistics, speech-act theory and stylistics.

In the tradition of Montague (1968), Lewis (1970) and Cresswell (1973),

I use the term "pragmatics" as a name for the attempt to formulate means by

which to assign truth values to sentences which are dependent upon context of

use for their interpretation. However, unlike those authors, I also include, un-

der pragmatics, certain aspects of language use which make a given utterance

felicitous or appropriate. This enlargement sometimes leads to a conflict in

terminology, as in the case of presuppositions, customarily divided into two

classes, semantic and pragmatic. However, the practice of loosely equating

truth values with notions like felicity is well established - see for instance

Lakoff (1975) - and the terminological conflicts which occasionally result

seem, to me, to be harmless since the intention is always obvious.

A typical example of a context dependent sentence is provided by:

Clearly, such a sentence depends for its truth or falsehood not just upon the

assignment to the verb leave and to Paris which may be presumed to be

given, but also on the assignments to tomorrow, here and /, all of which

have denotations which vary according to the context of use.

An example of a different sort is provided by an imperative like:

framework of traditional logic.

On a profound level, many have argued that performatives, including im-

peratives, do not have any direct relation to truth values. Thus, it would not

be appropriate to respond to (2) by saying "That's true/false.". On a more

Indices 127

conditions on sentences in that they seem to be subjectless. However, they

clearly have meaning and so it must be possible to say what the world would

have to be like in order for them to at least be used appropriately. In such

cases, therefore, we need to appeal to notions other than truth and to con-

struct logical form representations which include the information which the

surface structure fails to provide. Such representations must, therefore, make

use inter alia of the words I and you.

6.2 Indices

Scott (1970) uses the term "point of reference" to refer to the ntuple of factors

which determine the interpretation of a sentence. It will be recalled that, in

chapter 3, such points of reference, or "indices" in Montague's terminology,

included, as well as the set of individuals, possible worlds, I, and moments

of time, symbolised as J. Lewis (1970) uses the term "co-ordinate" to refer

to a member of such an index. Thus, I is the "possible world co-ordinate"

and J is the "time co-ordinate".

Evidently, in such an approach, I and J alone are not sufficient to provide a

semantic specification of a sentence containing "indexicals", such as the first

personal pronoun I or the adverbs tomorrow and here. In order to treat these,

we would require a co-ordinate for the speaker, the time of utterance and the

place of utterance. In addition, in light of imperatives and such sentences as:

It is to be noted that third person pronouns like he/she/it need not be

provided with special co-ordinates since they are assigned values by the

principles of coreference discussed in chapter 5. It is, of course, assumed

that, when such pronouns are free, it is normally possible to assign them

values on the basis of some antecedent recoverable from the context. If this

cannot be done, the pronoun is nonreferring and the sentence in which it

occurs is irresolvably ambiguous.

To accommodate these indexical demands, Lewis proposes a rich system of

co-ordinates which includes, in addition to those mentioned: co-ordinates for

deictic determiners, as in this/that palmtree; a previous mention co-ordinate

to account for phrases like the above mentioned palmtree', and, finally, an

assignment co-ordinate which provides values for variables, as in son of his.

128 Pragmatics

false with respect to the interpretation < A, / , J ,g >, as in chapter 3, Lewis's

theory would claim that it has its value in respect of an octuple of co-

ordinates, ordered by him as:

a. a possible world,

b. a moment of time,

c. a place,

d. an addressor,

e. an addressee,

g· a segment of discourse,

providing the information required by the pragmatics to assign values to

contextually dependent utterances.

co-ordinates can figure in an interpretation, simply because the scope of

contextual dependence is so unpredictable. As his discussion suggests, to

draw up a list in keeping with Lewis's proposal is likely to result not merely

in a very long catalogue of co-ordinates but, even worse, an ad hoc one

requiring constant extension.

Given this general objection to Lewis's approach to the indexical problem,

Cresswell proposes that we regard a context of use as a property of an

utterance, where, by "utterance" is understood the speaking or writing of a

text on a given occasion.

In order to illustrate the general spirit of this approach - though not en-

tirely in line with Cresswell's original proposal and presented more loosely -

consider Montague's (1968) sentence:

Contextual properties 129

(5) I am hungry.

tion it denotes includes the properties of being uttered by a particular person

and at a specific moment in time.

Let φ be a contextual property of use. If φ includes both of the above

properties, then any two utterances of (5) which coincide on φ express the

same proposition. Thus, the meaning of (5) may be thought of as the function,

Fhungry, from contextual properties into propositions, such that Finmf!n(o) is

a proposition denoted by an utterance of (5).

Cresswell employs the term "open proposition" for an expression like

(5). Until it is uttered, an open proposition is an unevaluated propositional

function. Once its argument place has been filled by an appropriate contextual

property, it becomes a proposition which may, of course, be true or false.

Thus, we conclude that sentences may denote open propositions, e.g. (5)

before it is uttered, or propositions, such as:

"meaning" of an expression and the proposition which results from the filling

of its argument place would be its "sense". Thus, in line with what was said

earlier, to know what an expression involving indexicals means, to understand

it, involves knowing what contextual properties can be in the domain of the

relevant open proposition. To know whether or not such an expression is true

involves knowing precisely what values are assigned to the argument places

of the open proposition by virtue of its being uttered. Reverting to Carnap's

example, chapter 1, to understand the sentence (7), we need to know what

can be in the domain of mon. To be acquainted with its sense, we need to

know the identity of the value assigned and whether that value really does

have a black pencil.

may be ordered. What makes (8) true or false is not just its being uttered by

a particular individual to a particular person, but their being in an ordered

ntuple:

in the spirit of the earlier discussion (5.4), such an ordering is best expressed

in terms of the notion of Case .

130 Pragmatics

Working outside the Cresswell framework, Sgall (1975) suggests that the

pragmatics should generate representations which reflect the basic case no-

tions as developed by Fillmore (1968). Thus, for example, Sgall gives (9a)

as a possible semantic representation of (9).

Such representations are not fully compatible with the treatment developed

in this study - they assume, for instance, that prepositions are surface reali-

sations of underlying cases, not base generated constituents of logical form.

Nonetheless, the exploitation of Fillmorean cases seems to be an obvious and

semantically justifiable way of expressing ordering within Cresswell's theory

of pragmatics.

Assuming the above proposal, let us say that a context of use, φ, generates

a "contextual index", δ, of properties, if for any such property, φ', φ permits

φ' to be a member of <5. Accordingly, no property, φ', can be in δ such that,

for some utterance, α, α (δ) is true but (φ' e δ) is false.

As an illustration, consider the following utterance:

with the property, φ", of second person reflexivity. Obviously, both properties

cannot enter into any contextual index generated by φ. If the open proposition

corresponding to (10) is satisfied by φ', it is not satisfied by φ" and hence

cannot yield a proposition true in any possible world.

In the above, it is, of course, assumed that φ is a context of use for a

simple open proposition. Clearly, there would be no question of bringing φ'

and φ" into the same contextual index if the one were a property of a main

clause and the other of a conjoined or embedded clause. The generation

of complexes of contextual indices is obviously determined by the usual

principles of compositionality.

Since the tense of an utterance is one of its contextual properties, the

generation of δ by φ must, as already implied, be partially determined by

time relations. Thus, (11) cannot denote a true proposition in any possible

world.

Contextual properties 131

Given these intuitive remarks, we can formally state the conditions under

which an utterance, a, may be said to denote a possibly true proposition as

follows:

proposition, p', expressed by a, there is at least one contextual index,

<5, in the domain of p \

valuations in respect of given open propositions. Thus, (12) states the condi-

tions for denoting a possibly true proposition, not for determining its value

in a particular world. If an open proposition, p', has no contextual index in

its domain, it's value must, necessarily, be 0, or else it is not evaluated at all.

Further, it is obvious that the usual rules for tautology apply, e.g. the value

of the proposition yielded by (p' or -p') is always 1.

The question of whether an open proposition which has no contextual

index in its domain is capable of yielding a proposition which is assigned 0

or is simply left unevaluated is clearly pertinent to a discussion of Strawson's

(1950) theory of truth assignment. I return to Strawson's theory below.

To evaluate an utterance like (5), it is obviously necessary to assign values

to its constituents. Cresswell (1973) proposes that we regard words like I

as denoting functions which he calls "open individuals". Thus, the value

assigned to I is a function, Fj, whose domain is the set of possible addressers

and whose value, for a given utterance, is an individual. We may apply this

to (5), informally, as follows. If φ generates a contextual index, δ, for (5) in

which φ' is the property of being in the first person and φ" is the property of

being asserted to be true at the moment of utterance, then hungry(6) yields a

proposition which is true just in case the value of the open individual denoted

by I was hungry at the time (1) was uttered.

Although Cresswell does not, himself, explicitly link the notion of an open

individual with that of an intensional object, referred to earlier in chapter 4,

it seems to me that the two have enough in common to warrant such an

equation. I shall, therefore, regard the king of France also as having the

status of an open individual, though, at any moment, it is a function which

is uniquely valued, if it is valued at all.

It will be recalled, from chapter 3, that Montague made provision in his

semantics for the assignment of truth values to tensed expressions. Thus, to

repeat the earlier case, the sentence:

132 Pragmatics

is assigned the value 1, if, at some time j ' earlier than time j at which (13)

is uttered, the present tense sentence:

(14) It is snowing.

lated within the framework of an indexical model. If we adopt the contextual-

property approach advocated by Cresswell, the ordering function is recast in

terms of properties. Let φ be a contextual property of use for (13) and let it

include the property, φ', which provides the time of utterance. (13) is true if

and only if (14) is true for some context of use, -ψ, just like φ except that -φ

has ψ' where φ has φ' and the time provided by φ' is earlier than that given

by φ'.

6.4 Performatives

among the types of utterance which a pragmatic theory must accommodate.

The example was:

to:

Let us assume that (16) has been uttered. Given lambda abstraction, it is

easy to provide a representation for (16). Simplifying the internal structure

of the infinitive, this will be:

following set of conditions must hold. For some context of use, φ, in the

domain of the relevant open proposition, there is a contextual index, «5, such

that an individual, a, in the domain of I utters (16) to another individual,

a' in the domain of you, at the moment determined by φ. The meeting of

these conditions is clearly necessary to being an imperative, but it is, equally

clearly, not sufficient. I return to the discussion of conditions on performatives

which are sufficient below.

Performatives 133

Being without an explicit performative, the case of (15) is, however, more

difficult. Many linguists have suggested that such cases should be handled

by assuming that they are represented at the level of logical form as com-

plement clauses of explicit performatives. Under this proposal, the semantic

representation for (15) would be (15a).

(15) will, obviously, have to meet the same set of conditions as (16) to qualify

as an imperative.

There have, at various times, been attempts to extend performative analysis

to all sentence types. Thus, for example, Lakoff (1971b, 1975) proposed that

the general format for the logical form representation of all sentence types

should be:

The options for pred would be represented by {order, ask, state, say} and χ

= I and y = you. The main clause of (17) is, therefore, a template for an open

proposition. If all sentences are regarded as complements to such formulae,

it follows that no sample of natural-language sentences can be adequately

analysed, at the semantic level, in the absence of a theory of pragmatics.

Lakoff s provision for the performative analysis of questions, through the

inclusion of ask among his predicates, requires some adjustment to the ac-

count presented in chapter 5 and taken up again in 7. Some of these adjust-

ments seem to be notational rather than conceptual - for example, his ask

predicate could be regarded as a variant of the question prime on wh-words

in the more traditional formulations.

More important, the claim that questions are complements to performative

clauses of the form:

highlights the problem of whether, and, if so, how, truth values should be

assigned to performatives. I shall, section 6.7, comment on the approach of

"erotetic" logic which certainly does permit questions to have truth values.

In the meantime, since (17) extends the performative analysis to all sentence

types, including assertions, the assignment of truth values to performative

sentences becomes a general issue.

Some linguists, including Cresswell (1973), have objected that it is nor-

mally inappropriate to respond to a question, imperative, or statement by

confirming or denying that the speaker is asking a question, giving a com-

134 Pragmatics

(19) with (20) when the latter is taken to mean (20a).

Lakoff s reply is to claim that truth values are assigned, under normal

circumstances, not to the sentence as a whole, including the performative

clause, but to the propositional content allowed for in (17). This is, surely,

correct. An utterance of (19) is certainly not an assertion that a claim is

being made and to evaluate it as if it were would be most unnatural. In

Lakoff's view, the performative clause itself is neither true or false. Rather,

it is satisfied by meeting the appropriate felicity conditions.

However, if (19) is not an assertion about a claim, what motivation can

there be for introducing the performative into its logical representation? Such

motivation might be found in a general theory of language in use. In such a

theory, it is clearly necessary to draw distinctions between the various speech

acts of promising, threatening, assuring, etc.. The fact that such acts are as

frequently performed through implicit as through explicit performatives has

to be acknowledged in pragmatic theory and to do so at the level of semantic

representation seems quite natural.

Lakoff (1975), reminiscent of a treatment by Karttunen (1974), justifies

the performative analysis on more general grounds. He points out that, if

satisfaction is extended to apply to appropriateness as well as to truth in

a model, then, treating declaratives as performatives allows for a unified

semantics. In Lakoff s (1975) system, for instance, it is not necessary to

have one theory to account for:

satisfaction through truth in a model are still required, the overall gain may

not be as impressive as it at first appears. Lewis's own suggestion (1970)

that explicit performatives like (21) be assigned the value 1 if and only if the

addressee is, indeed, performing the act at the time of utterance would, in any

case, allow for a unified treatment of declaratives and explicit performatives.

Performatives 135

tives at the underlying semantic level does, of course, create difficulties. For

instance, Montague's (1968) sentence:

(23) / am hungry.

take it as embedded in yet another performative. A more elaborate demon-

stration of this kind of problem is provided in Isard (1975), who points to

the implausibility of analysing a sentence like (24) as (24a):

turned up at the party (which, by the way, I also mention).

Given that such problems do not outweigh the advantages of the gener-

alised performative analysis, it will be assumed. In the interests of brevity,

however, I shall not make explicit provision for performative clauses in the

underlying representations of declaratives whose surface structures lack ex-

plicit performative verbs.

I shall, moreover, adopt the broadened view of satisfaction referred to

above. Thus, a prepositional function or an open proposition may be satisfied

if, its argument places being filled, the resulting proposition meets either

truth or felicity conditions. In the next section, I shall effectively liberalise

the process of satisfaction even further by extending the notion of felicity

to accommodate the appropriate use of certain nonperformative expressions

which also lie beyond the confines of classical logic.

As part of his development of "natural logic", Lakoff (1975) shows how

(25) can be viewed as entailing (26).

postulates". The postulate relevant to (25, 26) is:

stating Ρ to y, then χ believes P].

136 Pragmatics

As Lakoff says, if (25) does entail (26), then the following will be a

contradiction:

(28) Jack was sincere in stating that Sally sang well, but he didn 't believe

that she did sing well.

of conjunctions, such as:

(29) I promise to pay you back, but I don't intend doing so.

(30) I name this ship Sandrock, but 1 don't know what her name will be.

tradictions as (29) and (30) depend upon sets of felicity conditions. For an

utterance of a performative sentence to be satisfied, it must, as a sufficient

condition, meet some set of felicity conditions. Lakoff (1975) uses this no-

tion of broad satisfaction to explain a number of semantic problems which

he calls "performative antinomies". One of his examples is:

constitute a command will, obviously, include the preparatory condition that

the addressee be able to carry out the action concerned. Clearly, in order to

comply with (31), one must read it, but to do so is not to comply with it.

This paradox is probably more familiar in its "liar" form:

way just which conditions count as sufficient to satisfiability in individual

cases. Searle (1969) provides a detailed account of the conditions on many

verbs, such as promise and threaten, and it is obvious that their number is

very considerable and their interrelations complex. For example, (33) could

surely never count as a promise, but the case is not so transparent in (34).

totally expected to happen anyway, but is that condition to figure in the logical

structure of promises? Presumably, it is not. Similarly, an order may very

well be given which cannot be carried out simply because the addressor is

unaware of its unperformability. Even so, it may still be viewed as an order.

Fuzziness 137

counterpart of assigning it a value neither true nor false, namely #. I return

to this value shortly.

6.5 Fuzziness

The extended use of satisfaction adopted in the last section goes a long way

to meeting the demands of natural language analysis. However, as I indicated

in chapter 1, we must also be able to evaluate propositions which involve

fuzzy concepts. Such concepts are typically denoted by gradables, such as

beautiful/many/often. These items are not subject to the narrow, logical inter-

pretation of truth conditions since they are used subjectively and are context

dependent. Thus, a sentence like (35) cannot be strictly judged true or false.

Since a semantic theory which concerns itself with natural languages would

be quite inadequate if it ignored such propositions, I shall broaden the con-

cept of satisfaction even further and say that formulae or open propositions

employing gradables may, also, be said to be satisfied if they meet felicity

conditions which suffice to make their use appropriate.

Combined with the extension of satisfaction already provided for, the

effect of this liberality is to free mathematical semantics from the narrow

preoccupations of truth-functional studies.

6.6 Presuppositions

are presuppositional in character. Thus, for example, the familiar (36) pre-

supposes that the speaker is in a position of authority with respect to the

addressee.

not one which makes it true. Rather, (36) is satisfied in being performed. For

this reason, such presuppositions are usually called "pragmatic", e.g. Keenan

(1972), McCawley (1981).

138 Pragmatics

Since, in English, she is not used neutrally, (37) presupposes that someone

refers to a female. However, if this presupposition turns out to be false, the

truth of (37) is unaffected. Presuppositional failure in (37) might make its

utterance inappropriate, but it does not make it untrue.

Consider now what is presupposed in the following:

presuppose - knowledge or belief which the addressor takes as shared by

himself and the addressee at the time of utterance. This presupposition is old

information and the result clause is likely to be new information which is

not presupposed but asserted. If the clauses are exchanged, then their roles

are also reversed, as is made apparent by contrasting (38) with:

knowledge or knowledge assumed to be shared at a given point in a discourse.

In this sense, pragmatic presupposition has to do with text structure and

information processing. As with the other cases, if the presupposition fails,

the utterance may be inappropriate, but its truth value is not affected.

In contrast to pragmatic presuppositions, which are not based on con-

siderations of truth values, we also have semantic presuppositions, in which

questions of truth value are vital. Typical are the cases of definite descriptions

already referred to, such as:

(39) a. There exists one and only one individual, a, such that (Tower ofLon-

don(a/x)) is true.

If (39) is true, then (39a) must be true. In addition, if (39) is false, then

(39a) must again be true. We may thus give a partial definition of semantic

presupposition as:

true.

Types of semantic presupposition 139

semantic presupposition and entailment. In the latter, if ρ entails q, -p certainly

does not.

What makes semantic presupposition of considerable interest, however, is

the case in which the presupposed proposition, q, is false. If (39) is uttered

and (39a) is false, then, in the opinion of many scholars, (39) is neither true

nor false. In such a case, (39) is simply pointless. Thus, a fuller definition of

semantic presupposition is:

true, but when q is false, ρ and -p are vacuous.

sition are very different in respect of negation. In the case of entailment, if

q is false, then so is p.

The definition of semantic presupposition allows, of course, for an infinity

of trivial presuppositions since, by it, any tautology is presupposed by any

proposition whatever. Such cases are of no interest and will be ignored.

As this chapter is concerned with pragmatics, it might seem that semantic

presupposition should be treated elsewhere. However, the distinction between

the two types is not always clear cut and it is convenient to discuss both types

under one rubric. In addition, some problems surrounding pragmatic presup-

positions are best approached in the light of solutions to others involving

semantic presuppositions. I shall, therefore, concentrate upon the latter first.

to realise that there are several different types to be considered. In this section,

I shall briefly review some of these types, deferring discussion of the difficult

question of the assignment of truth values in a presuppositional system for

the moment.

One of the most important types of semantic presupposition is represented

by the example cited above and repeated here as:

presupposes the existence of a particular individual and, hence, the truth of

140 Pragmatics

(40) asserts of the individual that it has the property of being old.

In chapter 3, I referred to Montague's treatment of definite descriptions,

observing that his stance is essentially Russellian. Accordingly, for Montague,

(40) could be true only if uttered in respect of a world and moment of time in

which there actually existed a unique individual named the tower of London.

If such an individual did not exist, (40) would be false.

Montague's logical representation of definite noun phrases is very com-

plicated. A much simpler notation which is often employed involves the use

of an operator, L, which is similar to the lambda operator, but is restricted

to the creation of nominals. Thus, the definite description in (41) could be

represented as:

just one possible value for the iota variable in the universe of discourse.

The definite description in (40) is, of course, of a special kind which

we might, following Cresswell (1973), call "complex proper names". Given

the usual semantics of proper names, it is perfectly easy to see the force of

Russell's (1905) treatment. Consider, now, a sentence like:

In order to interpret such a sentence in Russell's theory, we must say that the

universe of discourse has been restricted so as to include one and only one

cathedral and it is that individual to which the definite description refers.

McCawley (1981) discusses a number of problems arising from the Rus-

sellian approach. One is illustrated by the following:

accommodate the Russellian theory, then (42) would have to mean the same

thing as:

This is so because, in such a restricted universe, the one and only cathedral

is all cathedrals. However, such an equation would, of course, amount to

gibberish. Hence, we are forced to say that the cathedral cannot pick out its

referent by virtue of a restricted universe of discourse.

Types of semantic presupposition 141

take the unique individual concerned to be a set containing more than one

member. That seems to be trivial enough, but, again, it is implausible to take

a restricted universe of discourse as guaranteeing the set's uniqueness.

Working in a framework of discourse analysis, McCawley proposes that

we regard the referent of a definite description as being given by a contextual

domain. A contextual domain is that set of entities which, at a given point

in a discourse are regarded as uniquely identified and, for the purposes of

the discourse, as existing. Thus, the cathedral and the parrots in the above

sentences are interpreted as having unique denotations according to some

contextual domain. Since the contextual domain is independent of the domain

over which the variables of such quantifiers as all/some range, there is no

contradiction in claiming that a given individual is unique and also that there

are others of the same class.

This approach is, in fact, much like that adopted by Zeno Vendler (1971),

who treats all definite descriptions as either deriving from or as implying re-

stricted relative clauses which limit the referential domain of the description.

A similar, though looser, treatment is also at the heart of the traditional view

that the definite article introduces old information.

It is to be noted that the notion of a contextual domain extends beyond

what is actually said in a given discourse. It is not always necessary that a

particular individual be introduced as a topic in a discourse before it can be

referred to by a definite description. As is well-known, the definite article is

very frequently justified by shared knowledge, situational context, convention

and so on. Thus, we speak of the government on the assumption that the

addressee is able to identify the body of people in question. When we refer

to the sun, we do not normally expect the addressee to ask which one we are

thinking of. A phrase like the wastepaper basket often occurs in conversation

without prior mention because there is only one such object in the physical

environment and, when we speak of someone as having the 'flu we do so

by convention, just as we do when using the definite article with names of

rivers, public houses, mountain ranges etc..

In his own treatment, Cresswell (1973) discusses Russell's the king of

France example and concludes that, if it is analysed in terms of open propo-

sitions, then we may say that the open individual which is the denotation of

the definite description must have at most one individual in its domain in

order for the whole to attain the status of a proposition and, thus, to have

142 Pragmatics

a truth value. If there is no such individual, then the open proposition sim-

ply represents a partial function which is associated neither with truth nor

falsehood.

Cresswell's position is, in many respects, reminiscent of the approach to

definite descriptions adopted by Strawson (1950) which, essentially, claims

that when the open individual cannot receive a value, the assignment of

a truth value to the sentence involved is inappropriate. In a later account,

Strawson (1964) modified this position very considerably by granting that

a proposition with an unsatisfiable definite description could also be false.

McCawley (1981) cites examples like (45) which certainly seems to be more

than vacuous if there is no funfair.

In his own discussion, McCawley suggests that the falsehood of cases like

(45) might have something to do with the notion of topic - I return to

that subject later. In the meantime, it is important to recognise that though

Cresswell's approach may be seen as similar to Strawson's, it amounts to

more than saying just that some propositions go unevaluated. For Cresswell,

the failure to satisfy an open individual results not in a proposition which is

unevaluated, but in no proposition at all.

Whether a Russellian or a Strawsonian view is adopted, the mere use of a

definite description does not involve a commitment to the actual existence of

individuals capable of satisfying it. Thus, since a proposition is true or false

in a possible world, it is not necessary, for instance, that the pope of Wales

should actually have some individual in its domain. It is necessary merely

that such an assignment be possible.

A different kind of presupposition is implied by the following:

(46) It is angry.

In such a case, it is obviously presupposed that the value of it has the property

of being animate. Such a presupposition, a sortal presupposition, differs from

an existential one in that the existence of the individual is given. What is

presupposed is its being of the appropriate sort. Thus, a proposition like that

denoted by (46) is true if and only if some proposition of the form F(x) is

true. Such a predicative proposition being presupposed, (46) asserts of the

individual concerned that at the time of utterance, that individual is angry.

Although the conditions for the truth of a sentence like (46) are clear

enough, it is not, I believe, so simple to decide whether failure of sortal

presuppositions leads to falsehood. If (46) is asserted, for example, of a

Types of semantic presupposition 143

building, it is probably better to say that it is vacuous rather than false - the

adjective angry simply does not appropriately apply in such a case.

Lakoff (1971b), showed how sortal presuppositions may often be signalled

only poorly in natural languages. Thus, for example, while the relative pro-

noun who characteristically marks its referent as being human, this rule is

frequently infringed, especially when the individual concerned occupies a

specially favoured place in the life of an addressor. While (47) is perfectly

grammatical, (48) is merely acceptable. (49), by contrast, is barely acceptable,

if at all.

cates like angry, which denote properties of individuals directly, or in terms

of such pronouns as who where the presupposition is indirect, there is often a

subtle relationship between tenses and sortal presuppositions. A particularly

interesting case of this sort is (50), originally discussed by McCawley (1971):

see the exhibition, while, in (51) the presupposition is that that opportunity

is still available at the time of utterance, i.e. that the exhibition is currently

running.

as in (50) and (51) by aspectual contrasts. The basis for such contrasts is, of

course, the present-relevance of present perfect beside the unmarked status

of the simple past. In a similar fashion, Columbus in (52) is presupposed to

be still living - and hence capable, in principle, of repeating the action - ,

while in (53) that presupposition is not present.

subtle than the above remarks suggest. It is, for example, important to dis-

tinguish assertions involving intensional objects - open individuals - and

144 Pragmatics

in (54) does not necessarily presuppose that the king of France is still living

at the time of utterance:

The presuppositions involved in such cases are known as "factive" since the

predicate of the main clause presupposes the factual status of its complement.

In (55), assuming the coreference of Sally and she, Sally may legitimately

regret what she takes to be the fact of having failed a test. Thus, (55) is true

if and only if (55a) is true and is vacuous otherwise:

ignore strained interpretations such as conspiratorial report - :

(56) *Sally, who knows that Jack has not left, regrets that he has left.

Clearly, the reason why (56) is anomalous is that it presupposes two proposi-

tions which are mutually contradictory. In fact, since the relative and factive

clauses in (56) cancel each other out, the whole actually makes no predication

at all about Sally.

The classic study of so-called "factive verbs" like know, regret, be sur-

prised is Kiparsky - Kiparsky (1970) and they have been discussed exten-

sively in the context of formal semantics by Keenan (1972), Keenan-Faltz

(1985), McCawley (1981) and many others.

Whereas a verb like discover is factive, one like hope is nonfactive. Thus,

while (57) is normal, (58) is not.

(58) * Sally, who discovered that Jack has left, hopes that he has left.

Nonfactive verbs do not presuppose the truth of their complements and thus

a sentence like (57) will be true or false depending solely on the truth of

the main clause. The case of (58) is, however, anomalous, stricto sensu,

because the factive and nonfactive clauses are contradictory. The nonfactive

hope presupposes the negation of a proposition implied by one asserting

discovered. If Hopes(x,y) is true, then Knows(\,y) must be false. However,

discovered clearly implies knows.

Types of semantic presupposition 145

acteristic of sentences containing both factive and nonfactive clauses. Thus,

for example, know presupposes believe, so that, while the main clause of

(59) is uninformative, (59) is not contradictory.

(59) Sally, who knows that Jack has left, believes that he has left.

Further, although believe does not presuppose know, the following is, again,

not a contradiction:

(60) Sally, who believes that Jack has left, knows that he has left.

The reason for the discrepancy in the relations between know and hope and

know and believe is to be found in the details of the lexical meaning of the

nonfactive verbs. Thus, while hope simply presupposes not know and asserts

want, believe has a number of meanings, only one of which is compatible

with know. It would be strange to agree to the proposition (if Knows(x, y),

then Believes(x, y)) and, at the same time, deny Believes(x, y) while asserting

Knowsix, y). Evidently, the belief which is presupposed by knowledge is of

a different sort to that which does not presuppose knowledge. If this were not

so, then to believe a proposition would be to know it and that is manifestly

absurd.

Consider, next, the presupposition involved in the following:

in the breaking of the egg. In (62), happen presupposes that the breaking of

the egg was a chance event.

We may summarise McCawley's (1981) discussion of the kind of presup-

position involved as:

q nor -q.

However, if (61) or (62) is false, it does not follow that (61/62a) must be

false.

146 Pragmatics

and the problems which they present in the assigning of truth values to

sentences are considerable, Karttunen (1971). As an intuitive justification of

the above summary of McCawley's general argument, consider the situation

depicted in (61). Suppose that Sally, after some difficulty, broke the egg. In

that case, (61) is indeed true and so is the presupposed proposition that she

broke the egg: ρ presupposes q. Of course, if the egg was not broken, then

Sally did not succeed in breaking it: -q presupposes -p. However, if Sally

broke the egg without effort, (61) is not true, even though the egg is broken.

Finally, if, in spite of her efforts, Sally failed to break the egg, then (61) is

again false but, now, the egg is unbroken. These last two cases prove that -p

does not presuppose q or -q.

One striking feature of this kind of presupposition is that it does not obey

the usual criterion for semantic presupposition, namely, that in the event of q

being false, ρ is simply vacuous. Since it is unreasonable to claim that such

presuppositions are pragmatic rather than semantic - truth values are, after

all, central - it would appear that the definition of semantic presupposition

given earlier should be weakened so that, when the presupposition is false,

the presupposing sentence may either be false or vacuous. I return to the

assignment of truth values shortly.

Finally, let us consider further the relation between negation and presup-

position. It is well-known that this relation is not always straightforward. A

classic example is provided by the interpretation of verb pairs which contrast

in respect of presupposition and assertion, as in:

Criticise presupposes that an action was performed and asserts that it was

bad. Blame, on the other hand, presupposes that an action was bad and asserts

that it was performed by a given individual.

The negative in (64) is ambiguous in that it might have either the presup-

position or the assertion in its scope, as is demonstrated by the normality of

the following extensions:

(64) a. Jack didn 't blame Sally for cheating him because he knew she hadn 't

done so.

b. Jack didn't blame Sally for cheating him because he felt she was

justified in doing so.

Truth-value gaps 147

it is the presupposition, not the assertion which is denied. Similar considera-

tions hold, mutatis mutandis, for (65). Thus, such sentences must be disam-

biguated before a truth value can be assigned.

Of course, the relations holding between such pairs as (64) and (65) de-

pend, crucially, on the scope of the negation. Thus, if (64a) is what is intended

by (64), then the latter is equivalent to the presuppositional negation of (65).

If, on the other hand, by (64) we intend (64b), then it is equivalent to the

negation of the assertion in (65).

When one says of a sentence like (66) that its value is "vacuous" if the

complement is false, it amounts to saying that the proposition it denotes is

neither true nor false. Many scholars use the term "truth-value gap" for this

situation.

quences. If we insist on a two-valued system, {0,1}, as in Montague (1968,

1970, 1973), or Cresswell (1973, 1985), and others, the most reasonable so-

lution is to leave such expressions unevaluated. This may, as we have seen,

be done by regarding them as open propositions, i.e. as functions whose ar-

gument place is unfilled. The alternative would be to regard them as false,

but that might have unwanted consequences, especially when combinations

using logical constants need to be evaluated.

Another way of treating such gaps would be to regard them as constitut-

ing a third truth value. The Polish logician Lukasiewicz (1920), presented in

English by Rescher (1969), developed a three value system, {0,1,1}, where

I represents an "indeterminate" value. Lukasiewicz's logic permits the valu-

ation of sentences like Aristotle's:

To assign sentences like (66) the value I when they suffer presupposi-

tional failure does not seem, to me, to be appropriate since they differ quite

markedly from cases like (67), where that assignment might be justified.

While the actual proposition which (67) denotes will never have either of the

148 Pragmatics

two classical truth values, the state of affairs which it proclaims relative to

the moment of utterance surely will or will not come into being. (66), on the

other hand, is not merely indeterminate by virtue of temporal contingency, it

relates to no state of affairs at all. Yet (66) does not actually misrepresent a

state of affairs in the way a false proposition does.

I shall not, here, take up the question of truth-value assignments to sen-

tences like (67) beyond repeating that they are true if and only if the cor-

responding present tensed sentence is true at some moment appropriately

related to their time of utterance - which seems, in all honesty, to amount

to saying very little. However, for the intuitive reasons presented above, I

take it that a truth-value gap introduced by the relevant assignment to the

presupposition of (66) ought not to be filled by a third, indeterminate value,

but should be regarded as an open space in a two value system. This space

may be represented, for convenience, in the manner of McCawley (1981), by

the symbol #.

Van Fraassen (1969) developed a system for assigning values to propo-

sitions which include truth-value gaps without departing from the classical

two-value systems. This method, "supervaluation", is also discussed in Mc-

Cawley (1981). The remarks below will be fairly informal.

To understand how supervaluation works, it is necessary to appreciate that

it assigns 0 or 1 to a complex proposition containing truth-value gaps, i.e.

when some component is valuated to #, when those gaps make no difference

to the final assignment. To illustrate: if the connective is — t h e n , since ((0

—> {0,1}) = 1), it makes no difference whether the consequent is 0 or 1.

Hence ((0 —> #) = 1).

Let L be a presuppositional language. Then the vocabulary and syntax of

L define its wellformed sentences and its semantics specifies the mappings

of those sentences into {0,1}.

Van Fraassen's (1969) development of supervaluation relies upon a prior

relation, C, of "classical necessitation" defined as follows, where X is some

set of sentences and A is a sentence:

every member of X [i.e. satisfies X] also assigns 1 to A [i.e. satisfies

A],

To illustrate, using Van Fraassen's own example: let L contain only the

two sentences (68) and (69) and let its logical operators be just disjunction

and negation.

Truth-value gaps 149

Then the set of classical valuations, V, mapping ρ and q into {0,1} will be

just those satisfying the following.

gaps and any sentence necessitated by a classical valuation is classically

necessitated.

In addition to classical necessitation, C, Van Fraassen postulates a relation,

N, of "nonclassical necessitation", which "exhibits the presuppositions and,

perhaps, other cases of necessitation not reflected in the construction of the

classical valuations.". Ν will, for example, reflect the factive status of verbs

like know, or the existential presupposition which is a part of the semantics

of the. This relation combines with C to define the notion of a "saturated"

set, G, of sentences, as follows:

valuation which satisfies G, (b) if X is a subset of G and X C A,

then A is in G, (c) if X is a subset of G and Χ Ν A, then A is in G.

which (a) assigns 1 to every sentence which is assigned 1 by every

classical valuation satisfying X (b) assigns 0 to every sentence which

is assigned 0 by every classical valuation satisfying X (c) is not

defined for any other sentence.

The import of (c) is that A is assigned # when neither (a) nor (b) is met.

An "admissible valuation for a presuppositional language L" is then de-

fined as:

sical truth tables must be enlarged upon. Drawing upon McCawley (1981), I

give the additional rows below, with some explanatory comments.

150 Pragmatics

Table a. Conjunction

Ρ q (p&q)

1 # #

# 1 #

0 # 0

# 0 0

# # 0/#

containing a false proposition can be true, hence rows with 0 yield 0. If the

classical valuations which make every member of X true make ρ true, but q

evaluates to #, then the set Vx(p&q) yields #. Thus, a sentence like:

a.a. 8 + 7—15 and Sally regrets that Jack, who has not left, has left.

The last line displays alternatives between 0 and #. Obviously, any contra-

diction, including one with conjuncts evaluated to #, evaluates to 0. However,

if some members of the supervaluation make one conjunct true and the other

false, while others assign opposite values, the whole is #.

Table b. Negation

Ρ -Ρ

# #

X true will assign opposite values to ρ and -p. Therefore, if some admissible

valuations assign ρ 0 and others assign pi so that ρ = #, then, the assignment

to -p must also be #.

Ρ q (ρ ν q)

1 # 1

# 1 1

0 # #

# 0 #

# # l/#

of the disjunction (1 or 1), they agree in their valuation for #. Since any

Truth-value gaps 151

yield 1. If the classical valuations which make each member of X true make

ρ false, but some nonclassical ones make q true and others make q false, then,

clearly, some will make (ρ ν q) true and others will make it false. Thus, 0

disjoins # to yield #. The valuation for (# or #) will be 1 in a tautology, but

will otherwise be #.

Table d. Implication

Ρ q (P — • q)

1 # #

# 1 1

0 # 1

# 0 #

# # l/#

respect of # since they differ in the evaluations of (1 if 0) and (0 if 1). Since

both of these are false in the case of <—>, both will valuate to # when #

combines with 0.

As in the case of disjunction, (# if #) evaluates to 1 or # depending upon

the values of ρ and q. If the implication constitutes a tautology, then it always

evaluates to 1. An instance, presuming presuppositional failure, is provided

by:

Molly's brother.

is true, then Ν necessitates the truth of q. However, if q is true, it is not

necessary that ρ be true. If (72) is true, then Sally must love Jack. However,

if Sally does indeed love him, it does not follow that Jack must know it.

Thus, the relation, N, does not necessitate the truth of ρ whenever q is true.

So that, if (ρ Ν q) and (-ρ Ν q), then whenever q = {0, # }, a truth-value

gap is forced upon us and the whole is #. This is, of course, precisely as the

earlier Strawsonian definition of semantic presupposition requires.

Considering, briefly, the relation between semantic presupposition and

logical entailment, we have already observed that these relations are distinct

since, in the latter, -q implies -p. The case of implicative verbs is worth

restating in this respect. If (73) is true, then Jack managed to find the book.

152 Pragmatics

However, if the book was not found, it does not follow that (73) is false

since Jack may not have tried to find it, in which case, the whole is simply

pointless.

The interesting point is, as in the earlier discussion of succeed, that, at first

glance, one would be inclined to say that if the book was not found, then Jack

did not manage to find it. (73) does, in fact, presuppose many propositions,

two of which are:

(73a) is false. In order for the whole to be truly false, (73b) must be true

while (73a) is false.

As the above remarks suggest, implicative verbs like manage are like

blame and criticise in that they require to be analysed both in terms of

presuppositions and assertions. Manage presupposes try and asserts achieve.

It is in respect of this assertion, not the presupposition, that it contrasts with

fail and similarly for other pairs.

should be regarded as primary or secondary. The latter are implied by the

former variety. Thus, since existential propositions are presuppositionless,

existential presuppositions must be secondary. This notion has obvious ap-

plication in the analysis of the sets of presuppositions which are involved in

given sentences. A typical illustration is provided by:

(74) My wife is the one who made a match between two people living in

Paris.

Evidently, such a sentence involves at least the following primary and sec-

ondary presuppositions:

Presuppositions and questions 153

of such a set of presuppositions.

First, it is difficult to know exactly how many presuppositions are present.

In part, this problem involves questions of lexical decomposition. Is it nec-

essary, for instance, to spell out all of the sortal presuppositions involved

in the appropriate use of wife? In part, it bears on questions of background

knowledge. For example, what does it involve for someone to make a match

over and above facilitating a marriage? Another sort of problem arises from

the pervasive ambiguity of such auxiliary notions as tense. Is it the case, for

example, that the two people referred to in (74) now live in Paris? Clearly,

such an issue has a bearing on the truth value assigned to the conjunction of

the presuppositions and, hence, to the value ultimately assigned to (74) itself.

Another problem, flowing in part from that just mentioned, is to know

just which presuppositions are crucial to the semantic description of a sen-

tence and which are marginal. McCawley (1981) quotes Donnellan's (1966)

example to illustrate this point:

(75) The man in the corner with a martini in his hand has just been hired

by Stamford.

If it turns out that the man in question was not drinking a Martini, it is

surely not reasonable, if the description is adequate to pick out the correct

individual, to claim that (75) is false.

It would seem that, at least in part, these problems should be approached

within a theory of context. Before discussing McCawley's (1981) proposals

in that regard, I shall turn to the related question of the presuppositional

nature of questions.

I referred in the previous section to the work of Leonard (1967), who was

responsible, among other achievements, for the development of so-called

"erotetic" logic, which enables the study of the logic of questions. Among

the issues which receive particular attention within erotetic logic is the role

of presuppositions in the use and interpretation of questions. I shall, in what

follows, take the discussion of Belnap (1969) as my starting point.

154 Pragmatics

presupposition:

(D.7) Any proposition whose truth is necessary to the validity of the ques-

tion.

From this, Belnap arrives at the following definition of the relevant presup-

positional relation:

is a logically necessary condition for there being some true answer

to q.

Given the famous/infamous example (76), the direct answer - the state-

ment which is directly and precisely responsive - must be chosen from (76a).

logically implies A.

Thus, the most important secondary presupposition of (76) - the one which

is not merely necessary for its direct answers to be true, but is necessary and

sufficient - is:

(76) b. Jack, at least prior to the time of the appropriate utterance, beat his

wife.

suppositions which, while they are necessary to the truth of the question, are

not, in themselves, sufficient. Thus, for example, (76b) presupposes:

it is reasonable to say that they may be falsely put as well as truly so. For

example, the following is self-evidently a false question:

Pragmatic presuppositions 155

Thus, as Belnap claims, it is appropriate to speak of questions as having truth

values.

While most questions presuppose propositions, there are, as with existen-

tial statements, those which are presuppositionless. An instance is provided

by the existential question:

Such questions are, obviously, either true or false depending on the value

assigned to the sentence which is their direct answer. In particular, they

cannot have the value #.

In Belnap's own treatment, a gapless, Russellian, view of presuppositions

is adopted over the "gappy", Strawsonian one. However, I can see no tech-

nical reason for preferring the former and, consequently, assume that the

definitions for erotetic presupposition above are Strawsonian. Certainly, the

fact of presuppositionless questions is not a good reason for rejecting this

treatment.

It follows that, as with their declarative counterparts, questions may some-

times be assigned the vacuous value #. A candidate would be the following:

Presuppositional failure of the direct answer to (79) would require that the

whole be valuated to #. Another case is provided by:

What has been said in the last three sections essentially has to do with

truth value assignments and, hence, with semantic presuppositions, in the

conventional sense. I now turn to the question of pragmatic presuppositions

which do not, in any normal sense, rest upon satisfaction in terms of truth-

valuation.

It will be recalled that some preparatory conditions for the satisfiability

of an imperative are presuppositional in character. If an addressor utters a

command when it is clear that she/he is not in a position to enforce it, then the

command may not be satisfied, but that failure has no bearing on whether it

is regarded as true or false. Such a failure is contextual in that the conditions

156 Pragmatics

necessary for the performance of the speech act concerned are not met and,

hence, the utterance itself is inappropriate or infelicitous rather than false.

A different kind of pragmatic presuppositional failure is given by infelic-

itous utterances of sentences like (81) which rely upon a presupposition of

gender:

As observed earlier, if the value of someone turns out to be male, the utterance

becomes inappropriate because it incorrectly draws upon a particular sortal

presupposition. Even so, if it is indeed true that a case has been left behind by

its owner, the proposition itself cannot reasonably be said to be false. Such

instances are, of course, similar in kind to Donnellan's cases of partially

incorrect definite descriptions referred to earlier, which confirms that the

divide between semantic and pragmatic presuppositions is not always a clear

one.

Of particular interest is the kind of pragmatic presupposition which Van

Dijk (1977) defines as: "Any proposition expressed by [a sentence] S which

the speaker assumes to be known to the hearer.".

The distinction between presupposition and assertion - roughly parallel to

that between topic and comment/focus - has already figured in this chapter,

section 6.6, and it is this dichotomy which lies at the heart of this kind of

pragmatic presupposition.

The distinction is clearly illustrated by the well-known fact that, in some

languages, including English, what is presumed to be old information, the

topic, tends to appear in actual utterances to the left of what is regarded as

new information, the comment. Thus, as I said in connection with an example

provided earlier and repeated as:

edge or belief between the participants in the discourse. The assertion, given

this presupposition, is that as a consequence, Percy is well-informed. It is

apparent, of course, that such inferences presume a normal arrangement of

information, a presumption which may be questionable.

In like manner, the subject in (83) is usually taken to provide the topic of

the utterance and the predicate the comment:

Pragmatic presuppositions 157

indicated earlier, parallel considerations explain the use of the definite article

in:

status, then the utterance may be said to be inappropriate. Thus, nonreferring

pronouns often give rise to appeals for identification, as in the following

sequence:

(b): Who's left?

Similarly, if the presupposition in (82) that Percy has read Darwin does not,

in fact, reflect shared knowledge between the participants, the statement is

likely to lead to some question to that effect, such as:

and/or altered at different points in a discourse - McCawley's (1981) "con-

textual domains". Since, in (82), the presupposed proposition is stated in the

form of a subordinate clause, it may, but need not, have been established prior

to the discourse in which the sentence occurs. In contrast, the co-ordinating

conjunction and may set up a presuppositional background by establishing a

context in which some fact is to be interpreted. In this "world-determining"

function, the conjunction links two facts presumed to be new information to

the addressee, but the first, once conveyed, supports the second, as in:

(86) Percy went to the races and won a great deal of money.

In such cases, it would appear that the question of appropriateness will turn

on such factors as general background knowledge. If the addressee is familiar

with the general context of situation presupposed by the context-providing

first clause, he or she will, or will not, regard the assertion made in the second

as probable or improbable and judge the conjunction as appropriate or not

so.

I am not convinced that, because and can be used to link a world-

determining clause with an assertion, we ought to regard the conjunction

itself as having a non-logical, pragmatic function. I shall not, therefore, treat

it as such in my semantic rules, chapter 8. However, such conjunctions seem

158 Pragmatics

of the semantic presuppositional problems surrounding an array of sentences

discussed by McCawley (1981), drawing on the work of Karttunen (1971,

1974).

Consider what is presupposed by:

Clearly, the only presuppositions of the first conjunct are existential ones.

The second conjunct, in addition to the existential presupposition involving

Bush, also presupposes the truth of its factive complement, namely:

In fact, of course, (87a) is false, as is the first conjunct in (87). Now consider:

In this case, the first conjunct is identical with the factive presupposition of

the second, namely:

Karttunen concluded that pairs like (87) and (88) are to be assigned dif-

ferent truth values, presumably, 0 in the case of (87) and # in that of (88).

McCawley, himself, was unsure of Karttunen's claim. However, to me, it

seems very plausible in light of the pragmatic differences between the two

cases and the earlier discussion of truth-value gaps.

In (87), and conjoins two assertions which are introduced as new informa-

tion. In the case of (88), on the other hand, and conjoins a world-determining

clause with an assertion.

In (87), the first conjunct is false and the second is clearly #, so that the

whole is 0, in accordance with the usual value assignments for &. In (88), the

first conjunct is identical with the proposition expressed by the complement

of the verb regrets in the second and the whole is, therefore, equivalent to:

it follows that (88) must also be #.

What makes cases like (88) special is, of course, the relation between the

first conjunct and the presupposition (88a). It is not, however, necessary that

that relation be one of identity. Mere entailment is sufficient to bestow the

same pragmatic status on a conjunction, as the following shows:

Pragmatic presuppositions 159

(89) A number of farmers went bankrupt and it was sad that farmers went

bankrupt.

The acceptability of sentences like (89) makes it clear that we can have

conjunctions in which the first conjunct is false, but the whole #, even when

the weaker relation of entailment is involved, as the following demonstrates:

(90) Everyone is talking about Bush and Bush is delighted that people are

talking about him.

the presupposition of the complement clause:

is false and, if so, the second conjunct is #. However, if (90a) is false, then so

is the first conjunct of (90). Thus, since (90a) is entailed by the first conjunct

of (90), the sentence as a whole entails:

As mentioned earlier, in my remarks on because, the presuppositions of a

sentence frequently depend not upon explicit assertion, but rather on beliefs

or opinions which are taken to be shared by the participants in a discourse

as part of their general cultural background. Thus, for example, (91) may

correctly presuppose (91a) and (91b) for a large number of speakers.

(91) Bishop Jenkins' chaplain is Irish and the bishop is glad to have a

good speaker in his administration.

For those for whom such presuppositions hold, the first conjunct of (91)

implies:

160 Pragmatics

Thus, for such people, the first conjunct of (91) involves the presupposition

of the factive complement of the second. Hence, if the first conjunct is false

and the second is #, the whole is #.

Obviously, any conjunction must presuppose the presuppositions of its

first conjunct, as is easily seen by:

neer.

Given this fact, it seems reasonable to say that a conjunction of two sentences

presupposes the presuppositions of the component atomic sentences accord-

ing to a clear pattern. For me, the situation is summarised in the following

condition.

r, or q presupposes r and r is implied by p.

I take the same condition to hold for strict implication as for conjunction.

Thus, the truth of (93) presupposes (93a), but (94) does not presuppose (94a)

since it may be #.

(94) If Percy drinks too much, then Jack regrets doing so.

McCawley's (1981) discussion suggests.

Van Fraassen's rules establish a very simple assignment of 0, 1 and # for

or which make it a matter of no technical consequence whether or not the

whole shares the presuppositions of its atomic parts. Any presuppositional

failure will lead to an assignment of # and if at least one disjunct is #, the

whole will be, at worst, #.

Let us take, as an example, the following, rather absurd case.

Pragmatic presuppositions 161

If (95a) is false, then the second disjunct of (95) is # and the whole is #. In

fact, it is the case that, under no conditions at all is (95) false. It is, therefore,

equivalent to:

I describe (95) as "absurd". Its absurdity resides, of course, in the fact that,

apart from text books on logic, or linguistics, no context of use could possibly

accommodate it. (95) is, in a very straightforward sense, pragmatically point-

less. It is totally uninformative and is, therefore, reducible to the semantically

empty tautology:

I think, straightforward. The treatment in McCawley (1981), upon which I

have drawn, is considerably more detailed. He - and Karttunen - consider

problems of great subtlety. Superficial though my treatment is, however, it

should suffice to demonstrate the central role which the theory of presuppo-

sitions must play in pragmatics.

Chapter 7

Categorial grammar

grammar alluded to in an informal way in chapter 3. My treatment, though

strongly influenced by Montague (1973), is eclectic. In particular, I draw

upon the extensive discussions of categorial grammar in Cresswell (1973,

1985).

As stated in the opening chapter, although what I have to say is, I hope,

relevant to natural language in general, being a native speaker of English

only, I centre the discussion entirely around that language.

As a preliminary, even though particular syntactic categories are closely

associated with particular parts of speech, the notion of Category is not iden-

tical with that of Part of speech. This point needs to be made in order to avoid

unnecessary complications. In my usage, "category" is a syntactic term equiv-

alent to the linguist's "syntactic function", abbreviated in such node labels

as "NP" and "VP".

Thus, when we claim that a given lexical item belongs to such and such a

category, we claim that it has such and such a syntactic function in a given

sentence, e.g. as a nominal, a verb phrase modifier, a noun modifier, etc..

Clearly, items from the same part of speech, such as adjectives, can belong to

different categories since they can function in different ways. Thus, we would

not wish to say that empty belongs to two different parts of speech because

it can appear attributively as well as predicatively. We would, however, want

to say that it can function in two different categories which correspond to

these two different uses. Similarly, when we say that furniture is a common

noun, we do not claim that it can only occur as the head of a noun phrase

and cannot, for example, modify another noun.

What I have just said is not, I believe, in conflict with Cresswell (1973,

1985) who insists that no expression can belong to more than one category.

Clearly, in any given logical representation, no expression can belong to

more than one category - the representation would otherwise be ambiguous.

A severely limited grammar 163

function in several syntactic ways.

In view of the fact that the plane of expression must be brought, as far as

possible, into at least a homomorphic relation with the plane of meaning, the

syntactic function of particular items should be reflected in their semantic

behaviour. I shall, therefore, usually support the syntactic assignments by

appeal to considerations of meaning. In many cases, such appeal will be

explicitly to the level of logical form. In keeping with the earlier discussion, I

shall, as in Cresswell (1973, 1985), employ lambda abstracts to link the syntax

and semantics. In the interests of brevity, however, the relevant formulae will

not always be written out in detail and will, sometimes, merely be assumed.

As well as seeking support for syntactic classifications from meaning,

I shall often follow the common practice of calling upon native speaker

intuitions regarding grammaticality.

Let us suppose that we have a severely limited linguistic corpus in mind at the

outset which is, nonetheless, representative of important constructions in the

language to be described. It is usual to call a grammar designed to describe

such a sample of data a "sample grammar". As the data is increased and the

analysis progresses, the sample grammar will be expanded until, ultimately,

it is sufficiently powerful to describe the language in its entirety - I do not,

of course, aspire to such a development here. What I present below must be

regarded as a sample only.

If the language to be described consisted only of atomic sentences oc-

curring either alone or in combination through the operations of functions,

as in the propositional calculus, the categorial grammar would contain only

two categories. One, the category of sentence, would be basic. The other, the

category of functor, would be derived.

Thus, if t represents the category of sentence, the functor and is of cat-

egory (t/(t,t)). That is, given an unordered pair of sentences as argument,

the function denoted by and yields a sentence as value. Another way of

analysing conjunctions would be to say that they combine with a sentence to

form something that, in its turn, combines with another sentence to form a

sentence. Looked at that way, and is of category ((t/t)/t). I do not think there

is any advantage in adopting this latter treatment.

164 Categorial grammar

infrequently. While (1) is perfectly formed, (la) is more likely to occur.

Since (1) and (la) appear to have the same meaning, it is clear that they

should have equivalent logical form representations. This involves assuming

that, at that level, and does, in fact, join two full sentences. This situation is

easily accommodated by lambda abstraction - I return to the inclusion of the

lambda operator in the syntactic rules below. In the meantime, the underlying

structure for (la) would be (lb), where Vb is a verb phrase variable:

Since, disregarding logical signs, (lb) and (lc) differ only in the number of

occurrences of swim, i.e. the set of swimmers is named twice in (lc), we

may assume that the two representations are equivalent.

It will be observed that such an analysis does not take account of the

peculiar use of and to express + in informal statements of arithmetic, as in:

ematical multiplication. In such examples, it is unreasonable to argue that, at

any level of analysis, and joins two sentences. It obviously connects two unit

constituents, i.e. numbers. I shall not consider this arithmetical use further in

this study, though I shall briefly discuss the semantics of compound nominals

later, 8.2.

In contrast to functors like and, a one-place functor like not would be of

category (t/t).

If the language is more elaborate, as in the case of the predicate calculus,

then there will have to be as many categories as the task of describing the

complexities of internal sentence structure demand.

Term variables, {x, y, z, . . . }, function as names in the predicate calculus

and may be assigned to the category e. A one-place predicate will then be of

category (t/e).

Transferring this analysis to natural-language expressions, we may as-

sign intransitive verbs, such as walk, to the category (t/e). If we allow such

A severely limited grammar 165

verbs to appear in lambda abstracts, then the term variables which form their

arguments and are bound by Λ, are of category e. Thus, the logical form rep-

resentation of an intransitive verb phrase like walks will be (X.x (walks,x)).

It might appear that the proper nouns of natural language should also, as

in chapter 3, be allotted to the basic category, e. However, since we employ

lambda abstracts to construct logical form, it proves more convenient to

think of them - as do Montague (1973) and Cresswell (1973, 1985) - as

one kind of nominal. Nominals, as we shall see shortly, take intransitive

verbs as arguments. If intransitive verbs are of category (t/e), it follows that

nominals, including proper nouns, are of category (t/(t/e)). This categorisation

is exploited in (1c), where the lambda abstracts are of category (t/e).

Cresswell (1985) provides the following elegant formation rules which

generalise categorial grammar.

(R.2) If r and σ\, σ2, • • •, ση are categories, then (τ/(σ\,σ 2 ,... ,σ„)) is a

category.

of simple ones, basic or derived. The generalised rule for assigning syntactic

status to a complex expression is as follows.

(R.3) If δ e (τ/(σι,σ 2 ,... ,σ„)), and cti, α 2 , . . . , a„ e at, σ2, ..., σ„,

respectively, then (δ, a\, a 2 . . . . , α„) is an expression of category r .

a two-place functor of category (t/(t,t)), e.g. and, then the sequence (δ. α ϊ , a2)

is a sentence. Again, if a j is a nominal, member of category (t/(t/e)), and δ

is an intransitive verb, member of category (t/e), then the sequence (δ, α ϊ ) is

a sentence.

I return to rules which spell out these concatenations below (section 7.5).

In the meantime, using English, the illustrations just given might be clarified

by:

(4) (runs( Percy)).

abstraction, necessitating the use of the abstraction operator Λ and an infinite

set of variables of each category, including category e. The addition of lambda

abstraction enormously increases the power of the grammar since it facilitates

the creation of an infinite variety of complex predicates and, in principle, the

166 Categorial grammar

in (lb) above, for example, is a nominal. Moreover, as Cresswell (1973)

demonstrates, the use of lambdas enables representations in logical form to

approximate closely to the word order of surface structures.

For convenience, I repeat Cresswell's (1985) formation rule which governs

the creation of wellformed lambda expressions:

(R.4) If χ is a variable in category σ and a is an expression in category

r , then ( λ * , a ) is an expression in category (r, σ).

As a further instance, the representation (lb) consists of two propositional

functions, (Percy,Vb) and (Sally,Vb), which are conjoined by and to yield

an expression of category t, namely:

(1) d. (Percy, Vb and Sally, Vb).

This open expression becomes the scope of a lambda operator, yielding a

nominal of category (t/(t/e)), namely:

This abstract is provided with a value for its free variable, Vb, namely, swim,

yielding the representation (lb), (lb) converts into the surface (la) simply by

deleting the lambda and free variables and removing brackets. Let us, with

Cresswell (1973), call this "logical deletion".

The examples given so far are uninterestingly straightforward. The need for

the system to analyse sentences so as to reflect the compositional nature of

meaning and provide for their interpretation through a system of semantic

rules forces us to face many difficulties which might not otherwise be promi-

nent. Thus, while it is obvious that words like Percy function as names, it is

not so readily apparent that a word like somebody does not also function as

a name. While it is evident that a word like runs belongs to category (t/e),

it is unclear whether an item like loves should be thought of as combining

with a nominal to form an intransitive verb or with two nominals to form a

sentence. The question whether to take that as part of a verb of propositional

attitude or as a separate complementiser - perhaps with several functions -

was seen in chapter 4 to be a far from simple matter.

Some category assignments 167

Consider, first, the status of a quantifier word like somebody. I have referred

already to the fact that we can conveniently think of all nominals, in the sense

of Cresswell (1973), as of category (t/(t/e)). The exempla of this category

have, so far, been proper nouns, like Percy.

Quantifier words like somebody and proper nouns are syntactically alike

in many respects. They both function, for example, as subject to a verb or

as direct object to a transitive verb; they do not take plural morphemes, etc..

Thus, since proper nouns are of category (t/(t/e)), so are quantifier words.

While proper nouns are basic, however, quantifier words are derived, e.g.

some -f one.

Reflecting the basic/derived distinction, proper nouns and quantifier words

do not have precisely the same semantic function. While the former denote

uniquely valued functions (chapter 1), equivalently, refer to individuals di-

rectly, the latter denote higher order functions on one-place predicates. Thus,

whereas proper nouns denote arguments to functions, quantifier words denote

functions which take arguments. (5) is true iff the individual denoted by Sally

is in the set denoted by runs. By contrast, (6) is true iff the property denoted

by runs has the property of being a property of some individual.

ing proper nouns and quantifier words as denoting the same semantical object

is provided by their behaviour under negation. To negate a sentence like (5)

is to assert of an individual that it is false that that individual runs. To assert

(7), however, is not to deny of each individual that that individual runs.

In its usual interpretation, (7) is true just in case there is at least one

individual who fails to run.

Such considerations suggest that quantifier words are not only members

of the syntactic category (t/(t/e)), but also denote semantical objects of the

same type.

168 Categorial grammar

The assignment of proper nouns and quantifier words to the syntactic category

(t/(t/e)) is straightforward in cases like those discussed above, where the verb

is intransitive, but an important problem arises in cases where they appear as

object to a transitive verb, as in:

verb to form a sentence. However, in (8), the noun phrases concerned are not

in this relation to the verb. Obviously, it would be ridiculous to claim that

the phrase Sally admires is a verb and even if we were to insist that it was,

we would still be faced with the problem of accounting for the role of Sally

in its internal structure. It appears, therefore, that either we must abandon

the view that quantifier words and names are of syntactic category (t/(t/e)),

or we must find a way of analysing the rest of the sentence so as to provide

them with a suitable argument.

Montague (1973) treats transitive verbs in category ((t/e)/(t/(t/e))). This

allows them to combine with members of category (t/(t/e)), such as quantifier

words or proper nouns, so as to form intransitive verbs. Thus, in his system,

a verb like admire combines with its object to form an intransitive verb,

say admires Jack/everyone and this derived expression is, as expected, of

category (t/e). This complex intransitive verb is then able to combine with a

subject to form a sentence.

Cresswell (1973, 1985), introducing, as he does, lambda binding directly

into the categorial grammar, uses this enrichment to provide verbs with the

arguments they would normally be assigned in a logical language, namely,

members of category e. Many illustrations of this approach have been given

already. In the case of (8), one of the alternative strings could be analysed

as (8a).

Montague. First, it allows for the simple classification of transitive verbs as

members of category (t/(e,e)) - the arguments in question being the variables

in the propositional function. Second, it implies a straightforward treatment of

verbs of higher degree, such as give in terms of multiples of places. Thirdly,

and most importantly, it interlaces the syntactic and semantic representations.

The formula (admires,x,y) in (8a) is created by the syntax. In context with

Some category assignments 169

the lambdas, also outputs of the syntax, that formula can be interpreted by the

semantics in accord with the principles of satisfaction described in chapter 3.

As we saw in chapter 3, section 7, Cresswell's treatment also has the

advantage that it permits a simple and clear representation of the logical form

of sentences involving scope ambiguities as in the now well-worn example

provided earlier and repeated here as:

ical signs relative to their arguments is maintained, considerable licence is

permitted in the ordering of the nonlogical symbols. Thus, the surface order

of a sentence like (9) can be maintained in its logical form representations,

as in (9a) and (9b) - almost precise repetitions of (65c, d) in 3.7.

b. ((X.y(Everyone(X,x(loves,x,y)))) someone).

As noted earlier, 7.2, these deep structures can be converted into shallow

structures simply by applying logical deletion. Although Cresswell seems

now (1985) to have weakened this transformational-like position, it has im-

mense appeal because of its simplicity if nothing else. It is, moreover, close,

as far as erasure is concerned, to Montague's own treatment in which disam-

biguated representations, "analysis trees" are related to their natural-language

counterparts by the deletion of subnodes and rule numbers.

An attractive feature of Montague's treatment of transitive verbs is that it

brings the phrase structure syntax of the disambiguated language directly into

line with the usual linguistic analysis of a sentence into a noun phrase and a

verb phrase - with "intransitive verb" corresponding to "verb phrase". Thus,

in his system, the options in (8) would be represented in a tree equivalent,

in phrase structure, to (8b).

However, this pleasing property is also present, albeit less obviously, in our

lambda representations which, as I have said, have the additional advantage

of being directly interpretable.

170 Categorial grammar

The decision to treat transitive verbs as of category (t/(e,e)) appears to conflict

with the fact that, in surface structure, many verbs can occur without an

explicit object, as in:

In traditional transformational grammar, eat would be specified in its lex-

ical entry as tolerating object-deletion, unlike a verb such as hit which is

resistant to that transformation.

Assuming that the operation of logical deletion removes any unevaluated

variable, the representation of (10) will be (10a) in which the verb is correctly

shown as taking two arguments.

(10) a. (Jack (Χ,χ (X,y (eats,x,y)))).

By contrast, (11) will have the lambda structure (11a) since the progressive

aspect implies that Jack is eating something specific.

a. (X,y (Jack (\,x (eat,x,y)))).

Neither (10a) nor (11a) is, of course, an adequate representation of the

meaning of the relevant sentence. As indicated earlier, chapter 4, it is essential

that the domain of the object variable be suitably restricted. The most obvious

way in which this is to be accomplished is in the semantic rule for the verb

through the inclusion of a clause such as [eatable(y)]. I ignore semantic rules

for the present, see chapter 8.

Although a verb like eat is always transitive, there is a large number which

may function either in category (t/e) or (t/(e,e)). This is illustrated by burn

in the following pair.

(13) The letter burned.

Several problems concerning the categorisation of verbs remain. One of

the most important is posed by the relation between particles and adverbs

and verbs in such structures as:

(14) Jack ran off/away/back.

(15) Sally looked for John.

(16) Jack turned off the television.

Some category assignments 171

ence books and linguistic studies of English bear testimony to the consider-

able difficulty which they present. I shall restrict myself here to particles and

leave the question of adverbs until later.

The main difficulty is, of course, to identify and separate particles from

true prepositions which combine with nominals to form adverbs. Particles are

always to be counted as integral to the verb. Adverb-forming Prepositions,

on the other hand, should be categorised separately.

To deal with the easiest case first: it is standard practice to recognise a

subcategory of transitive verbs known as "phraseal verbs". Such verbs are

discontinuous in that they consist morphologically of a verb and a particle.

For example, the expression turn off in (16) is a phraseal verb, while turn

off in (17) is an intransitive verb plus a true preposition.

To show that this is so, we may appeal to the fact that, in English, pronom-

inal objects of phraseal verbs enforce postponing of the particle, a transfor-

mation which is optional when the object is not a pronoun. In the case of

non-phraseals, however, postponing is not permitted. Thus, (18) can mean

the same thing as (16) but not (17).

Conversely, (19) can have the meaning of (17) but not of (16).

Given this distinction between the particle off in (16, 18) and the prepo-

sition off in (17, 19), we can categorise the former as combining with a

transitive verb to form a transitive verb, i.e. of category ((t/(e,e))/(t/(e,e))).

The transitive verb which results may, then, be treated just like any other,

presuming, of course, some rule for handling the positional facts of postpon-

ing.

The need for such a postponing rule is, probably, the best reason for

treating the particle as a distinct category. It would, otherwise, be simpler

and more in concert with the view that the resulting structures are complete

verbs to treat the particle as part of the verb and thus distinguish between:

turn o f f , turn on, turn up, turn over, turn out, etc..

More difficult are cases like (15). Montague's (1973) treatment would

categorise for as a true preposition and, thus, would analyse for John as an

adverb. Such a treatment, however, is not plausible from a semantic point of

view. Look for seems to operate semantically as a whole unit equivalent to

172 Categorial grammar

seek. Further, as Cresswell (1973) says, Montague's analysis does not allow

for a straightforward representation of ambiguities of scope, as in the two

readings of (20).

further suggested by the fact that adverbials are readily subject to certain

stylistic movement rules, but not so phraseals or cases like for John. Thus,

while (23) is normal, (22) is barely so and (21) is certainly not acceptable.

does not require us to separate the verb and its particle. We may, therefore,

regard the particle in look for and similar transitives as part of the verb.

One considerable advantage of treating for as part of the verb, in such

cases, is the simplicity with which ambiguous cases like (20) can be treated.

If looks for is analysed as a transitive verb of category (t/(e,e)), cases like

(20) are represented as (20a) or (20b), exactly paralleling the alternative

representations of (9) in 7.3.2.

Obviously, we may have discontinuous intransitives as well as transitive

verbs, as (14) demonstrates. Since the particle, in such cases, is not subject

to postponing - though it can be moved stylistically - , there is no need to

think of it as belonging to a distinct category. Accordingly, I shall take such

cases as ran off/away as basic.

In (5.4), I discussed some problems presented by attitudinal verbs. Among

such verbs, some, like want, take an infinitival complement, as in:

the verb which is then categorised as a member of ((t/e)//(t/e)) - the double

slash distinguishing, for example, try to from an adverb. One difficulty with

this approach is that it does not allow for a uniform treatment of infinitives

since, for example, it does not apply to structures like (25):

Some category assignments 173

As a very simple solution to cases like (24) - though not (25) - one might

regard to as something which combines with an intransitive verb to form

something which combines with an intransitive verb to form an intransitive

verb, i.e. of category ({(t/e)/(t/e)}/(t/e)).

However, since we want to be able to incorporate the empty categories

of Binding theory, including Pro, into logical representations, this simple

approach would not be justified. Pro is of category e and we must, therefore,

in keeping with the remarks in (5.4), regard the relevant clause as denoting

an open proposition, not an intransitive verb. Thus, under this solution, to, in

infinitival constructions like that in (24), would be something which combines

with a member of category, t, to form something which combines with an

intransitive verb to form an intransitive verb. That is, its category would be

({(t/e)/(t/e)}/t).

A more attractive view of infinitival clauses, adopted, for example, by

Cresswell (1973), is that they constitute nominals and are, thus, of category

(t/(t/e)). In this approach, wants in (24) is a transitive. In his own treatment,

Cresswell regards the word to as a surface structure device with no seman-

tic force which merely marks the infinitival status of the nominal, allowing,

among other things, for the morphology of the verb. I shall follow this nom-

inal approach and, in doing so, shall postulate an abstract complementiser inf

which takes a sentence and yields a nominal and is, therefore, of category

((t/(t/e))/t).

A considerable advantage of this alternative over Montague's treatment is

that it simplifies the syntactic analysis of infinitives with specified subjects,

as in:

A logical representation of (26) would then be, ignoring the internal struc-

ture of the complement:

This nominal approach also has the advantage of generality. Under it, a

straightforward treatment of cases like (25) is possible. While the internal

structure of the infinitive itself may be highly complex, its nominal status

allows, in principle, for an analysis of no greater complexity than:

174 Categorial grammar

Montague (1973) treated as an integral part of a verb of propositional attitude.

In his analysis, believe that is a single item and is of category ((t/e)/t).

However, as the earlier discussion indicated, it is better to treat that as a

sentential complementiser, in which case, it is an expression of the same

category as the abstract infinitival complementiser inf, i.e. ((t/(t/e))/t).

Just as there are verbs like burn which can be transitive or intransitive, so

there are verbs which can take either an infinitival or a sentential complement.

Thus, seem and appear may occur in a variety of structures, as the following

show.

I shall not here discuss the syntactic complications which surround verbs

like seem - for a recent discussion, see Köster (1986). I merely note the

fact that, since both infinitive and sentential complements are treated alike,

as nominals, the ability of such verbs to take both types of complement need

not be reflected in our categorisation as it must in Montague's.

A very important group of verbs, in English, is the auxiliary system.

Auxiliary verbs are, semantically, sentence modifiers in that they provide

tense, aspect, mood, etc. in terms of which propositions are to be interpreted.

They are, therefore, to be treated as of category (t//t). The double slash is

required to ensure that auxiliary verbs can undergo the usual range of syntactic

operations, such as, modals excluded, number concord, which do not apply

to words like possibly. Under this analysis, (30) has the representation (30a).

a. (Percy(\,x( will(disappear,x)))).

or as full verbs. As auxiliaries, they conspire with the affixes -ed and -ing

which are, of course, affixed to the first and second verb, full or auxiliary, to

their right.

7.3.4 Wh-words

As we saw in chapter 5, it is reasonable to treat wh-words almost as if they

were quantifiers of a special kind which bind variables. Accordingly, words

like who and what will have scopes in the formulae of lambda expressions.

Some category assignments 175

This will, of course, mean that wh-variables are of category, e, just like the

ordinary term variables falling within the scopes of quantifiers.

The simplest case is one in which the wh-word acts as subject of the main

verb, as in:

formational model - no movement is involved. Wh-words which can occur in

such structures will be of category (t/(t/e)), so that a possible representation

of (31) is (31a).

clauses, as the subscript indicates. Clearly, if it is felt necessary to include an

explicit clause restricting the domain of the wh-word in such representations,

the relevant clause must be marked as logical so that logical deletion can

apply. This can easily be done by adopting the usual set-theoretic notation

used in chapter 5.

Consider, now, yes/no questions such as:

Since, as the options show, do, in such cases, is not the full, transitive do,

but an auxiliary, it is in category (t//t). The representation corresponding to

the first option in (32) is, therefore, (32a).

(32) a. (Did(Jack(X,x(run,x))))?

Since we can give representations for yes/no questions like (32), we are

also in a position to represent the more complicated structures of wh-questions

like (33) in which the wh-variable occupies object position in the open for-

mula, as in (33a):

Unlike who, the wh-words which and what, however, may form complex

nominals, as in which cartoon. For the moment, let us ignore the internal

structure of such nominals and assume them to be of category (t/(t/e)). The

logical form representation for (34) is (34a).

176 Categorial grammar

a. (Which,cartoonq(X,yq(did(Jack(\,x(draw,x,yq))))))?

It is standard practice to treat common, count nouns as of category (t//e). That

is to say, they have the same semantical, i.e. logical, status as intransitive

verbs. However, as the double slash indicates, they function differently from a

purely syntactic point of view. This treatment accords well with our common-

sense feeling that, for example, to be a musician is to have the property of

musicianship. Treating common nouns in natural language as intransitive

verbs conforms with their normal logical translations, as in:

a. (Student,Percy).

combine with intransitive verbs directly to form sentences. Instead, as (35)

illustrates, common nouns form heads of nominals and it is these latter con-

stituents which combine with the verb phrase.

There are several such complex nominals to be considered. Some are

without complement and have a common noun as head, e.g. each student.

Some have a measure word as head with mass noun as complement, e.g. a

gallon of milk. Some have a collective noun as head with plural count noun

as complement, e.g. a team of horses. Finally, some consist of quantifier-

head with complex complement, as in all of the students. I shall consider the

variety without complement first.

Let us, for convenience, call complex nominals with common nouns as

their heads "quantifier phrases". Such phrases may feature logical quantifiers,

as in: every man, some man and all men. Alternatively, the quantifier may

be proportional, as in: many men and few men.

Exactly the same considerations which prompt us to regard quantifier

words like everyone as higher order functions apply also to quantifier noun

phrases. It follows, therefore, that, in such constructions, quantifiers should

combine with members of (t//e) to form members of (t/(t/e)). Thus, on this

simple view, their category symbol should be ((t/(t/e))/(t//e)).

It will be recalled from chapter 4, however, that many quantifiers can

function as unitary nominals without overt restriction, as in:

Some category assignments 177

In such cases, it might seem that their category should be (t/(t/e)). A better

approach would be to envisage the presence, in logical form, of an empty

category which acts as the head of the noun phrase. Such a head, H, would

be of category (t//e). A suggestion not unlike this was made by Partee in

an early paper (1962) and I discuss an important construction involving it

below.

As suggested earlier, it is possible to regard the definite and indefinite

articles, the and a/an, as quantifiers and, indeed, this is Montague's practice.

There are difficulties with this approach. For example, since they cannot

function as unitary nominals, articles cannot freely interchange with ordinary

quantifiers in all contexts, e.g. in the phrase all of us, and this restriction needs

to be included in their lexical entries, e.g. by giving them the feature [-H], To

treat them as quantifiers, however, seems semantically very plausible. This is

especially so if we adopt a Russellian view of definite descriptions in which

the leopard denotes a set consisting of one unique individual.

Treating quantifiers as of category ((t/(t/e))/(t//e)) is, however, an oversim-

plification. Many scholars, including Cresswell (1973) and Montague (1973),

view them as functions of two arguments of category (t/e). From a syntactic

point of view, given two such arguments, they yield a sentence as value. On

this sophisticated analysis, a word like every is of category (t/((t//e),(t/e))).

Although I do not wish to discuss, in detail, semantic rules in this chap-

ter, the above assignment seems, at first, so odd that it deserves justification

forthwith. I shall, therefore, give a simplified restatement of Cresswell's se-

mantic rules for every, a/an and the - he does not, of course, claim that they

really represent the full meaning of the words involved.

such that if its first argument is true of any individual, then its second

argument is true of that individual.

To illustrate: if we claim:

then, we claim that, for each individual of whom it is true to say that that

individual is a man, it is also true that he has the property of being mortal.

such that, if its first argument is true of at least one individual, then

its second argument is true of the same individual.

178 Categorial grammar

such that there is exactly one individual of whom both its first and

second arguments are simultaneously true.

yield a sentence as their value, a way must still be found of creating nominals

involving them. This is done through the use of lambda abstraction. Thus,

the quantifier phrase some bird has the following logical form representation:

with verbs to yield sentences. Hence, quantifier phrases, including unitary

nominals as in (36), and proper nouns are of the same category.

I remarked above that the wh-words which/what may combine with com-

mon nouns to form complex nominals. Since wh-words seem to function

much like quantifiers, it is reasonable to regard which and what, in such con-

structions as which bird, as having the same category as quantifiers. Thus,

which bird is represented by: (A,x,/ e (which bird xt/e)).

While we are now in a position to describe such sentences as (39), we are

left with a host of problems connected with quantifier noun phrases, such as

those exhibited in (40) and (41).

In (40), all, unlike every, requires that the head be plural and this, in turn,

necessitates plural concord on the verb. A similar situation holds in the case

of some, though optionally. Thus, beside such constructions as some man,

we have some men - there are, of course, semantic differences which will

have to be accounted for, perhaps by distinguishing between two underlying

items, somei and somej. Such semantic problems aside for now, these facts

about number concord can be built into the relevant lexical entries.

The problems posed by (41) are more difficult. In (41), each of the op-

tions is a complex quantifier phrase involving two quantifier phrases and the

preposition of. The claim that the first of the expressions flanking of, like its

fellow, is a quantifier phrase, not a simple quantifier is, in part, supported by

the reality of parallel structures such as six members of the committee and

the leaders of the delegation which have specified heads.

Some category assignments 179

Partee (1962) was, I think, the first to suggest that, in such examples as

(41), the first quantifier actually determines a head of its own in deep structure

which is deleted. Thus ,five of the students would be derived from five students

of the students. This proposal, however, required that the first head be identical

with the second in order to qualify for deletion. It was also a trifle implausible

in cases like five of the students who enjoyed themselves. Such an expression

would, presumably, require an underlying form five students who enjoyed

themselves of the students who enjoyed themselves . . . , but such repetition of

the restrictive relative would seem to nullify its semantic purpose as modifier

of the second head. For such reasons, therefore, it seems best, as noted earlier,

to envisage the presence in logical form of the unspecified element Η which

could serve as head in the first phrase. This phrase would, then, have the

logical form representation: (λ, λ:,/^(Five Η x,/e)).

Further support for the above suggestion comes from the fact that, in

constructions such as those in (41), the first quantifier has to be one which

can appear as a unitary nominal in structures like (36). Thus, we cannot have

*every of the men, or *the of the men.

There are problems surrounding the corestrictions between quantifier phras-

es in the constructions under discussion, but I shall ignore these, here. Instead,

I shall confine my attention to the preposition.

It does not seem plausible to treat the occurrences of of in (41) as be-

longing to the category of vacuous prepositions. Far from being a mere case

marker, of in (41) has a clearly partitive sense. This is indicated by the fact

that such structures can be reformulated, in the manner of Lees (1960), as:

possible, as the following pair demonstrates.

the lexicon.

In light of the internal structure of these complex phrases, it seems appro-

priate to assign partitive of to the category ({t/(t/e)}/{(t/(t/e)),(t/(t/e))}). That

is: of, in such constructions, takes, as arguments, two higher order functions

of category (t/(t/e)) to yield a higher order function of the same category.

This reflects the true status of the flanking quantifier phrases and seems to

be close to the partitive use of of. It would, of course, be easy to reformulate

180 Categorial grammar

the category name in such a way as to allow the preposition to combine first

with the phrase to its right and the resulting structure to combine with the

initial quantifier phrase.

In contrast to partitive of in structures like (41), the preposition is used

in a genitive sense in:

mous with alternatives such as:

further, assume that it has the same category status as partitive of.

However, as (46) demonstrates, genitive case may also be marked, in

English, by affixing 's to a nominal - that it is a nominal, not a common noun

is demonstrated by cases like Percy's. This suggests that the categorisation

for 's is ((t/(t/e))/{(t/(t/e)),(t//e)}). That is to say, it is a function which takes a

nominal and a common noun as arguments and yields a nominal as its value.

As mentioned above and in chapter 5, one source of vacuous preposi-

tions is case marking in compound nominals. In English, the preposition is,

commonly, of, as in the bottom of the ocean, or the downfall of the Russian

empire, though to is also used, as in a sister to John - I shall not consider

this latter case. Since, of always links two independent noun phrases in such

structures, it should be assigned to the same category as its partitive and

genitive counterparts discussed above.

It is to be noted that it is this vacuous of which appears in complex nom-

inals with measure words and collective nouns. That this is so is suggested

by the fact that it does not behave like partitive of as is witnessed by the

ungrammaticality of both of the following:

Nor does it behave like genitive of as is suggested by the fact that structures

containing it cannot be alternatively expressed with 's, as the following show:

Some category assignments 181

case marker in adjective phrases such as full of water. This construction is

illustrated by:

Such phrases do not occur in attributive position, as can be seen from the

unacceptability of:

verbs, to category ((t/e)/(t/e)), as in Cresswell (1985), then vacuous of in

expressions such as (51) should be of category: ({(t/e)/(t/e)}/{[(t/e)/(t/e)],

(t/(t/e))}). The import of this monster is to say that of combines, in adjective

phrases, with a verb phrase modifier and a nominal to form a verb phrase

modifier.

It will be observed that the complement of of in full of water is a mass

noun. While this is not a necessary feature of such constructions - see, for

instance,/«// of the books you bought it is interesting because it reflects the

ability of such nouns to function in category (t/(t/e)). Mass nouns share this

ability with abstract nouns like honesty and, hence, both frequently appear

as unitary nominals in subject or object role, as in:

A major problem surrounding mass and abstract nouns is, however, that

they can also appear as the heads of noun phrases, as in:

182 Categorial grammar

Clearly, in such uses, these nouns must be assigned to the category (t//e) of

common nouns. This is also necessary when they occur in adjective phrases

as heads of quantifier phrases, as in full of the water.

A preferable alternative to allowing mass and abstract nouns to function

in category (t/(t/e)) as well as in (t//e), is to have an empty quantifier zero.

This quantifier would optionally combine with mass and abstract nouns of

category (tJle) to form members of (t/(t/e)).

The empty quantifier can also combine with plural count nouns, so justi-

fying their appearance in such sentences as:

transformational grammar and, as we saw in chapter 5 - and as my proposal

for Η implies - there is certainly no hostility towards empty categories in

current linguistic theory. To my mind, it is a considerable advantage of such

an analysis that it unifies cases like those discussed above. We could, of

course, take plurality as a quantifier and so justify cases like (61) without

reference to the empty quantifier, but then the unified treatment is lost.

Treating predicative adjectives as of category ((t/e)/(t/e)) allows them to be

united with verb phrase adverbs, which can also be treated as of that cate-

gory - I shall refer briefly below to an alternative analysis of adverbs adopted

by some authors.

Adverbs, as with adjective phrases, may be simple or complex, as in:

In Montague's (1973) treatment, adverbs are divided into two very general

classes, verb phrase modifiers, as illustrated above, and sentential adverbs.

The latter, along with the negator not are members of category (t/t) and

include the modal operators discussed in chapter 3, such as necessarily and

possibly.

As is well known, there are many problems surrounding adverbs which

the above categorisation does not address. At the level of classification, there

are adverbs which operate both as verb phrase and sentential modifiers. Thus,

for example, naturally in (64) modifies the verb phrase, but in (65), its scope

is the entire sentence - these examples are from Quirk - Greenbaum (1973).

Some category assignments 183

positions at the level of surface structure. The full range of options is exhibited

in (66). It is, however, to be noted that, while clearly is a sentential adverb in

initial position, in other positions, it is a verb phrase modifier in the absence

of punctuation.

{clearly}.

There are many stylistic factors involved in adverb placement. For in-

stance, though initial position is possible for a predicate modifying adverb,

as in:

to be involved in these variations of position, they need not be reflected in

logical form.

In an early treatment, Montague (1970a) classified all adverbs as sentence

modifiers, "adformulas". Obviously, using lambda abstracts, it is perfectly

easy to accommodate this approach and, at the same time, ensure that the

logical form representations are correct. Thus, in the following representation,

quickly modifies a formula and yet remains part of the verb phrase.

Certainly, it makes the task of formulating semantic rules for items like

necessarily and rapidly unnecessarily complicated. I shall, therefore, with

Cresswell (1985), assume Montague's (1973) broad classification and the

category assignments provided.

Within this broad classification, it would seem that prepositions which

figure in complex adverbs should be of category (((t/e)/(t/e))/(t/(t/e))). This

allows both for adverb phrases with proper nouns, as in in Paris and adverb

phrases with quantifier phrases as in around every churchyard. It is obvious, of

course, that the prepositions which figure in these structures are not vacuous.

Thus, around in the example just given, is very different in meaning to in in

in every churchyard.

Complex adverbs also occur as sentence modifiers, as in:

184 Categorial grammar

In such cases, the head is a noun phrase and the preposition is of category

((t/t)/(t/(t/e))). I shall ignore this use of prepositions here.

These few remarks on the categorisation of adverbs and predicative ad-

jectives provide, of course, a meagre image of the semantic complexities

involved in this type of modification. I have not, for example, even men-

tioned the fact that adverbs fall into different semantic classes, classically

partitioned into: time, e.g. today, frequency, e.g. often, manner, e.g. harshly,

and place, for example, in Paris. I shall return to this classification briefly in

the next chapter.

To categorise predicative adjectives and adverbs as above is, of course,

inappropriate for their attributive use, as in big tower in Paris. When they

modify nouns directly, they may be thought of as members of category

((t//e)/(t//e)). That is to say, they combine with a common noun to form

a common noun. The resulting common nouns are subject to all of the mod-

ificational possibilities of their basic counterparts, including modification by

other adjectives, as in bright, young student, by quantifiers, as in every young

student/every bright, young student from Paris and they may appear in parti-

tive constructions such as six of the bright, young students.

At first sight, it appears that there is considerable redundancy involved in

allowing for two categories of adjective and adverb, attributive and predica-

tive. Traditional, transformational analysis, as mentioned in chapter 4, treated

all attributive cases as originating in predicative position, so that (70) was

related by "relative-be deletion" and "adjective placement" to (71).

treatment of attributive and predicative adjectives and adverbs is very attrac-

tive. However, it is attended by some major difficulties. Most importantly,

there are many adjectives - called "reference modifiers", Bolinger (1967) -

which occur in attributive position only. These adjectives, which include:

same, future, late, Southern and scores of others, seem to have an identify-

ing function and are of high frequency. If they are derived from predicative

Some category assignments 185

underlying environment must be ungrammatical. By contrast, there are some

adjectives, such as asleep which, since they originate historically in preposi-

tional phrases, cannot occur in attributive position and so must be excluded

from the reduction and placement transformations.

As far as adverbs are concerned, while there seem to be none which occur

in attributive position only, simple adverbs, such as harshly, may appear only

in predicative position.

It is also to be noted that constructions involving noun modifiers cannot

be readily explained as deriving from relative clauses. Thus, for example, the

phrase furniture shop is perfectly grammatical, but the phrase shop which is

furniture is most certainly not. We must, therefore, categorise noun modifiers,

along with attributive adjectives and adverbs, as of category ((t//e)/(t//e)).

The treatment of relative clauses is, as the remarks above suggest, a fairly

complicated matter in English. They are, however, of semantic interest and

cannot be altogether ignored.

The most fundamental distinction to be made among such clauses is that

referred to in chapter 4 between restrictive and nonrestrictive or appositional

clauses, as in:

(74) The hills which surround the city are steep. = restrictive relative.

(75) The hills, which surround the city, are steep. = nonrestrictive clause.

logical form, the appositives are conjuncts. These facts would, in a traditional

grammar, be summarised in the differences between (74a) and (75a).

(74) a. [5 [NP The hills such that [5 they surround the city]] are steep].

(75) a. [5 & [5 The hills are steep] [5 They surround the city]].

It will be observed that (74a) makes use of the connective such that, in

the manner of Quine (1960). If such regimentations are taken seriously, as in

Montague (1973), it should be observed that (74a) is defective in that it does

not make it clear that such that actually connects the sentence which follows

it not with the preceding nominal as a whole, but with the common noun,

hills, which acts as its head. Thus, such that is of category ((t//e)/((t//e),t)).

Given such a treatment, we would, therefore, distinguish the restrictive rel-

186 Categorial grammar

ative connective such that from its sentential counterpart and which is of

category (t/(t,t)) and figures only in appositive constructions.

The justification for assigning such that to the category ((t//e)/((t//e),t)) is

semantic and is, again, due to Quine (1960). As Partee (1975) points out,

in an expression like (76), Montague's Russellian view of the requires that

the assertion of uniqueness which the definite article makes should extend

beyond the common noun, fish, to include the property denoted by the relative

clause - there is just one thing which is both a fish and walks. Obviously,

parallel considerations hold for other quantifiers like every.

the representation of relative and appositive clauses departs somewhat from

the traditional formulations exemplified in (74a, 75a). In particular, the rele-

vant pronouns will be base generated and will appear in surface position so

that movement transformations are unnecessary.

Since the pronoun that can occur in relatives, but not in appositives, we can

employ it as a generalised relative. The logical representations corresponding

to (74a) and (75a) will be (74b) and (75b).

(X,x(are steep,x))).

(X,x(are steep,x))).

7.3.9 Comparison

An important function of natural language is the expression of degrees of

difference or similarity. The former is accomplished through so-called "com-

parative" constructions and the latter via their "equative" counterparts.

Difference and similarity of degree are expressed in respect of all four

major parts of speech, nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.

Since difference of degree is a property of properties, and since adjectives

and adverbs denote properties directly, they frequently allow, in their mor-

phology for the marking of proportion. Thus, for example, beside the positive

adjective young and adverb fast, we have their comparative and superlative

counterparts, namely, younger/faster and youngest/fastest. In a few cases,

comparison is by suppletion, as in good/better/best.

Some category assignments 187

son. This is usually by suppletion, more/most and less/least, but few has the

regular forms fewer/fewest.

When their morphology does not allow affixation, adjectives and adverbs

are marked for comparative and superlative by the appropriate form of the

proportional quantifiers much for positive comparison and little for negative.

Thus, we have: more/most remarkable and more/most rapidly beside less/least

remarkable/rapidly.

Unlike adjectives and adverbs, nouns and verbs, in English, do not permit

morphological changes to indicate degree. They, therefore, combine with

the appropriate form of the proportional quantifiers. Count nouns combine

with the count quantifiers many/few, as in many/more/most people, beside the

negative constructions few/fewer/fewest rabbits. Mass nouns take appropriate

noncount quantifiers, e.g. much/more/most/little/less money. Verbs are also

regarded as noncount in respect of comparison.

In the remainder of this subsection, I shall concentrate on comparative

structures only, taking up equatives shortly.

Consider, first, the following range of positive comparisons.

as:

(86) Sally plays tennis/the piano less than she plays squash.

188 Categorial grammar

the level of logical form for an abstract category representing the notion of

comparison. In traditional grammar, this category has the positive and nega-

tive forms more and less. However, since these are not fully representative,

failing to reflect the morphology of few, I prefer to employ the neutral Comp

for this role.

Comp, which relies for its semantic force on the relations {>, <}, is, in

some respects, like a proportional quantifier. It is realised as the comparative

inflection and so appears either as the morpheme -er, as in fewer, brighter,

or suppletively, as in more/less/better.

One important difference between Comp and words like much/many is

that Comp qualifies the proportional quantifiers themselves. The resulting

comparative may, in turn, be modified intensively by much, as in much more.

Since comparison of degree is a property of properties, I shall treat Comp

as an affix which combines with an adjective, adverb, or quantifier to form

an adjective, adverb, or quantifier.

As (77-88) show, Comp appears with than. While than is often taken to

be a complementiser, I prefer to think of it as a particle which combines with

Comp to form a correlative conjunction Comp than. The simplest way of

viewing this conjunction is as of category (t/(t,t)). However, since properties

of properties are concerned rather than propositions, I shall take it as of

category ((t/e)/((t/e),t)).

Although Comp is usually realised, in the correlative, as -er when an

adjective or adverb allows for this, utterances with explicit quantification are

fairly commonly employed for purposes of emphasis or contrast, even in

these circumstances, as the following shows:

It will be seen from (77-88), that, while more/less normally precede com-

pared adjectives and adverbs, in the case of verb phrase comparisons (80,

81, 86, 87), they are adjacent to than. In the case of common noun object

comparisons (79, 79a, 85, 85a), they determine the first object noun. When

quantities of subjects are compared, (82, 88), the first subject is determined.

Since I take Comp, in structures like (77-89), to be part of the conjunction

Comp than, I shall assume that it is adjacent to than at the level of logical

form and that its surface position depends upon the application of movement

rules.

Some category assignments 189

Unlike and, which conjoins sentences, it is subordinating. Thus, this kind of

conjunction is not commutative. Further, while ellipses in the first conjunct

are possible, as in:

following examples are illustrative.

suggested by cases like the following in which comparative adjectives are

attributive.

predicatives in relative clauses, though, as in the earlier case of positive at-

tributives, there may be good reasons for avoiding this manoeuvre. Certainly,

such derivational histories would be complex for attributive superlatives, as

in:

alisation of an underlying abstract element Super which, in many respects

behaves like Comp. An important difference between the two elements, how-

ever, is that, unlike Comp, Super cannot combine with than to form a con-

junction, as the ungrammaticality of the following shows.

of much/many plus Super. The same goes, mutatis mutandis for least. The

count quantifiers many/few cannot, of course, figure in the derivation of the

comparative or superlative forms of adjectives.

Both (95) and (96) have alternative surface structures which explicitly

feature partitive of, namely:

190 Categorial grammar

To account for thfese cases, we need only invoke the abstract head Η referred

to earlier in the treatment of quantifiers. Thus, bigger is attributed to Η and

is, thus, an expression of category ((t//e)/(t//e)). The derived common noun

then combines with the definite article to form, via lambda abstraction, an

expression of category (t/(t/e)), which can, of course, enter into partitive

constructions with of.

We may also employ Η to supply the missing head in reduced partitive

constructions involving comparatives and superlatives, as in:

of the two.

Although the proportional quantifiers do not figure in attributive compar-

atives, they may, of course, provide the bases for determiner quantification,

as (79, 82, 85, 88) above show. The same holds for superlatives, as in the

following.

7.3.10 Intensifiers

Comparable, or gradable, adjectives and adverbs, like tender/ly, unlike their

absolute counterparts, such as correct/ly, may be modified by intensifiers like

very, as in very sultry, quite rapidly.

That it is an error to regard such words as adverbs - a common practice -

is evidenced by various distributional restrictions. Thus, for example, while

adverbs may modify independently, intensifiers cannot, as the ungrammati-

cally of the following shows:

in all functions. Thus, in (104) very modifies both predicative and sentential

clearly.

Some category assignments 191

tives:

As noted in the previous section, the word much can also function as an

intensifier. This is particularly common when comparatives involving more

are intensified, as in much more rapid/ly, though other intensifies may also

be used, as in rather more rapid/ly.

Although comparatives are frequently intensified, superlatives obviously

may not be. Thus, in an expression like the very highest mountain, very is to

be taken, in its original use, as an adjective meaning true/absolute.

From these facts, it follows that intensifiers combine with adjectives and

adverbs to yield either of the three modifier categories:

that we have strings of iterated intensifiers such as very, very young/rapidly.

7.3.11 Equatives

Just as we can analyse comparatives involving than in terms of a conjunc-

tive function, so also can we treat equative constructions as combinations of

a sentence with an intransitive verb, resulting in an intransitive verb. The

conjunction employed for this purpose is correlative as as. Thus, like Comp

than, the equative conjunction is of category ((t/e)/((t/e),t)).

Obviously, the treatment of discontinuous elements is not entirely straight-

forward for a categorial grammar, as my discussion of comparative conjunc-

tion implied. If they are assigned to categories on the basis of their surface

representations, the first component has to combine with some constituent

to its right so as to produce something which can link up with something

to its right to form the whole. Alternatively, the second combines with the

constituent to its left in preparation for the final combination. Finally, the

elements may be combined sequentially either from left to right or right to

left. Such procedures are entirely practical, but not always in accord with our

intuitions. Thus, for example, to say that as much money, or much money as

in (108) below is an entire unit which combines with as to conjoin the two

sentences is hardly convincing or simple.

192 Categorial grammar

components of discontinuous elements such as as as, either or, . . . , are ad-

jacent and that their surface separation is the result of movement rules.

Equative constructions, like their comparative counterparts, can be positive

or negative and may be formulated in terms of adjectives, adverbs, nominals

or verbs. Unlike Comp than, as as is commutative. However, as with com-

paratives, while ellipsis is rarely found in the first conjunct, the sentential

argument is open to a variety of reductions, a few of which are reflected in

the following examples.

has/has socks}.

quantifiers much, many, little, few appear explicitly in the nominal and verbal

equations. Further, as with comparatives, the quantifier is moved into the

nominal in cases like (108, 108a), in contrast to equations involving unitary

nominals or entire verb phrases, as in (109, 110).

These facts suggest the possibility of regarding the equative conjunction

as incorporating an abstract element which is the equative counterpart of

Comp and Super. Such an element could be represented by Positive which

relies for its semantic force on the relation = . However, since it would never

be realised in surface structure, and since the semantic rules for positive

proportional quantifiers should, anyway, involve the relation denoted by = ,

I shall continue to treat the conjunction simply as as as.

As with comparatives, a quantifier is sometimes used with adjective or

adverbial equations for special effects, as in:

Some category assignments 193

modal operator possible, as in:

highest degree relative to some notion of ability.

Finally, it is worth noting that equative constructions may incorporate

comparative ones but the reverse is scarcely acceptable, as the following,

rather clumsy structures indicate.

Three other constructions in which adjectives, adverbs, nominals and verbs

are used relatively rather than absolutely are degree complements. These

constructions involve either the particle too and an infinitive, so as plus an

infinitive, or so and a sentential complement. As in the case of all other

structures involving proportion, much/many and their negative counterparts

little/few denote degree when the property involved is expressed as a nominal

or verb.

The following cases are typical.

(125) Sally has so much/little money/so many/few books that she can't

move.

194 Categorial grammar

restricted to infinitive complements. Thus, for example, we cannot have:

(127) *Jack plays too much/so much as that he can study.

So, on the other hand, takes sentential complements only, as the ungrammat-

ically of the following demonstrates:

(128) *Sally has so many books to be a student.

The restriction of too and so as to infinitive complements has to do with

their semantic function and the nature of infinitives - it is not merely a matter

of use. Presumably, these elements indicate that a property is possessed to a

degree which precludes the possession of some other property. The futuristic,

unfulfilled connotations of infinitives noted by Bolinger (1968) is relevant

here.

Semantically, the most plausible approach would be to assume that too

and so as combine with to and so with that to form correlative conjunctions

which, like Comp than and as as, are of category ((t/e)/((t/e),t)).

The surface differences would then be represented at logical form by the

fact that the complement sentence of too and so as has Pro in subject position.

7.4 Abbreviations

The remarks in 7.3 have been somewhat discursive. However, they have been

sufficient to provide for the construction of a fairly rich sample categorial

grammar.

Before proceeding, it would be well to introduce some notational abbrevi-

ations since it would be tedious in the extreme constantly to employ the full

ideographic names for the various categories. In the following, the abbrevia-

tions sometimes coincide with the category they name. There is, moreover, a

measure of redundancy in writing out some categories which have identical

ideographs, but this is tolerated for ease of reference and completeness.

Abbreviations

Sentence t t

Negator (t/t) Neg

Sentence adverb (t/t) (t/t)

Conjunction (t/(t,t)) Conj

Disjunction (t/(t,t)) Disj

Correlative conjunction ((t/e)/((t/e),t)) Correl

Relative conjunction ((t//e)/((t//e),t)) Such That

Table 2. Nominals

Category Ideograph Abbreviation

Term variable e Vf

Wh-variable e vq

Pronoun e Pron

Pro e Pro

Proper noun (t/(t/e)) Τ

Common noun (t//e) CN

Quantifier (t/((t//e),(t/e))) Quant

Nominal (t/(t/e)) NP

partitive (NP/(NP,NP)) of

Genitive of (NP/(NP,NP)) Of

Genitive 's (NP/(NP,CN)) 's

Vacuous of (NP/(NP,NP)) Of

Table 3. Verbals

Category Ideograph Abbreviation

Intransitive verb (t/e) IV

Transitive verb (t/(e,e)) TV

Auxiliary verb (t//t) Aux

Complement- ((t/(t/e))/ {That,inf}

iser t)

Particle ((t/(e,e))/(t/(e,e))) Particle

196 Categorial grammar

Pred-adv. ((t/e)/(t/e)) (IV/IV)

Pred-adj. ((t/e)/(t/e)) (IV/IV)

vacuous of ((IV/IV)/ Of

((IV/IV),(NP)))

Attrib-adv. ((t//e)/(t//e)) (CN/CN)

Attrib-adj. ((t//e)/(t//e)) (CN/CN)

Noun-mod. ((t//e)/(t//e)) (CN/CN)

Comp {((IV/IV)/(IV/IV)), Comp

((CN/CN)/(CN/CN)),

((t/t)/(t/t))}

Super {((IV/IV)/(IV/IV)), Super

((CN/CN)/(CN/CN)),

((t/t)/(t/t))}

Intensifier {((IV/IV)/(IV/IV)), Intensif

((CN/CN)/(CN/CN)),

((t/t)/(t/t))}

Preposition {((IV/IV)/NP), Prep

((t/t)/NP)}

In section 7.2, I gave Cresswell's (1973) general rules for the formation of

wellformed expressions in a lambda categorial language - rules (R.l, R.2,

R.3) and (R.4). In this section, I shall consider some examples of rules which

"spell out" the operation of concatenation in respect of particular structures.

As usual, angles indicate that the enclosed elements are ordered.

The rules which I present are somewhat like Montague's (1973) "rules

of functional application", though they differ in detail and scope. The rules

assume the use of lambda abstracts. Under that assumption, the structures

they describe will be below the surface.

The simplest spelling out rules are those concerned with sentence modifiers

and connectives.

Spelling-out rules 197

possibly, may appear in several surface positions besides the one indicated.

Hence, the use of parentheses.

Since the negative operator is also a member of (t/t), it too is covered by

(R.8). Clearly, the rule oversimplifies negative placement greatly. In many

languages, including English, negatives may appear intrasententially. I have

adopted the oversimplification since a discussion of the surface syntax of

negation in English would be out of place in this study. The classic account

of that subject remains Klima (1964).

(R.9) If δ„ e Aux and a e t, then < δ„, a' > e t: where δη is an ordered set

and a ' is just like a save for any morphological changes determined

by the choice in δ„.

Comment: At the level of logical form, auxiliary verbs always prefix sen-

tences, which will be propositional functions. In English, multiple modifica-

tion by auxiliaries is strictly ordered, hence the need for δ„ to be an ordered

set. The changes in a' will be in respect of concord if δη is a single modal.

If δ„ contains aspectual auxiliaries, they will introduce the relevant affixes.

< α\,δ,α2 > and < δ, «2, Qi > e t.

only. The options reflect the differences in behaviour between co-ordinating

and subordinating conjunction and disjunction. In the former type, the con-

junction/disjunction is flanked by the conjuncts/disjuncts and their order

is, strictly, irrelevant. In the latter type, the connective, logical, e.g. al-

though/unless, or nonlogical, e.g. because/before, may appear in initial posi-

tion. In the subordinating cases, ordering is fixed.

The remainder of the rules are concerned with the internal structure of

sentences.

(R.l 1) If δ e IV and α € {e,pro, Pron, NP}, then < α, δ' > e t: Where δ' is

just like δ except for any language-specific morphological changes

to the first and second verb in δ required by the choice in a .

Comment: Since, at the level of logical form, verbs occur in formulae within

lambda expressions, the first verb in δ may, in fact, be a member of IV, TV,

or Aux. If the first verb is in Aux, then the second verb will undergo the

changes allowed for in (R.9).

198 Categorial grammar

< <5, α ϊ , ct2, . . . a„ > e t.

Comment: In this rule, the subscripts on a allow us to count any verbs of

higher degree than one as transitive.

Since the lambda expressions which involve transitive verbs are of cate-

gory IV, it is unnecessary to allow for morphological changes in their case

since that is already provided for in (R.l 1).

(B) if β e IV, < δ, α, β > e t.

Comment: (A) of (R. 13) allows for the creation of intransitive verbs by sup-

plying the relevant intransitives, e.g. is obvious, is easy, and their transitive

counterparts, e.g. believe, want, with their complements. (B) permits the for-

mation of sentences by supplying intransitives, e.g. is surprising, worries

Percy, with sentential or infinitival subject nominals.

As with the other rules, (R.13) will permit the creation of innumerable

ungrammatical strings. To construct the filters by which to remove them is,

however, the business of a grammar devoted to the description of English

as such. The restrictions on linear order might, however, be taken as partial

filters.

(R.l5) If δ e Such That and a and β e CN and t respectively, then

< α , δ , β > e CN.

Comment: The output of this rule may become the a argument of its input.

In principle, therefore, there is no restriction on the density of relative clause

embedding.

(R. 16) If δ e Quant and a e CN, then < δ,a' > e NP: where a' is just like

a except for any morphological changes imposed by the choice in

δ.

Comment: Since the empty categories zero and Η have the statuses of a

quantifier and a common noun respectively, unitary nominals like all and

water/honesty/books enjoy NP status under this rule as well as phrase nom-

inals like the child. The rule will also permit the unacceptable NP which

consists of no surface elements whatever, i.e. the combination of zero and

H. Any output of (R.l5) is, of course, a valid input to this rule.

The lexicon 199

(R.18) If δ e 's and ot\ and a2 e NP and CN respectively, then < < αι,δ >

, OL2 > e NP.

(R.20) If Si, 62 e CN/CN and α e CN, then < δ{, a > and < a, > e

CN.

Comment: If δι contains only adjectives and δ2 only adverbs, then rule (R.20)

ensures that adverbs do not premodify and, at the same time, allows for those

adjectives which postmodify. Strictly, these precautions are an indulgence

since they properly belong to a detailed account of English.

(R.21) If δ e Intensif and α e IV/IV, then < 6, a > e IV/IV and similarly

where a e CN/CN, or t/t.

(R.22) If δ e {Comp, Super } and a e IV/iV, then < a + δ > e IV/iV, and

similarly where a e CN/CN, t/t, or Quant.

(R.23) If δ e Of and α and β e IV/IV and NP respectively, then < a , <5, β >

e IV/IV.

Comment: In this rule, IV/IV is, of course, a predicative adjective. The con-

struction involved is exemplified by full of water.

(R.24) If δ e Prep and α e NP, then < «5, α > e {IV/IV, t/t }.

To complete a categorial grammar, it is necessary to construct a lexicon in

which all basic expressions in the sample are assigned to their respective

categories. I shall not attempt this enterprise here, but shall merely provide

a representative list for the sample developed in this chapter. In constructing

the list, I shall not try to represent the dictionary definitions of the various

items. I also ignore nonsemantic data, such as phonological representations.

One important point to be noted is that all derived categories must have

basic expressions. Thus, there must be basic intransitive verbs, basic common

200 Categorial grammar

basic category of sentence.

is as follows.

Basic category — Item

B, = {}

Bt/t = {not, possibly, clearly}

Β Conj = {and, although, because}

Bdisj = {or, unless }

Bcorrel = {as as, comp than, either or}

Be = {Pron, pro, V{ET(/} }

BJV = {run, burn, run off}

BAUX = {will, have-en, be-ing, do}

Β TV = {play, have, give,

look for, try, believe}

Bcomplementiser = {that, to}

BCN = {leopard, water, honesty}

BQUANT = {all, the, a, some, much,

many,little, few,

which, what}

BJV /IV = {tall, rapidly}

BCN/CN = {Southerly, young}

Bjntensif = {very, quite}

Bprep = {in, about, off}

Chapter 8

Semantic rules

which provides the background for this study assumes that the values of

derived expressions are determined by the denotations of basic expressions.

The denotations of proper nouns are constant functions and the denotations

of sentences are open propositions, functions from contextual properties to

propositions, or propositions. The values of propositions are, in turn, truth-

values or pragmatic values.

The domain of individuals or things, De, contains literally anything we can

possibly refer to, including individual concepts or "intensional objects" and

even propositions. For convenience, I shall take propositions as consisting of

possible worlds rather than of heavens.

Since we claim that the meaning of a sentence is arrived at by summing

the meanings of its parts in accordance with the compositional principle, it is

clearly necessary to say what the meanings of the parts are in terms of rules

which are based on their syntactic behaviour.

In chapter 3, I presented and discussed Montague's (1973) system of

semantic rules which determine the values of expressions under a given in-

terpretation. Montague's treatment is very elegant, but it is not at all explicit.

In this chapter, I shall provide rules for particular items representing the parts

of speech discussed in the last chapter.

To specify precisely what is to be the meaning of a given word would,

however, go far beyond the aims of this study. My rules will, therefore, not

be sufficiently detailed to constitute actual dictionary definitions. Thus, for

example, in proposing a semantic rule for a given word, say, quickly, I shall

not attempt to supply the details which would explain exactly what is its use

compared with, say, slowly. My rules will not constitute definitions in the

conventional, lexicographical sense.

The principal purpose of the rules will be to display general outlines of

the conditions which determine the satisfiability of complex expressions. In

some instances, for example, natural-language equivalents of logical con-

202 Semantic rules

stants, these conditions will be truth conditions and will be stated simply

as such. In others, such as nonlogical connectives like because, they are

nontruth-functional and in yet others, such as thin/many, they involve con-

ditions of appropriateness. In stating the rules, "met" will indicate that a

condition of appropriateness is in question.

Cresswell's (1973) idea of considering propositions as sets of possible

worlds allows him to present rules in a very general but precise way. I shall

adopt a looser format. However, since my rules are broadely modelled on

Cresswell's, it will be useful to display and comment on one of his examples.

If a proposition, p, is true in a world, w e W, then we may write (w e p)

to mean 'p is true in w \ Similarly, (w jk p) stands for 'p is false in w'.

Let V be a meaning assignment and "a e Dx" mean that α is a member

of the domain x. Further, let "a e Fx" mean that α is a function of category

x. Then the rule for negation will be:

(R.l) V(neg) is that function F^eg such that, for any a e Dt and w e W,

w e F(Q) if and only if w / a.

Verbalised: Neg is that function which, for any sentence and world, combines

with that sentence to form a sentence true in that world if and only if the

positive form of the same sentence is false in that world. That is to say: a

negated sentence is true if and only if the worlds which constitute its propo-

sitional content do not form the propositional content of the corresponding

affirmative.

In general, my own definitions will be simple versions of rules like (R.l).

The major simplification will consist in the omission of explicit reference to

the fact that members of W constitute a proposition. I shall, therefore, simply

say, in place of (R.l):

(R.l) a. V(Neg) is that function F^g such that, for any a e Dt, F(a) is 1 if

and only if a is 0.

quantification were thought necessary, it could be made explicit, as in the

following rough definition of inclusive or .

(R.2) V(or) is that function FDisj such that, for any α, β e D, and w e W,

F(a,/i) is 1 iff α and β are both 1, or either a or β is 1.

Logical and nonlogical connectives 203

simplest situation, namely, one in which the fragment consists only of atomic

propositions and connectives.

We may start by observing that the semantic rules for the logical con-

nectives: and, not, or and i f , given the discussion of implication, are largely

summed up in the usual truth tables displayed in chapter 3. That being so,

I shall not needlessly repeat that information here. I shall comment on the

supposed temporal use of and later.

The truth tables in themselves, however, are not sufficient bases for the

semantic analysis of all sentential connectives. They are not detailed enough

to allow for important differences in meaning between connectives which

may, from a purely logical point of view, substitute for each other. Just as

important, they have nothing to say about non-truth-functional connectives

like because.

To commence, it is very well known that English, in common with many

other languages, makes use of several connectives which, from a logical point

of view, are equivalent to the usual logical constants. Thus, for example, but,

in its conjunctive use, and although have precisely the same truth-functional

status as co-ordinating and, while unless behaves like or. However, it is

apparent that, from a purely linguistic perspective, these equivalences mask

important differences.

While but is a co-ordinating conjunction, although is subordinating. In

spite of this difference, however, both but and although share roughly the

same semantic structure in addition to their truth-functional meaning. Prob-

ably their least complicated use is exemplified by conjunctions like (1):

Clearly, the details of the use of these items are fine. However, what ap-

pears to be common to them both in (1) is the element of contrast. This

suggests the following as a first approximation to a semantic rule for but/

although. "Met" is employed here because both truth and pragmatical condi-

tions are involved.

(R.3) V({but, although}) is that function FC(mj such that, for any α, 3 e

Du F(a, 3) is met if and only if ( a & 3) is 1 and contrast{a, 3).

In this rule, it is not claimed that contrast{a. 3) must be true in w since that

would be to make that a truth-condition. Considered in this light, the condition

204 Semantic rules

but/although to be pragmatically satisfiable. Thus, (2) is unsatisfiable:

(2) Jack is fat but/although he isn 't thin.

However, the notion expressed by "A contrasts with B" is by no means

sufficient to provide the semantics of but and although. These connectives are

frequently employed to suggest the unexpected or surprising. Thus, for exam-

ple, (3) seems to imply that the one conjunct is an unexpected or surprising

sequel to the condition denoted by the other, while in (4), the simultaneous

possession of the two contrasting properties is regarded as surprising.

(3) Percy married Sally, but he didn't like her./ Although he married

Sally, Percy didn 't like her.

(4) Percy is young, but wise./ Although he is young, Percy is wise.

While I shall not attempt to discuss the additional semantic conditions

involved in these cases fully - Russell (1950) and Van Dijk (1977) provide

insightful discussions of the kinds of psychological issues involved - it is

obvious that (R.3) is in need of some expansion.

One fact about (R.3) invites particular comment. When two propositions

are claimed to contrast, an important ingredient is likely to be the posi-

tive/negative opposition. As Russell (1950) demonstrates, it is not an easy

matter to say what is meant by a contrast like wise/not wise. However, at an

intuitive level, the notion of contrast involves the negative/positive opposi-

tion and this opposition may, but need not, be unexpected. When it is not

unexpected, but/although are used in their simple sense as in (1), reflected

in (R.3). When, however, a conjunction involving contrast is unexpected, it

leads to surprise.

In terms of the positive/negative polarities, if (p & q) is unexpected, it is

probably true that (p & -q) is expected. Thus, if it is surprising that, being

young, Percy is wise, it is expected that, being young, Percy is not wise. It

would seem, however, that mere opposition is not enough. The content of

the two propositions which are in contrast must have something in common.

Thus, the sense of but/although is not reflected in:

In the case of predicates like wise, this relation seems to involve the

notion of relevance. This notion is traditionally defined in terms of logical

implication - Belnap (1969) - as follows:

(6) (p is relevant to q) if either ρ or -p implies either q or -q.

Logical and nonlogical connectives 205

sufficient, that it be judged to be relevant. When the relation is unexpected,

it must still be relevant if it is to make sense. Admittedly, this seems some-

what trite. One might, after all, point out that the co-operative principle in

itself will usually ensure that the addressee make some effort to discover the

basis for the relevance relation and, thus, the conjunction of almost any two

propositions can, given sufficient good will, be made to make sense, even a

case like (5).

Another point to be noted, in connection with the negative/positive oppo-

sition, is that although the content of the two propositions must be, in some

sense, mutually relevant, the two must not be identical. In natural language, it

is common to find pseudocontradictions like (7). Such conjunctions, however,

are used to express the mean of a gradable property. They do not suggest

that that mean is surprising or unexpected.

language, it may be either true or false depending upon whether Percy can

be truly judged to possess the property of height in an average degree.

The above considerations suggest the following expansion of (R.3) as a

semantic rule for but/although, where the relevance relation is assumed:

F ( α , β) is met, if and only if (I) (α & β) is 1 and contrast(a. β) or

(II) (I) holds and, in addition, for some individual a, surprise((a &

β), a) and utters{a,(a & β)).

In this revision, I ignore the fact that the element of surprise may be restricted

to a point of time coincident with that of the utterance. The chief motivation

for including the utterer is, of course, that what is surprising to an addressor

may well not be so to her/his addressee.

There is, of course, a quite different use of but to denote the complemen-

tary status of a subset - derived from the original sense of butan 'outside'.

This use is exemplified in (8).

As noted earlier, the word unless can be substituted by or in English and

is, thus, frequently counted among the logical constants - for instance, Quine

(1941). While the interchangeability of the two connectives seems sometimes

to be complete, as in (9, 10), consideration of examples (11,12) shows that, as

206 Semantic rules

its purely logical counterpart does not share.

poses a causal relation between the events referred to in the two propositions -

I return, briefly, to causation below in my discussion of because. While or

is truth-functional in (12), unless in (11) suggests that the cause of the rev-

olution's taking place or failing to do so will be the government's failure to

resign or its doing so. It is, of course, the complete neutrality of or in this

respect which makes its use in (12) appear rather artificial.

In its truth-functional sense, as in (9), unless can be provided with the

same semantic rule as exclusive or.

More uncertain is the ability of unless to function inclusively, though (13)

may provide an instance:

I should stress that I have rather little faith in my own intuitions regarding

examples like (13). Certainly, it does not seem possible to underline an in-

clusive sense through the extention or both which is available in the case of

or. However, that may be unhelpful since its exclusive counterpart but not

both is also unavailable with unless.

The causative unless clearly requires to be treated separately from its neu-

tral counterpart. The important point is that this unless is not truth-functional.

Thus, reversing the order of the two propositions in (11) changes the mean-

ing of the whole. According to (11), the revolution will be caused by the

government's not resigning. If the disjuncts are reversed, the cause of the

government's resigning will be the revolution's failing to take place. Let us

use unlesscause to denote this particular connective. A possible semantic rule

for it would be the following:

(R.4) \{unlesscause) is that function Fdisj such that, for any α, β, e Dt,

¥(α,β) is 1 if either a is 1 or β is 1 and cause(-(ß),a).

Rules for disjunctions like (R.4) may not, however, be entirely satisfactory.

Superficially, (R.4) is circular in that it makes use of the disjunction either

Logical and nonlogical connectives 207

which arises from the use of English as a meta- and an object language in the

same text and could be disposed of by employing the logical symbol "A".

More striking, (R.4) gives no idea of the pragmatic conditions on unless apart

from the reference to the relation of causality.

In accord with Russell's (1950) discussion, we may analyse or in terms

of the relation of "uncertainty". When the disjunction or is used in natural

language, the motivation for doing so is the speaker's uncertainty as to the

lightness of one of two choices over the other. While the notion, Rightness,

must obviously be interpreted very broadly in this claim - the choice may be

dependent on context of use involving such notions as desirability, propriety,

etc. - it may be advisable to incorporate the notion of uncertainty into the

relevant semantic rules both for natural or and unless. This inclusion would,

of course, distance the semantic rules of a natural language from those of an

artificial language by extending the pragmatic component to the connective

or as well as unless.

Considering only the rule for unlesscause, with this addition, (R.4) could

be expanded to:

(R.4) a. V(unlesscau!ie) is that function FDisj such that, for any α, β e Dt,

F(Q, 3) is met if and only if either a is 1 or ß is 1 and cause(-

(3). a) and uncertain{a & 0)at time j for some individual a such

that utters(a,F(a, ß)) at j.

as its argument rather than a disjunction. The reason is that both alternatives

must be uncertain, not just one disjunct. To see the reasonableness of this, it is

only necessary to consider what could be meant by the assertion "uncertain(p

or q)".

The semantic rule for negation, as given in the previous section, is straight-

forward. However, as is well known, its application to different cases is not

always quite so simple. The negation of a disjunct provides a typical exam-

ple of the care which must be taken when strictly logical relations are in

question. Consider (14) which is equivalent to (14a).

In (14), the syntax of English obscures the fact that the negator has both

disjuncts as its scope - a reality which is emphasised in the morphosyntax

of (14a) in which each disjunct is explicitly negated through the negative

208 Semantic rules

disjunction neither nor. Hence, the logical structure of (14) is not (14b), but

(14c).

(14) b. (-pvq).

c. -(ρ ν q).

would be:

Facts like these are not at all surprising given the logical status of or and

not. They provide, among other things, for the semantic rule for neither nor.

This disjunction is probably best regarded as derived from a historical neither

nor yet in which yet means in addition. The rule is:

(R.5) V(neither nor) is that function Fdisj such that, for any α, β e Dt,

F(α, β) is 1 if and only if (-α & -β) is 1.

In this rule, the uncertainty condition is, of course, absent - there can be no

uncertainty in the assertion of a conjunction of two negations.

Consider next a case like:

At first sight, the rules of logic suggest that (16) is equivalent to (16a).

However, it is clear that this is not necessarily so since, in English, and may

conjoin nominals to form a compound nominal which is not derived from

two underlying sentences. Thus, the phrase milk and honey must be treated

as a single unit and the negation in (16) asserts that it is false to say that Jack

likes that unit, not that he dislikes either milk or honey in isolation. Thus, the

logical structure of (16) is not (-ρ ν -q) but simply -p. Parallel considerations

must also be taken into account in the interpretation of ambiguous cases like:

More complex are cases like (18) which, according to the established tests

(Klima 1964) are instances of sentential negation:

Logical and nonlogical connectives 209

If words like seldom were ordinary sentential negatives, then (18) would be

equivalent to (19), but that is obviously not so.

Evidently, the negative element of such adverbs applies not to the entire

sentence but to some adverb of frequency like often. This is so in spite of

the strictly logical fact that (not often p) is always true when (not p) is true.

Thus, if (18) is true, then so is (20) and, by implication, (21). Further, if (21)

is true, then so is its entailment (22).

These facts suggest that the semantic rule for negative adverbs like seldom

should be along the lines of:

(R.6) V(seldom) is that function FNeg such that, for any a e Dt, F(a) is

met if and only if α is 1 and (V(often)(a)) is not met.

(R.6) is rough in the absence of a rule for often - I shall provide such

a rule below, section 7 - however, the general import is obvious. It is also

obvious that notions like that expressed by often are essentially fuzzy. What

is regarded as often performed in one case may very well be thought to be

seldom in another. Thus, words like often/seldom have no place in formal

systems and their semantic rules are stated in terms of satisfiability in its

broad sense.

(R.6) classifies seldom as of category Neg and, hence, a member of (t/t).

Clearly, there are difficulties with this view. While it seems plausible to say

that seldom negates an entire sentence in which the IV-modifying adverb

often figures, the fact that, when such negatives as seldom/rarely appear

in sentence-initial position, they attract aux\ - tense and the first of any

auxiliary verbs - just like wh-words, etc., e.g. seldom does ..., scarcely

had . . . , suggests that they are not straightforward negators in spite of their

behaviour in respect of tag-questions, appositive tags and so on. The (t/t)

classification in (R.6) is, therefore, not wholly satisfactory.

As a further example of the kind of problem which can arise in the inter-

pretation of negation in English, consider the following sentence involving

word negation:

210 Semantic rules

that (23) is true. The phenomenon at the root of these facts is, of course,

the gradability of adjectives like happy, referred to in chapter 4 - see also

Lyons (1968). Like all gradables, happy implies the negation of its opposite

{unhappy/sad}, but the negation of happy does not imply the assertion of its

opposite. Paraphrasing Lyons, (x —> -y) but -(-x —> y).

These considerations are also basic to our understanding of cases like the

following in which sentence and word negation appear in a single clause:

This is not so because, evidently, unhappy, being itself gradable, implies the

negation of its opposite, happy, but its negation does not imply its opposite.

From this, we conclude that the usual rule of double negation:

(28) -p = p.

does not extend to cases in which a sentential and word negation appear in

the same clause.

My treatment of unlesscause and seldom bestows upon them the status of

pragmatic operator rather than truth-functional connective in the strict sense.

Better known as pragmatic operators are words like because and before. For

such connectives, the classical truth tables do not provide suitable models

for the construction of semantic rules. Unlike and and other truth-functional

connectives, these items not only connect two propositions but claim that

their contents are related causally or temporally in certain ways.

Consider first, the relation asserted by because in:

Since because is non-truth-functional, it is not commutative. Thus, (29) may

be true when (30) is false:

Logical and nonlogical connectives 211

meaning of the whole and helps to determine its truth value. In cases like

(29, 30), it is not sufficient to know whether the atomic propositions are true

or false to know what is the value of the entire assertion.

It is not my intention to attempt a review of the philosophical discussion

of causation. However, it is obvious that, in (29, 30), because asserts a rather

straightforward relation of direct cause and effect. The position is a little

more complex in:

necessary and sufficient condition for an integer's being even that it be divis-

ible by 2. 6 is divisible by 2 and so we infer that it is even. This example is

especially striking since, in it, because is commutative. It has that property

because the condition is sufficient as well as necessary. Yet another variety

is:

(32) One of the dogs has chewed the rug, it must be Spot because Rover

is in the garden.

In this instance, because links an inference with its justification, but because

is not here commutative.

Apart from a brief comment below, I shall ignore these differences and use

cause to denote a general condition with the Humean property of necessary

connection. The semantic rule for because is, accordingly, as follows:

(R.7) V(because) is that function Fconj such that, for any α, β e Dt, F(a, β)

is 1 if and only if α and β are both 1 and cause(a.ß) is 1.

Rule (R.7) requires that both conjuncts must be true in a compound propo-

sition featuring because. Thus, I take it that the following are false in the

actual world:

(33) The Japanese won the war because they bombed Pearl Harbor.

where because links an inference and a justification, it might be that, if the

inference is true but the justification false, the whole could be regarded as

true. An example which seems to support this objection to (R.7) is:

212 Semantic rules

was a Greek.

Such a departure from (R.7) does not, however, seem possible if the inference

is false and its justification true, as in:

attacked England.

before as illustrative, then (38) is true, but (39) is false.

(38) Russell wrote On Denoting before he was forty.

(39) *Russell was forty before he wrote On Denoting.

Without taking into account the tenses of the atomic clauses, the semantic

rule for before is:

(R.8) V(before) is that function FConj such that, for any α, β e D,, F(a, β)

is 1 if and only if a is 1 at some moment j and β is 1 at j', j —> j'.

If the tenses of the atomic clauses are taken into consideration, stating

the semantic rule for before is more difficult. The condition that j precede

j ' obviously rules out any combination in which both clauses refer to actual

present since, under such circumstances, j and j' would be identical. Thus,

(40) is not acceptable:

This restriction does not, of course, bear on the English practice of using

grammatical present to indicate future, so that (41) is not in conflict with

(R.8).

(41) Sally is writing a letter before she goes to the circus.

Indeed, it is the semantic behaviour of before which fixes the actual time

reference of the second conjunct in (41) as future. If before is substituted

by and in that example, the time-reference of the first is taken to be actual

present and the second is interpreted as expressing habitual aspect, resulting

in semantic anomaly.

When the tenses of the atomic clauses are past, j and j ' must obviously

both precede the time of utterance and for future, they must both follow it.

Further, as in the anomalous case just mentioned, both clauses must agree in

tense. This condition rules out combinations with time references on either

side of the time of utterance, as in:

Logical and nonlogical connectives 213

Relation to the time of utterance also inhibits combinations in which the first

event is expressed in present perfect since the clause is then relevant to the

actual present and cannot precede another event prior to the present. This is

illustrated by:

(43) would be possible only if before were regarded as elliptical for before

that - a rather forced interpretation!

The semantic rules for after and while are like (R.8) but with the obvious

adjustments to the linear relations between j and j ' . The remarks concerning

tenses of the component propositions also, of course, require adaptation for

these connectives.

As a final case, it is to be noted that and frequently appears to be used

in a non-truth-functional manner to mean and then. Thus, the truth of (44)

depends not just on the values of the component propositions but upon the

assertion that the event described by the first preceded that described by the

second.

Clearly, in such cases, the conjuncts may not be exchanged. The question is

whether or not to account for this by ascribing a non-truth-functional use to

and or by assuming the presence at deep level of the temporal connective

then.

The fact that then does often occur in surface structures of the form (p

and then q) favours the view that and in examples like (44) is employed in

its usual logical sense as a simple conjunction and the failure of commutation

is to be attributed to a syntactic property of then by which it must follow the

clause which describes the earlier of two events. Presumably, the conjunction

then will have a semantic rule like that for before, though its syntax is rather

more complex.

An alternative approach to the problem of sentences like (44) would be to

presume that, at the level of logical form, each conjunct is explicitly marked

for time reference. If the first is true at j and the second at j ' , it is not

necessary to treat and as a temporal connective. The fact that the surface

order is inflexible reflects the well-known practice, in English, of mirroring

temporal in linear order.

There are, of course, other important connectives such as the correlatives,

Comp than and as as. Since these involve properties of nominals, adjec-

214 Semantic rules

tives and adverbs, I shall discuss them opportunistically below as they most

naturally arise.

8.3 Nominate

In chapter 7, proper nouns were assigned to the same syntactic category as

other nominals, namely, (t/(t/e)) = NP. In chapter 1, I suggested that proper

nouns denote constant functions with unique individuals as values and that

is little different from saying that they denote such individuals directly, i.e.

are of semantic type, < e >. To justify this approach would require a review

of the extensive philosophical literature on the semantics of proper names.

I shall say, merely, that there seems to be good reason for regarding proper

nouns as lacking sense, unlike ordinary nouns. Hence, while it is always

possible in principle to identify the referent or extension of a given proper

noun, say Scott, it is not strictly possible to determine its sense.

The fact that the personal pronouns and anaphors function as natural-

language variables would seem to point to the reasonableness of treating them

also as of type < e > and as having, in consequence, a simple semantics.

There are, of course, questions of number, case and gender which would,

in many languages, figure in their semantic rules, but these are of limited

interest and I shall not set them out here. As chapter 5 demonstrated, the

most important semantic facts surrounding pronouns such as he or words

like himself have to do with coreference and the description of those facts

obviously belongs to the subtheory of Binding rather than the semantics of

the individual items.

While quantifier words like someone/everyone behave like proper nouns

from a syntactic point of view - they are derived members of category NP -

they cannot be made to denote individuals directly for the reasons discussed

in chapter 7. Thus, for example, someone denotes a property of properties

and this must be reflected in its semantic rule. Below, I give the outlines of

rules for three of the most important quantifier words, someone, everyone and

no-one. It should be stressed that these rules are outlines only. For example,

the later treatment of some ultimately has relevance for someone.

(R.9) V(someone) is that function F^p such that, for any a e F/y, F(a) is

1 if and only if there exists at least one individual, a, such that a/x

satisfies the formulae human(x) and a(x).

Nominals 215

(R.10) V(everyone) is that function FNp such that, for any a e F/y, F(a)

is 1 if and only if for any individual, a, such that a/x satisfies the

formula human(x), a/x satisfies a(x).

(R.l 1) V(no-one) is that function FNP such that, for any a e F[v, F(a) is 1

if and only if for any individual, a, such that a/x satisfies the formula

human(x), a/x fails to satisfy a(x).

inal is arrived at through the denotations of its parts. Thus, it is necessary,

for the sake of complex nominals, to formulate semantic rules for nominal

constituents as described in chapter 7.

Since common nouns and intransitive verbs are logically of a kind, it follows

that their semantic rules should be similar. Ignoring intensions for the mo-

ment, both are of a category which has as its type a function with domain in

the set of individuals. The values of such functions will either be truth values

or broad satisfaction.

The general pattern for the relevant semantic rules can be stated as (R.l2).

(R.12) If α e {IV,CN}, then V(a) is that function F{iV CN} such that, for

some set Ε in De, for any individual, a, a/x satisfies the formula

Q(X) if and only if a e E.

and intransitive verbs extensions rather than intensions. Since De includes

individual concepts of type < s. e > , this simplification is not harmful pro-

vided it is allowed for in those cases where an intensional interpretation is

required.

While (R.12) says rather little, it is to be noted that it establishes the

domains of IV and CN as sets of individuals. Thus, for example, frog(a)

is true if and only if the individual, a, is in the set, E, of frogs. Similarly,

walks(a) is true if and only if individual, a, walks. In like manner, humbugia)

is met, appropriate, if there is an individual, a, who is considered by some

to be such and overreacts{a) is met if at least some think that a has that

property.

Of course, the semantic rules for individual items must not be ambiguous.

Thus, if a given word, say bank, is used in the sample in different senses,

these uses must be reflected in separate semantic rules.

216 Semantic rules

obviously, be more specific so as to provide conditions on appropriate use.

Thus, for instance, laugh needs to be restricted to agents which have the

property of being human. Failure to include such a selectional restriction

would make the interpretation of (45) problematical.

of such aberrant strings as (46).

While it might be argued that restrictions of this kind are not relevant to

truth conditions, they are indisputably relevant if the semantic rules are to

perform as filters, disallowing some expressions as semantically ill-formed.

For brevity, I shall not, however, set out selectional restrictions in detail.

Rule (R.12) applies equally to mass and abstract nouns as to their ordi-

nary counterparts with countable referents. Of course, the rules for specific

items, e.g. vapour/virtue, would require clauses specifying the mereological

characteristics of those elements of De in their domains. Such information

would be needed, for instance, for quantification. Thus, in (47), vapour must

be understood as part of all vapour there is in spite of the noncount status of

its referent, but in (48) the reference is to the universal body. On the other

hand, in (49) virtue refers to a distinct instance of virtue, while in (50) all

instances of virtue are intended.

chapter 7, then the domain of a is the universal set.

Given these general remarks, the following are sample rules for tiger and

walk respectively.

(R.13) V(tiger) is that function FCN such that, for some set E, a/x satisfies

the formula tiger(x) if and only if a e E.

(R.14) V(walk) is that function FfV such that, for some set E, a/x satisfies

the formula walks(x) if and only if a e E.

Nominals 217

In particular, it seems circular to say that a(x) is satisfied by a if and only

if a is in the set e denoted by a . The intention is that α is a constant

defined according to the kind of detail set out in Katz-Fodor (1963) in

which selectional rules are displayed. Hence, for example, walks can be true

of animate beings only if they possess legs.

In chapter 7, the term "quantifier" was employed very generally to include

any part of speech which the linguist would call a determiner. In Montague

(1973), only logical quantifiers were considered, namely, every, the and a/an.

Since such quantifiers are, in a sense, more basic than their proportional

counterparts, I shall discuss them first.

It will be recalled from chapter 7 that quantifiers are in (t/((t//e),(t/e))),

abbreviated Quant. That is, they are functions from common noun and in-

transitive verb functions to truth-values. In section 7.3.5, I gave somewhat

simplified versions of semantic rules for every, a/an and the. These may be

restated as follows - I shall, henceforth, frequently tie the reference of ex-

pressions to individuals rather than to sets, but that is for convenience merely.

Moreover, I shall assume the substitution ( ß f V b ) in the open sentence of the

lambda expression used to create a nominal.

(R.15) V(every) is that function FQuun, such that, for any a e Few, F(a) e

Fnp such that, for any β e F/V, (F(a), β) is 1 if and only if for each

individual, a, such that a/x satisfies the formula a(x), a/x satisfies

3{x).

uant C

exists at least one individual, a, such that a/x satisfies the formulae

c*(x) a n d ß(\): a n d new information(a(a)).

uan NP

such that, for any β e F/v, (F(a). /3) is 1 if and only if there is a

unique individual, a, such that a/x satisfies the formulae a(x) and

β(\): and old information(a(a)). If there exists no individual, a, such

that a/x satisfies a(x), (F(a), β) is #. If a/x satisfies α(χ) but fails to

satisfy ß ( x ) , ( F ( a ) , ß ) is 0.

Clearly, these rules are not sufficient, in themselves, to provide fully for

the meanings of these quantifiers. In the case of every, it would be appropriate

218 Semantic rules

subset in De > 3 . This is so because of the unacceptability of:

In this, every differs from each which may be used of sets containing two

or more members. Obviously, these numerical restrictions filter out occur-

rences of every and each with mass nouns. The quantifier all is insensitive

to countability.

More seriously, in the cases of a/an and the, the rules reflect their par-

ticular usage only. This is not a trivial matter, as the discussion in chapter

7 indicated. It is, in particular, not quite clear how to incorporate Chafe's

(1970) distinction between bounded and unbounded sets which appears to

be involved in the difference between universal the and a/an in spite of its

intuitive appeal.

The rules also fail to mention the specific/nonspecific readings of the in-

definite article which may be semantically significant, for example, in respect

of alternative intensional and extensional readings. I shall, however, not write

the rules in greater detail here in the interests of economy.

There are several universal quantifiers in English in addition to every, each

and all. Two of the most interesting are both and either. These quantifiers

have the peculiar property of being restricted to sets of exactly two members.

Thus, in (52), two and only two directions are involved:

(52) Sally looked both/either way(s) before crossing the river.

It is, in fact, rather difficult to say precisely what is the difference between

these words. Certainly, in (52), itself, no possible change in truth-value or ap-

propriateness is involved in the choice between them. It does seem, however,

that either implies that the individuals in its scope are discrete, where both

is ambiguous in this respect. This difference, though apparently nebulous,

must be allowed for in their semantic rules since the truth-value of a given

sentence may, in some cases, depend on it. Thus, (53) is true just in case

Percy was holding two books, whereas (54) may be true if only one book

was involved.

(54) Percy held a book in both hands.

This suggests the following approximation to a semantic rule for either.

(R. 18) V(either) is that function FQuant such that, for any a e FCN , F(c*) e

F^p such that, for any β e F[V, (F(a),ß) is 1 if and only if, for any

Nominals 219

duple δ C De, if δ/χ satisfies the formula a(x), δ/χ satisfies 3(x) and

for any a, a' e δ, a, a' are discrete.

same property in the exclusive disjunction either or. By contrast, although

both is ambiguous in a case like (54), it frequently implies a continuity

among the members of the set in its domain. This continuous feature of both

is probably at the heart of its use in the compound conjunction both and

which contrasts with either or, as in:

Intuitions of this sort seem to support Cresswell (1973), who treats either

and both in such conjunctions as shallow structure devices for marking the

scope of the logical operators or and and. A parallel explanation seems apt

for the appearance of then in the compound if then.

We may also attribute the use of both to disambiguate or, in the phrases

or both and but not both to this same scope marking function. The relevant

structures have roughly the following forms:

mation. Thus, for example, (58) is inappropriate if the men in question are

not already in the contextual domain:

In this respect, both is like the. It seems likely that it also shares the''s

presupposition of uniqueness. Thus, (59) would seem to be vacuous rather

than strictly false if Percy either has only one daughter or more than two:

(R.19) V(both) is that function FQuant such that, for any α e Fcn , F ( a ) e

FNp such that, for any β e F/v, (F(a).ß) is 1 if and only if there is

a unique duple δ C De, such that if δ/χ satisfies the formula c*(x),

it satisfies β(χ), and for any a, a' e δ, a, a' are continuous: and old

information α(δ). If there exists no duple, δ, such that δ/χ satisfies

a ( x ) , (F(a),/3) is #. If δ/χ satisfies a(x) but fails to satisfy 3(x),

(F(a): ß ) is 0.

220 Semantic rules

In this outline, I have not mentioned the possibility of a and a' being discrete

since that use of both requires its own semantic rule.

In spite of its status as the paradigm instance of an existential quantifier,

some is semantically quite complex.

In chapter 4, I discussed some examples of scope differences, including

some involving negation and every or any. Reference was there made to

Quine's observation (1960) that every has narrow scope while the scope of

any is wide. These scope differences appear again in alternative negations of

certain existential statements, as in:

The reason for the options in the negation of (60) is to be found in the

polysemy of some which can either have its original specific sense certain -

Old English sum gelaerned munuc 'a certain learned monk' - or the later

nonspecific meaning. While on both readings, some signals new information,

on the specific interpretation, the negation of (60) is either of the options in

(60a), i.e. an O-type statement symbolisable, very roughly, as:

symbolised:

(60a, c) will be true if and only if there are some specific letters such

that Sally didn't write them - I do not mean to suggest that the letters need

actually exist, of course - , while (60b, d) will be true just in case Sally did

not engage in letter-writing.

The set of possible denotations of letter is, of course, made up of countable

things. Some is also used with mass nouns, as in:

Although the difference between count and noncount might, at first, appear

to have no bearing on truth-assignments, it can be crucial, as in:

in the alternative phonetic realisations of the quantifier. On the first, the whole

Nominals 221

is true if and only if there exists at least one chicken such that Jack put it into

the oven. On the mass reading, (62) is true just in case Jack put a quantity

of chicken-meat into the oven.

Perhaps the most important point about some in natural English - though a

point usually thought too obvious to merit dwelling upon - is that, used with

count nouns, it somewhat rarely means 'there exists at least one' but, rather,

it normally means 'there exist at least two'. Thus, while (63) is perfectly

acceptable, (64) represents a more common usage.

to above and denoted Somei in chapter 7 - will be true if there was at least

one man sitting under the trees. (64), on the other hand, will be true only if

the number of men concerned was greater than one.

These remarks are not exhaustive. However, they suggest at least the

following outline of a disjunctive semantic rule for some.

(R.20) V(some) is that function FQuan, such that, for any A e FCN, F(a)

e F^p such that, for any β e Flv, (F(a).ß) is 1 if: either (I) there

exists at least one individual, a, such that aJx satisfies the formulae

a(x) and ß(x) and countable{a) and new information{a{&))\ or (II)

(I) holds save that a is noncountable; or (III) either (I) or (II) holds

and speciftc( a); or (IV) either (I) or (II) holds and nonspecific a);

or (V) there exist at least two individuals, a, a', such that aJx and

a'/x satisfy the formulae a(x) and ß(x) and countable(a,a') and new

information(a(a,a')) and either a and a' are specific or nonspecific.

We ought, properly, to distinguish between several quantifiers called some as

suggested in chapter 7.

In rule (R.20), I have not attempted to reflect the fact that, in English,

some is used in affirmative statements, but is usually substituted by any in

negative and interrogative contexts. To include this information would not

be difficult, but it is superfluous in view of the fact that the alternation is not

actually obligatory.

In chapter 7 , 1 proposed that unitary nominals, including mass and abstract

nouns as well as undetermined plurals, should be regarded as quantified by

the abstract item zero. When the noun is mass, or count and plural, such

222 Semantic rules

cases demonstrate:

It would appear, therefore, that zero should have a semantic rule which al-

lows for either interpretation. In stating such a rule, it is obviously necessary

to provide for the exclusion of count singular nouns, but, otherwise, the spec-

ifications seem uninteresting and I shall not, therefore, discuss them further.

While the ability to express relative proportions is restricted in most formal

systems to the comparison of quantities which can be accurately measured,

natural languages, as the discussion in chapter 7 demonstrates, have the addi-

tional virtue of being able to express proportions where precise measurement

is impossible or irrelevant.

Thus, while formal systems, such as arithmetic, use the relations > and

< to express measurable differences in size or quantity, natural languages

employ, in addition, subsystems of proportional quantifiers which provide for

statements concerning states of affairs which are not at all precise. Whereas,

in arithmetic, > and < may only be predicated of two sets if the one is literally

greater or less so than the other, in a natural language, as well as their logical

use, the items more and less may be used impressionistically of properties

like intelligence which defy accurate, objective measurement. Further, while

arithmetic may make reference to sets of any size whatever, a natural language

is blessed with the additional capacity to refer to given numbers or spatial

dimensions as large or small with innumerable intermediate degrees.

Apart from the logical uses of more/most, fewer/fewest and less/least, the

meanings of proportional quantifiers cannot be reduced to precise semantic

rules. Words like many/few are excluded from classical logics because they

reduce to existential quantification. Thus, (67) is true, strictly speaking, just

in case there exists at least one individual who is both a girl and plays tennis.

nothing to do with logic. It is this fact which motivated the remark made in the

previous section that logical quantifiers are more basic than their proportional

counterparts.

Nominals 223

People's opinions on what does or does not constitute a large or a small set

are not, of course, entirely idiosyncratic. Thus, as Sapir (1944) pointed out,

there is more-or-less universal agreement that the word many applied to errors

on a page of typing signifies a quantity which is considerably smaller than

that conveyed by many applied to visible stars on a clear night. Thus, while

assertions of proportion may often be approximate and thus not demonstrably

true or false, they are commonly to be regarded as reasonable or unreasonable,

i.e. appropriate/inappropriate.

In light of these considerations, the semantic rules for proportional quanti-

fiers are only precise in the cases of more/most, few/fewest and less/least and

then only when the proportions are accurately measurable. In all other cases,

the rules do not lay down the conditions for a statement's being demonstrably

true or false, but, merely, for its being appropriate or satisfiable in the broad,

pragmatic sense of that term. They are, moreover, question-begging. To say

that many indicates a large quantity is informative only in being positive

rather than negative, for the rest, it relies upon the good will of the reader

for its sense.

As a preliminary, let us assume that Comp has combined with many and

much to yield more. In its precise use, more is restricted to the quantifi-

cation of things very broadly conceived as including both countables and

noncountables. The semantic rule for precise more has the following rough

formulation:

(R.21) V(more) is that function FQUANT such that, for any A e FCN, F ( a ) e

FNP such that, for any β e FIV, ( F ( α ) , β) is 1 if and only if for any

set Ε C D e , if E/x satisfies the formulae a(x) and /3(x),then for any

set EJC DE distinct from E, such that satisfies a(x) and fails to

satisfy β(χ), Ε > .

The rules for fewer/less would be as above, but with < for > .

(R.21) assumes nothing regarding the sizes of the sets concerned beyond

their relative proportions.

The rule for most could be simply stated by assuming an additional set Ej

and asserting that Ε > Ej relative to Ej. This assumption is warranted by the

fact that, although most is logically equivalent to more when two quantities

only are compared, it is used in natural English when three or more sets are

involved. When we claim:

we assert not merely that the set of tennis-lovers is greater than that of

nonlovers of tennis, but that the size of the former more nearly approaches the

224 Semantic rules

totality of the set of all people than does the latter. This additional assertion

is implicit in more, in the case of most it is explicit.

The superlative counterpart of rule (R.21) is appropriate for the abstract

entity Super - with < for > where necessary. However, (R.21) is too crude

for Comp generally. This is so because conjunctions with Comp than do not

always contrast positive and negative values for the same property. Thus,

while (69) is commonplace, so is (70).

In (70), no assertion whatever is made either about the number of people who

do not like walking or those who do not like running - although it is entailed

that the set of those who dislike running is greater than that of those who

dislike walking. For example, (70) would be true if every single person liked

walking and all but one liked running. It may also be true if more people

dislike walking than take pleasure in that exercise.

Thus, Comp than has a semantic rule which expands on (R.21) with clauses

along the following lines - squares enclose rough examples:

(R.22) V(comp than) is that function Fcorrei such that, for any 7 e D, and

β, β' e Fiv, F(/3,7) e F/V such that, for any sets Ε, E' e De, E/x

satisfies the formula (F(ß, 7))(x) if:

either (I) 7 = ß(E') [runs,x-runs,y];

or (II) 7 = ß(E,E') [has,x,y-has,x,z];

or (III) 7 = ß'(E) [runs,χ-walks,χ];

or (IV) 7 - β'(Ε') [runs,x-walks,y]: and Ε > , or < E \

There are several simplifications in (R.22). First, since Comp than struc-

tures are as common in subjective comparisons as in logical ones, the satis-

faction of the formula is not necessarily in terms of truth. Second, pertaining

to the first point, the relations > and < are completely vague when subjective

comparisons are involved. Third, the sets Ε and E' are fuzzy when properties

such as beauty are compared.

It is to be noted that a rule along the lines of (R.22) is applicable no matter

what dimension is in comparison. Thus, (71) is true if and only if the set of

points which constitute line A is greater than the set which is line B:

Nominate 225

or mass:

(R.22) also outlines the foundation for the evaluation of comparisons involv-

ing sets of events, as in:

The rule for equatives will be along the same lines as that for Comp than.

The significant difference will, of course, be that it involves the relation

= rather than > and < . This is important since it reflects the fact that the

equative correlative as as is commutative whereas its comparative counterpart

Comp than is not.

Turning to non-logical proportional quantifiers, they fall into two natural

classes, those which assert that a given proportion is large and those which

assert that it is small. Each of these classes is made up of quantifiers which

modify count nouns and others which modify mass nouns. Thus, many is in

the first group and takes count nouns, while much is in the same group and

takes mass nouns. Few is in the second class and takes count nouns, whereas

little is in the same class but takes mass nouns.

The semantic rule for many will crucially involve satisfaction in its broad,

pragmatic sense in addition to truth, and may be roughly outlined as follows:

(R.23) V(many) is that function FQLTANL such that, for any A E FCN, F(Q) E

FNP such that, for any β e F/y, ( F ( α ) , β) is met if and only if for

some set Ε such that E/x satisfies the formulae a(x) and 3(x), Ε is

countable and the cardinality of Ε = η and largein).

Obviously, what is large for one person may well be small for another. The

size of η is also, as stated, contextually determined.

The choice between claiming that many requires that η be large or that it be

not small is, however, not arbitrary. As remarked earlier, gradables, including

proportional quantifiers, have the property that their assertion implies the

negation of their opposites, but their denial does not imply the assertion of

the opposites. Thus, if -small were to replace large in (R.23), many would

be glossable as of average size and the negation of many would incorrectly

claim that η was small, i.e. -many would equal few.

It is to be noted that the appearance of = in (R.23) allows positive many to

occur in equative constructions and automatically excludes it from compar-

226 Semantic rules

ative conjunctions with Comp than. Thus, (75) is acceptable, but (76) must

be filtered out:

In such structures, the conjunction is still Comp than and the function of

many is akin to that of an intensifier. In these constructions, the quantifier

is, as usual, sensitive to the count status of the head noun, as is seen by

comparing (77) with:

The rule for much is just like that for many but replacing "countable"

by "noncountable". Similar rules are also appropriate for quantifiers in the

second group like few and little, again with the obvious adjustments.

Before leaving the rules for proportional quantifiers, it is important to

acknowledge that their use is not necessarily constant. An interesting and

well-known illustration of the way in which the meaning of a proportional

quantifier can be modified under the influence of other items is provided by

few when it occurs within the scope of a, as in:

If the indefinite article is removed from (79), the whole amounts to a negative

assertion to the effect that the number of books concerned is not great. In

(79) as it stands, the assertion may be interpreted as positive in that it claims

that Sally has some books. If the nominal is further expanded into quite a

few books, then the number concerned is even asserted to be large.

As noted in chapter 7, both partitive and genitive constructions form important

subgroups of nominals. Their semantic rules are roughly as follows.

(R.24) V(ofpar,) is that function F0f such that, for any α, β e FNP, F(a, ß) e

Fnp such that for any 7 e F/v, ( 7 ( F ( a , ß ) ) ) is {1, met} if and only

if for any sets Ε and E' such that E/x and E'/y satisfy the formulae

a(x) and ß(y) respectively, E/x satisfies the formula 7(x) and Ε C

E\

Some verb types 227

This rule allows for partitive constructions of any kind, including those

in which a has a numerical or proportional determiner, with or without the

empty category Η as head, e.g. six/many/most of the priests or six members

of the committee. The possibility of universal quantification over E, as in

all/each of the books requires the use of C in the statement of the rule.

The condition that 7(x) be satisfied by Ε reflects the fact that in partitive

constructions intransitive verbs are predicated of the part rather than the

whole - analogous considerations apply to genitives.

(R.25) V(ofg e „) is that function F„f such that, for any α, β e FNP, F(a, 3) e

FNP such that, for any 7 e F]V, (^(F (a, 0))) is {1, met} if and only

if for any sets Ε and E' such that E/x and E'/y satisfy the formulae

Q(X) and 0(y) respectively, E/x satisfies 7(x) and belong-to{E,E').

The referents of a and 0 are specified as sets rather than just individuals in

light of such expressions as the wishes of the people. It will further be noted

that the predicate belong-to is far from explicit. In the rule, belong-to is

intended to cover all types of possession, including alienable and inalienable.

I take of in such phrases as the murder of Smith to be vacuous.

The rule for is similar to that for genitive of save that β must be

specified as a common noun rather than a nominal and that E/y satisfies 3(y)

and E'/x ct(x), so that 7 takes the correct argument.

In the above remarks, the verbal element of any sentence has been treated

merely as intransitive. That was reasonable since, with the aid of lambda

abstraction, all alternative structures involving transitive verbs ultimately be-

come intransitive. However, it is clearly necessary to provide semantic rules

for basic transitives. In this section, I shall give rules for a selected few,

largely avoiding some classes and topics such as performatives and presup-

positions discussed in chapter 6.

As observed in chapter 7, it is a considerable virtue of Cresswell's (1973)

treatment that transitive verbs like marry are analysed simply as taking two

arguments of category ve, i.e. two term variables. We may, therefore, state

the semantic rule for a two-place transitive verb like date as:

(R.26) V(date) is that function FTV such that, for any x, y e Ve and indi-

viduals, a and a', a'/y satisfies the formula in (A,y(F(x,y))) and a/x

228 Semantic rules

the formula in (A,x(F(x,a'))) if and only if a and a' are human and

not intensional and form the pair < a,a' > such that a dates a'.

is true if and only if the appropriate ordered pair consisting of the denotata

of Percy and Sally satisfies, in the strict sense, the formula, dated(\,y). Of

course, if either a or a' is not human, the relation date fails and the relevant

formula is not satisfied.

As in the above rule and as observed earlier, appropriate selectional re-

strictions require to be built into the rules for most lexical words, including

verbs, common nouns and adjectives. Thus, the patient of eat must be marked

as eatable and its agent as animate. In the case of a verb like murder, both

agent and patient must be human and, in addition, they must be distinct. The

decision how much information of this sort is to be included in any particular

case must be taken ad hoc, depending on the aims of the analysis and sample

size. The finer the filtering, the more specific the selectional restrictions.

Of course, the verb date is typical only of a certain type of two-place verb.

Equally important are verbs like seek which are intensional. As previous dis-

cussion has indicated, the treatment of such verbs can be quite complicated.

However, since De includes individual concepts, the rules for such inten-

sional verbs may still be stated on the pattern of the rule for date with the

clause disallowing intensional objects suitably adjusted. This is broadly in

line with Cresswell's (1973) treatment and is, in my view, what Montague's

(1973) meaning postulates ultimately amount to. Where he decrees that the

intensional operator, A, be substituted by its extensional counterpart, v, in the

rules for specific verbs, the above suggestion is that A be allowed in the rules

for some verbs and disallowed for others. The only advantage of Montague's

treatment is that it is uniformly intensional.

Verbs of degree higher than 2 will, of course, need to have the number of

their places precisely specified. I shall not take that matter further here beyond

noting that it is not always easy to say how many places are involved. Thus,

for example, kill is 3-place since the action it denotes necessarily involves

an instrument in addition to the agent and patient. By contrast, the position

is not so clear with a verb like see since arguments for and against regarding

the eyes as instrumental may be put forward.

As observed in chapter 7, there are many cases in which the same lexical

item may represent either a transitive or an intransitive verb. Thus, bum

Some verb types 229

entries.

In Chapter 7, I also discussed the difference between phraseal verbs like

turn off and verbs like turn which may be accompanied by prepositional

adverbs. Since, in the case of the former, the particle is semantically part of

the verb, the complex expression merits its own semantic rule, as in:

(R.27) V(turn off) is that function FJV such that, for any x, y e ve and

individuals, a, a', a'/y satisfies the formula in (A,y(F(x,y))) and a/x

the formula in (A,x(F(x,a'))) if and only if a is animate and a' is

-animate and neither a or a' is intensional and a turns a' off.

Of course, other phraseal transitives, such as look for, may require different

selectional restrictions, e.g. in respect of the animate vs inanimate contrast,

or the distinction between intension and extension, but otherwise, they will

have similar rules to turn o f f .

Verbs which figure prominently in philosophical and linguistic discussion

are those which take sentential and those with infinitival complements. Such

verbs as believe and want were discussed earlier in the context of de dicto/de

re readings, chapter 4, section 4, and I shall not belabour those points here.

Obviously, however, it is necessary now to consider some of the issues which

arise in respect of the relevant semantic rules.

It will be recalled that Cresswell (1985) distinguished between two under-

lying ί/ιαί-complementisers, that0 with domain in the set, P, of propositions,

and thats whose domain is the references of the parts of sentences, i.e. the

senses of propositions denoted by complement clauses. These different com-

plementisers provide a straightforward basis for explaining the ambiguity of

a sentence like:

which on the reading with thato entails (82), but on that with thats does not.

category t as argument and yields a nominal as value. Since we distinguish

between two distinct //iaf-complementisers, it is necessary to provide two

semantic rules. The following approximations are modelled on Cresswell's

(1973) rule. They differ from his in that the first allows for an option in the

choice of main verb - Cresswell allows only for intransitives. I also specify

the object domain of the main verb as the set of propositions, P, or senses

230 Semantic rules

of propositions, Ps. Finally, I include the subject condition for the entire

sentence.

(R.28) \(thato) is that function Fthat such that, for any 7, F(7) e FNP such

that: (I) for any β e f / y , (F(7))/x, = a'/x, satisfies the formula in

(λ,χ(/3,χ)), = (A,x(x,/3)), if and only if 7 e p; or (II) for any ß' e

FJV, (F(7))/y, = a'/y, satisfies the formula in (A,y(/3'(x,y))) if and

only if 7 e ρ and, for any individual, a, a/x satisfies the formula in

(A,x(/3'(x,a'))) only if a is human.

a , V ( t h a t s ) is that function Fthat such that, for any 7, F(7) e FNP such

that, for any β e Fjy, (F(7))/y, = a'/y, satisfies the formula in

(A,y(/3(x,y))) if and only if 7 e ρ <s, and for any individual, a, a/x

satisfies the formula in (A,x(/?(x,a'))) only if a is human.

(R.28, 28a) ensure that the two complementisers are assigned their correct

arguments. In addition, (I) of (R.28) guarantees that, for any appropriate

intransitive, say is true, and complement clause, say Jack runs:

(83) (That Jack runs is true) = (It is true that Jack runs).

show the derivation of the dummy subject it, but assume it to be a conse-

quence of extraposition of the complement clause. Further, I presume that

thato alone has the choice of transitive or intransitive main verb - a presump-

tion based on intuitions arising from the discussion of the truth-predicates is

true/is false in chapter 4.

As Cresswell (1985) demonstrates, one considerable advantage in treating

that clauses as nominals is that the semantics of verbs like entails can then

be similar to other transitives. Thus, the deep structure for (84) is (84a).

rule for entails will then be:

(R.29) V(entails) is that function FTV such that, for any χ ,y e ve, q/y satis-

fies the formula in (A,y(F(x,y))) and p/x the formula in (A,x(F(x,q)))

if and only if ρ and q are propositions and (p q).

The semantic rule for presupposes will be along the lines of that for entails

save that the relation needs to be changed. The whole is # if q is false and

q true if ρ is either true or false.

Some verb types 231

for the whole to be true. A much abbreviated outline of a rule for factive

know is the following:

(R.30) V(know) is that function Fjy such that, for any x,y e Ve and 7 e ρ

such that (that,7) e FNP, (that,7)/y, = a'/y, satisfies the formula in

(A,y(F(x,y))) if and only if ρ is 1, and a/x satisfies the formula in

(A,x(F(x,a'))) only if a is human.

The rules for verbs like believe will differ from that for know in that the

complement, 7, is required to be true not in fact, but in the belief-world of

the individual, a, who is the value of the subject NP. This is in line with

Hintikka's treatment (1962).

Cresswell (1973) provides a detailed treatment of the semantic rule for

want. I shall not summarise his discussion here. However, it should be ob-

vious that, unlike propositional attitude verbs such as believe, which take

sentential complements, want may take either an infinitival clause or ordi-

nary NP as its complement, as in:

In the infinitival case, the subject of the complement may be either Pro as

in (85), in which case, it might be advisable to regard the NP alternative as

the result of some reduction transformation on the underlying infinitive, or

the subjects of the main and complement clauses may be disjoint, as in (86).

In that case, any reduction is unthinkable. Thus, the alternative (87) clearly

does not derive from (86).

infinitive, the proposition expressed by that clause is necessarily nonfactive.

It is central to the meaning of want that the objectivum desideratum should

not be known to be a fact - the fundamental role played by the verb's original

sense 'to lack' is obvious.

The construction of a semantic rule for want is far from straightforward.

One approach would be to distinguish between different verbs called want.

One such verb would take infinitive complements and the other would have

ordinary NPs as complement. Another approach would be to assume that the

verb always has an infinitive complement in deep structure and to derive

the NP structures transformationally under the conditions alluded to above.

232 Semantic rules

are distinguished, the obvious synonymy between sentences like those in

(85) is not attributable to mere deletions. If only one verb is recognised,

specifications of the transformational deletions may become difficult to credit,

as in the case of (87).

Since no item may be ambiguous, I adopt the first alternative, sketched in

the following disjunctive rule.

(R.31) V(want) is that function FTV such that, for any x,y e Ve: for any

individuals, a, a', such that a'/y satisfies the formula in (A,y(F(x,y)))

and a/x satisfies (A,x(F(x,a'))): either (i) a' jk ρ and a φ a'; or (II) a'

= {Pro,to,IV); or (III) a' = (a',to,IV) and a' φ a.

that discussion demonstrated, the interesting property of such verbs is that

the propositions in which they appear always presuppose others involving

some such predicate as try. An abbreviated semantic rule for manage is the

following:

(R.32) V(manage) is that function FTV such that, for any x,y e Ve, at

time, j, a'/y satisfies the formula in (A,y(F(x,y))) and a/x satisfies

(A,x(F(x,a'))) if and only if a' = (Fro,to,IV) and, at some time, j '

prior to j, a/x satisfied the formula in (X,\(try to achieve(x,a'))).

Rule (R.32) specifies the subject of the infinitival complement as Pro since

the subject of manage in such constructions must always be identical with

that of the complement. Of course, to draft rules for other implicatives would

require taking syntactic differences into account. Thus, for instance, succeed

takes a gerundive in doing χ as complement, not a straightforward infinitive.

It is also obvious that the subjects of implicative verbs must be restricted to

animate beings.

In the previous chapter, I referred to the syntactic complexity of the verbs

seems/appears. Fortunately, their semantic rules are relatively straightfor-

ward - ignoring the sense of appear which may be glossed as 'come into

sight'. In (88) and (89), seems has the function of a modal operator probably.

Let us assume, for simplicity, that because of its verbal origins, seems

cannot be affixed directly to a sentence, in the manner of probably. It is,

thus, either provided with a dummy subject, as in (89), in which case its

Some verb types 233

its complement as a quasi subject, as in (88), in which case, its scope is

infinitival.

A major difficulty in formulating the relevant semantic rule is posed by

the specification of the modal operator. Given that seems is equivalent not to

possibly but to probably, it is necessary to indicate that the degree to which

the proposition in its scope is regarded as plausible - a purely subjective

judgment - is high. The semantic rule for probably may be intuitively stated

as:

(R.33) V(probably) is that function Ft/t such that, for any a e P, F(a) is

met if and only if (-L-(a)) is 1 and ((α = 1) more likely than (a =

0)) is met.

Armed with this rough definition, the rule for seems can be sketched as

follows.

(R.34) V(seems) is that function F,/t such that for any α e P, F(a) is met

if and only if probably(a) is met.

notorious. In the following remarks, I shall be somewhat cavalier in my

disregard for the nice distinctions which can be made in the uses of the verbs

I analyse. I shall, moreover, largely ignore the temporal meanings of words

like will/shall, having referred to that aspect of their usage in several places,

including chapters 3 and 4.

In the previous chapter, modals were treated, along with the other auxiliary

verbs, as of category (t/t). Thus, for example, may denotes a function which

operates on a proposition to mark it as subjunctive rather than indicative.

This distinction permits the use of may in the following, the second having

two readings one of which carries the additional meaning of permission.

A disjunctive rule for may, based on (90) and (91), would be:

(R.35) V(may) is that function FAux such that, for any 7 e p, F(7) e ρ such

that F(7) is 1 if: (I) (-L-(7)) is 1; or (II) for some ,3 e FIV such that,

if a/x satisfies the formula in (Χ,χ(Θ,χ)), η = {β,a), there exists at

least one individual, a', such that a' permits that a/x satisfy (3,χ).

234 Semantic rules

Any event which is merely possible is subjunctive. In sense (II), the strictly

deontic operator, Permission, clearly requires to be analysed in terms of the

predicate permits.

The rules for the other modals will, time reference aside, be much like that

for may, though each will require its own peculiar specifications. Thus, for

example, can must be provided with several rules, including one based on

Ability. Must needs to be specified as denoting the modality of Inevitability

and also that of Compulsion. To state the rules for can and must would, as

observed earlier, be complicated by the interaction between these auxiliaries

and negation.

Semantic rules for the morphological pasts would, should, etc. are greatly

complicated by pragmatic considerations. Thus, for example, the notion of

Remoteness associated with past forms like would gives rise to its use in

polite requests and so forth.

8.5 Wh-words

chapter 7, the semantic rules for wh-words will be either those for anaphors

or will have much in common with quantifiers. I shall not repeat the account

of anaphora.

Apart from literal reference to quantity, the important features in which

wh-words differ from quantifiers proper are in respect of domain restriction

and selectional rules.

As far as domain restriction is concerned, there are wh-words which are

restricted to individuals conceptualised as things, such as who/which. The

items when and where are, by contrast, restricted to moments of time and to

places respectively, while how is the interrogative of manner.

As far as selectional rules are concerned, given the presuppositional reser-

vations mentioned in chapter 6, section 6, who, along with its related forms, is

confined to animate, human individuals. In contrast, which and what are usu-

ally regarded, unless explicitly restricted as in which/what man, as confined

to nonhuman referents which may or may not be animate.

The following abbreviated rule for who establishes the pattern for wh-

words with values in the domain of individuals conceptualised as things.

(R.36) V(who) is that function FQlicmt such that, for any variable vq in a

formula, p, if there exists an individual, a, such that sJvq satisfies p,

Adjectives 235

then a is human and aJx satisfies any formula, p \ just like ρ save in

having χ for vq, which is a direct answer to F(p).

ogous to who. Of course, their respective rules must specify their domains

as moments of time and locations. In chapter 6, I did not discuss these par-

ticular items, but it is evident that the satisfaction of the formulae containing

the relevant variables involves denotata of adverbs, such as last summer/in

Mexico. Similarly, the manner interrogative how involves adverbials like by

train/quickly.

8.6 Adjectives

understanding of the nature of properties, including especially, the validity of

the classical distinction between those which are essential and those which

are to be considered merely accidental. Such problems have been discussed

by many philosophers, including Russell (1912), and to attempt their review

here would, clearly, be beyond the legitimate scope of a linguistic study.

From the viewpoint of linguistics, the most important subclassification of

adjectives is into those which denote absolute properties, such as correct, and

those whose referents are properties which are gradable, for example strong.

Let us assume that absolute properties, such as Correctness, are unique and,

hence, well defined. Under this assumption, such properties seem concep-

tually more straightforward than their gradable counterparts and, therefore,

they provide the simplest exempla. This is not, however, to claim that abso-

lute properties enjoy prior status over their gradable counterparts. Cresswell

(1973) argues that the reverse holds, but I can see no compelling reason for

deciding either way.

Adjectives denote functions from properties and individuals into truth val-

ues. Taking correct as prototypical of an absolute adjective, the following

semantic rule may serve as a broad pattern. I, here, ignore the semantic

effects, mentioned in chapter 4, of the predicative and attributive uses of

adjectives, e.g. poor violinist/... is poor. I also ignore the distributional facts

outlined in chapter 7. The rule arbitrarily takes CN/CN as the representative

function-type.

(R.37) V(correct) is that function FCN /CN S U C H that for any A E FCN, F ( Q ) E

FCN such that, for any set, E. such that a/x satisfies the formula Q(X)

236 Semantic rules

correct(x) if and only if a e E,: otherwise, a/x satisfies incorrect(x).

As in the earlier generalised rule for common nouns and intransitive verbs,

the above rule for correct is extensional, assuming the referents of common

nouns to be sets. There are, of course, intensional adjectives, such as imag-

inary. However, as before, such cases are allowed for by the presence of

intensional objects in De.

The point of stipulating that the individuals which are the values of the

correci-function be a subset of the set which is the value of the unmodified

common noun is that adjectives which denote accidental properties frequently

restrict the reference of common nouns. Thus, for example, correct answer

denotes a subset of all answers. That £,· may equal Ε itself is obvious from

Α-type statements such as:

If the adjective denotes an essential property, then the set denoted by the

unmodified common noun is precisely that denoted by the adjective-noun

complex. Thus, men and mortal men have exactly the same referents.

The semantic rule for correct requires that the property in question be

absolute. There are, of course, numerous doubtful cases such as the referent

of just which may or may not be absolute, depending on context. Thus, (93)

is not usually judged to be false in spite of the gradability implicit in the

comparative:

like thin is that it allow for the noncontradictory status of sentences like (94).

as asserting that the property in question is possessed to a degree between

two norms. Thus, (94) is roughly glossable as:

sort of thin.

The semantic rule must, however, allow for straightforward assertions such

as (95) in which Jack might be judged to be among the very least thin

individuals - to possess that property in its smallest degree - or, alternatively,

to be at the other extreme:

Adjectives 237

sertions containing them are broadly met rather than literally true or false.

Continuing to simplify, the semantic rule for thin will, therefore, differ

from that for correct in respect of the following clauses:

(R.38) V(thin) . . . F(a) e FCN such that for any set Ε such that a/x satisfies

ct(\) if and only if a e E, there exist at least three sets, Ej and

e e, such that a/x meets thin(\) if and only if a e Ej, and a e Ej

if and only if a is thin to degree η, η > i or < k.

It is apparent that rules like those for correct and thin are woefully meagre

in the context of the semantics of adjectives generally. Quite apart from the

wider philosophical issues alluded to, there are many well-known problems

which would need to be addressed in a more language-specific treatment.

One such is, of course, the identification of appropriate sortal restrictions.

Thus, for example, rusty must be restricted to individuals capable of rusting,

intellectual to human individuals, delicious to edible things, etc..

A celebrated instance of a referential problem involving adjectives is pro-

vided by fake. Does the common noun fake signature refer to signatures or to

fakes? In either case, the reference is contradictory. In his (1973) fragment,

Montague includes alleged and Lewis's discussion (1970) is centred on this

term. In the next section, I shall attempt to draft the outlines of a semantic

rule for the adverb allegedly, but I will not be primarily concerned with the

specific issue of category ambiguity.

Another issue of considerable interest is adjective ordering. As Vendler

(1971) demonstrated, ordering in multiple modification is by no means arbi-

trary in English - and, presumably, all other languages. Thus, big, white pig

is normal, but white, big pig is not.

Since degree complements very commonly involve adjectives, this seems

an appropriate point at which to refer to them. The construction of semantic

rules for the relevant correlatives, such as too to requires, of course, that the

property figuring in the main clause be gradable. To state the rule in all its

detail proves rather complex and the following sketch for too to is rough

indeed.

(R.39) V(too to) is that function Fcorrei such that, for any a e F/y and β e

Dt, F(a,ß) e F/v such that a/x satisfies (F(a. 3))(x) if and only if

possible(ß) is {1 ,met} if and only if a/x satisfies Q(X) up to degree

n, and a/x satisfies a(x) at degree n', n' > n.

238 Semantic rules

In this rule, I assume that the complement sentence β may either be assigned

truth or pragmatic satisfaction in view of contrasting pairs such as:

The rule would, obviously, have to be expanded to cover adverbs and nom-

inals.

8.7 Adverbs

Some of the adverbs which function as sentence modifiers have figured al-

ready in this chapter, sections 2 and 4. I open this section with semantic

rules for some more sentential adverbs before proceeding to the discussion of

manner, time and place adverbs regardless of their sentence vs. IV-modifying

status.

In section 4, I proposed a semantic rule for probably which, like many

other adverbs, is not truth-functional since it involves subjective assessment.

The subjectivity of probably resides in judgement of plausibility. A somewhat

different case is offered by naturally as in (98).

degree to which the propositional content in its scope may be expected to be

true, given the way things are.

Using a subscript to distinguish sentential naturally from its IV-modifying

counterpart, we might draft its semantic rule as follows:

(R.40) V(naturallyt/t) is that function Ft/t such that, for any a e Ρ and w

e W, F(a) is met if and only if α is 1 and for some individual, a,

such that a utters Naturally(a), [(a — 1) follows from w].

Rule (R.40) is very rough. In particular, the relation "follows from w" is

impressionistic. However, in the absence of a detailed discussion of causation,

the shorthand seems justified by its intuitive transparency.

Rather more complex is the semantic rule for a sentence-modifying adverb

like allegedly. The fundamental fact about this adverb is that the propositional

content of its scope is not asserted to be true or probable, but merely to have

been alleged to be so. Thus, (99) may be true even if Jack is a philanthropist.

Adverbs 239

However, to say that (99) is true if the proposition that Jack is a miser has

been alleged, is not sufficient. This is so because allegedly presupposes that

the situation denoted by the proposition in its scope is judged to be bad.

Thus, for instance, under normal circumstances, (100) is inappropriate.

the original speaker as well as the reporter, but that is not crucial since it

is the attitude of the latter only which is central to the appropriateness or

otherwise of the adverb's use. These facts suggest the following semantic

rule for allegedly - the form is colloquial to avoid being overly cumbersome.

(R.41) V(allegedly) is that function F,/, such that, for any a e P , F(a) is

met if and only if there exists an individual, a, such that a asserts

a' at time j and some other individual, a', utters allegedly(a) at

time j ' later than j and a either is a ' or is equivalent to a ' and a'

presupposes that the state of affairs expressed by a is bad.

In this rule it is not claimed that individual a' attributes the assertion of a

to a specific individual, a. Rather, it is the case that a is not attributed to a

or a' directly. This point is central to the appropriate use of allegedly. Since

allegedly modifies reported speech, it is necessary that its rule provide for

de re as well as de dicto interpretations.

In general, IV-modifying adverbs are less complex than their sentential

counterparts, though there seems to be a wider semantic range and such

issues as ordering are intricate.

A typical instance of a manner adverb is provided by quickly in:

quickly in (101) denotes a property of the property of walking. It, thus,

functions in a way somewhat like that of a quantifier like much, being both

gradable and subjective.

It is tempting to say that quickly in (101) takes the property, walking,

and the referent of Sally and returns a proposition. The proposition would

amount to the claim that the property of walking has the property of being

instantiated by Sally in a certain manner. Such a treatment would, however,

distance the semantics from the syntax and I shall, therefore, assume that,

240 Semantic rules

in (101), quickly simply takes walks as its argument to yield the property

denoted by walks quickly.

In light of this approach to IV-adverbs, a semantic rule for quickly would

have the following outline:

(R.42) V(quickly) is that function Flv /lv such that, for any a e F/V, F(a) e

F/v such that, for any set, E, such that a/x satisfies α(χ) if and only

if a e E, there exists a set Ε,, c E, such that a/x meets (quickly,a)(x)

if and only if a e £,·.

now turn to the analysis of often upon which the earlier rule largely depends.

Like seldom, often is, of course, non-truth-functional. Unlike seldom, how-

ever, often is IV-modifying, not sentential. Its semantic rule will, therefore,

parallel that for quickly, namely:

(R.43) V(often) is that function FIV /[V such that, for any a e F/v, F(a) e

Fiv such that, for any set, E, such that a/x satisfies a(x) if and only

if a e E, there exists a set, £,·, c E, such that a/x meets {often,a)(x)

if and only if a e £,·.

Manner and frequency adverbs like quickly/often, apart from their subjec-

tive satisfiability, are semantically simple. More complex are time adverbs

such as yesterday. In keeping with the earlier discussion, (102) is true if and

only if (103) is true at a time exactly one day earlier than that on which (102)

is uttered.

At first glance, it might seem that what is required is a semantic rule for

the time adverbial now since that item fixes the time of an utterance as actual

present. However, while now may be used to refer to a span of time, as in

(104):

the other hand, is to a span containing many points, so that a sentence like

(103) may well be true even though (105) is false.

Adverbs 241

Evidently, while now(p) always implies today(p), not now{p) does not imply

not today(p). I conclude that the rule for now, (R.44), does not provide a

basis for a rule for today.

(R.44) V(now) is that function Ftj, such that, for any a e t , F(a) is 1 if and

only if, for any individual, a, such that a utters now(a) at a time, j,

a is 1 at j.

(R.45) V(today) is that function F,/, such that, for any a e Dt, F(a) is 1 if

and only if, for any individual, a, such that a utters today(a) during

a time-span, j, = 24 hours, α is 1 in j.

Given a rule like (R.45) for today, the formulation of rules for yester-

day/tomorrow is straightforward. The rule for yesterday will be as in (R.45)

save for the following abbreviated clauses:

and today(a) is 1 in j' and j is the temporal successor of j'.

different order are presented by such items as soon. A sentence like (106)

is met, appropriate, if and only if at some point in time closely following

another at which (106) is uttered, (107) is true.

(106) It will snow soon.

(107) It is snowing.

(R.47) V(soon) is that function F,/, ... F(a) is met if and only i f . . . a utters

soon(a) at a time, j, and a is 1 at a time, j' later than j, and for a,

close-toi}' ,j).

Of course, time adverbials are frequently not unitary adverbs like soon but

prepositional phrases such as on Friday/in ten minutes, etc.. The denotations

of such phrases depend on the meanings of their parts and it is, therefore,

necessary to provide rules both for the preposition and the NP concerned.

It is well known that, in English, there are strict semantic constraints on

the choice of prepositions in prepositional phrases. Thus, at co-occurs with

NPs denoting points of time, as in at six ο 'clock, while on combines with NPs

which denote days of the week and in takes NPs denoting divisions of the

day, weeks, months and seasons. There are parallel restrictions for locatives.

242 Semantic rules

distinguish temporal on from locative on by a subscript. The following is an

outline of the rule concerned.

(R.48) V(onj) is that function FPrep such that for any a e FNP, F(a) e F/v /Iv

such that, for any j, j/x satisfies F(a,x) if and only if j is a day.

(R.49) W(atj) is that function Fprep such that, for any a e FNP, F ( a ) e FIV /IV

such that, for any j, j/x satisfies F(a,x) if and only if j is a moment

of time.

adverbials. In English, three such adverbials, here/there/yonder, are basic

members of the category of adverbs. The others are prepositional phrases such

as in London/by the river. The basic adverbs are not used truth-functionally,

depending, as they do, on contextual features, while the derived cases may be

dependent on context or independent according to the NP concerned, e.g. in

that house, compared with in London - I ignore combinations of preposition

and adverb like over here/there.

Clearly, here requires the specification of both an addressor and a contex-

tualised location. The relevant outline is as follows:

(R.50) V(here) is that function FLV /IV such that, for any β e FIV and a e

FNP such that (Β, A) is 1, ((F(/3)),a) is 1 if and only if there exists

a context, C, and a place, i, such that C(here) = i, and, for any

individual, a, such that a utters here(ß, α ) at i, (β, α ) is 1 at i.

The rule for there can be formulated using two distinct contextualised loca-

tions, i and i'.

(R.51) V(there) is that function FfV / I V such that, for any β e F[V and a e

FNP such that (Β, A) is 1, ((F(/?)),a) is 1 if and only if there exists

a context, C, and places, i, i', such that C(there) = i \ such that, for

any individual, a, such that a utters there(ß, α ) at i, (β, α) is 1 at i'.

are subject to various co-occurrence restrictions, for example, in London is

acceptable, but at London is not save with special verbs like aim a missile.

Apart from such details, these adverbs have semantic rules which, mutatis

mutandis are like those for their temporal counterparts and I shall not discuss

them further.

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Index

— adjective 235 analysis tree 169

— property 235, 236 analyticity 10

— value 26 appositional clause 185

abstract category 188 appositive clause 89, 186

abstract complementiser 173, 174 appropriateness 14, 126, 134, 143,

abstract element 189, 192 157, 202

abstract noun 181, 182, 216, 221 Aristotle 43, 147

accessibility 55, 57, 58 article 177

accidental property 11, 235, 236 aspect 143

accusative 120, 122, 123 assertion 146, 147, 152, 156

active 86 assignment function 48, 64, 72

actual present 212, 213, 240 association 30

addition 22, 23, 31 attitude verb 123

adformula 183 attitudinal verb 172

adjective 50, 81, 121, 124, 162, 182, attributive 181 184, 185, 189-191,

186, 190, 192, 193, 199, 235

210, 214, 228, 235-237 Austin 14

— phrase 181, 182 auxiliary verb 101, 174, 175, 209

adjunction 40 axiom 30, 40, 41, 49, 57, 58

admissible element 34, 35

admissible valuation 149 barbara 45, 47

adverb 50, 127, 170-172, 182, 186, base 34, 130, 186

190, 192, 193, 199, 209, basic category 62, 163, 165, 200

214, 235, 237-242 basic expression 63, 165, 167, 172,

— phrase 183 184, 199-201

— placement 183 belief-world 57

adverbial 89 Belnap 152-155, 204

affirmative 202,221 binding theory 173

agentive noun 81 blocked derivation 35

Ajdukiewicz 63 Bolinger 184, 194

algebra 29 Boole 30

algorithm 34,35 Boolean algebra 30, 31, 40

alienable possession 122 bound 110

Allwood 54,92 — alphabetic variance 60

ambiguity 7, 16, 17, 34, 39, 45, 59, — anaphor 111, 113-115, 122, 124

65, 76, 104, 112, 114, 119, — anaphor constraint 111

122, 124, 125, 127, 146, — definition of 110

153, 169, 172, 208 — pronoun 109, 112

252 Index

bounded set 218 co-ordinating 197, 203

cognitive linguistics 19

C classical necessitation 148 coindex 106, 111-113, 119

c-command 112, 113, 115, 119 command definition 110

— definition 110 comment 156

calculus of classes 43, 50 common noun 70, 176, 180,

calculus of functions 43 184-186, 190, 200, 215,

calculus of propositions 37, 42, 43, 217, 227, 228, 236, 237

50 commutation 30, 151, 189, 210, 211,

Cantor 20, 23 213

cardinal equivalence 24 comparable 190

cardinal number 23, 24 comparative 186, 190-193

cardinality 23, 24 compatibility 55

Carnap 3, 4, 12, 13, 23, 62, 129

complement 21, 31, 144, 172, 174

Cartesian set 24, 25

complementiser 92, 94, 166, 174, 188

case 115, 118, 129, 130, 179, 180

complete 31, 40

— assignment 121, 122

complex adverb 183

— saving 121

complex expression 58, 85, 165, 166

categorial grammar 58, 62, 63, 162,

complex function 27

165

complex nominal 175, 176, 180, 215

categorial language 60

complex predicate 165

categorial syllogism 45

complex proper name 140

category 58, 162, 203

causal 15, 206 complex proper noun 99

— relation 211 compositionality 4, 8, 11, 12, 16, 63,

causality 39, 207 104, 125, 166, 201

causation 206, 211 compound nominal 164

causative 206 conceptual impossibility 53

cause 211 conceptual necessity 51, 54

Chafe 84 conclusion 95, 97

chain 122 concord 121

characteristic property 27 conjunction 22, 30, 31, 37, 39, 52,

Chamiak 90 160, 163, 191, 192, 197,

Chomsky 90, 104, 105, 107, 109, 203, 205

110, 115, 118, 120-122, — ambiguity 89

124 — reduction 89

Church 18, 60 connective 196

class inclusive be 82, 83 connotation 14

classical necessitation 148, 149 consistency 57

classical valuation 149 consistent 31, 40 41

classical world 55 constant 64, 72

closed formula 47 — function 5, 214

co-operative principle 205 constraint 110

Index 253

— dependency 126 — complement 193

— grammar 107 deictic 127

— of situation 82, 157 deletion 90, 105, 113, 179, 184, 232

— of use 69, 126, 128, 130 denotation of types 68

free grammar 62 deontic logic 54, 58

contextual dependence 128 deontic operator 234

contextual domain 141, 157 deontic structure 101

contextual index 130, 131 derivation 34, 58, 105, 107, 189

contextual property 129, 201 derived category 62, 63, 163, 199

contingent condition 3, 4 derived expression 165, 167, 168,

contingent truth 10 190, 191, 201

contradiction 3, 4, 31, 41, 57, 136, detachment 40

141, 144, 145, 150 155 direct answer 154, 155

contrast 188, 203, 204 disambiguated language 169

conversational postulate 135 disambiguation 147

coreference 16, 85, 105, 106, 108, discontinuous element 191, 192

109, 114, 115, 117, 118, discourse analysis 141

120, 125, 127, 188, 191 disjoint 23, 30

correlative 194, 213 — reference 108, 112, 118, 119

count noun 176, 182, 187, 221, 225 disjunction 22, 30, 31, 37, 160

counterfactual 11 disjunctive syllogism 45

Cress well 2, 8, 13, 18, 20, 41, 42, 51, distinct 23

52, 55-58, 60, 65, 67, 68, distributed term 46

70, 86, 87, 92-99, 104, distribution 30

107, 124, 126, 128-133, distributive law 22

140-142, 147, 162, 163, domain 26, 27, 48, 104, 112

165-169, 172, 173, 177, — definition 110

183, 196, 202, 219, — restriction 79

227-231, 235 dominate 110, 112

cross-world identity 11, 55 Donnellan 153, 156

Curry 34, 35 double negation 210

Dowty 62, 69, 72, 74

de dicto 76, 91, 229, 239

de re 76, 91, 229, 239 echo question 116

de Saussure 2 effective procedure 34

declarative 14, 134, 155 ellipsis 189, 192

deep structure 2, 90, 104, 169, 179, emphasis 188

213, 230, 231 empty category 106, 108, 115, 122,

defeat 42 124, 173, 177, 182, 198

definite article 84, 141, 157, 177, empty quantifier 182

186, 190 empty set 21, 23

definite description 61, 69, 83, 138, entailment 15, 52, 53, 135, 139, 151,

140-142, 156, 177 158, 159, 209, 230

254 Index

— necessity 54 Fodor 9, 12, 14

equality 28, 52, 73, 74, 96, 192 formal grammar 2

— symbol 94 formal necessity 51

equative 186, 191 formation rule 37, 47, 66, 165

equivalence 22, 28, 32, 37, 40, 53, formula 47

56, 57, 60, 83, 94, 95 free 110, 117

— relation 28 — definition of 110

erotetic logic 133, 153 — pronoun 109, 111, 112

erotetic presupposition 154, 155 — variable 47, 49, 60, 166

essential property 11, 99, 100, 235, Frege 4, 7, 10, 52, 61, 63, 65, 78, 82,

236 83, 93, 95

essential syntactic property 114 function 3-8, 24-27, 29, 34, 40, 43,

etymology 81 48, 50, 55, 62, 63, 70, 93,

excluded middle 30 98, 129, 131, 163, 167,

exclusive disjunction 22, 37, 39, 150, 177, 179, 180, 201

219 functional application 63

existential be 82, 84 functor 58, 163, 164

existential presupposition 139, 149, future 68, 99, 212

152, 158 fuzzy 20, 137, 209, 224

existential proposition 152, 156

existential quantification 99, 222 Gallin 69

extension 4, 6-8, 10, 23, 48, 50, 55, game-theoretic semantics 84

61, 72, 83, 92, 93, 214, gender 156

215, 229 generality 81

extensional operator 228 generative semantics 2, 14

extensional type 64 generator 34

extensional verb 6, 8 genitive 122, 180, 226, 227

extensionality 6, 61 gerundive 90, 232

Government and binding theory 14,

fact 10 16, 105

factive presupposition 144, 158 gradability 210

factive verb 144, 145, 149 gradable 13, 41, 137, 190, 225

factive 158, 231 — adjective 210, 236

false question 154 — property 205, 235, 237

Faltz 15, 53, 144 grammatical present 212

felicity 14, 126, 135 Greenbaum 182

— condition 14, 134, 136, 137 Grice 14

field 26 grouping ambiguity 88, 89

Fillmore 120, 130

filter 66, 76, 105-108, 112, 117, 198, habitual aspect 100, 212

218, 226, 228 happiness 134

finite verb 121 heaven 42, 55-57, 201

first order calculus 49 Higginbotham 118

Index 255

higher order function 176, 179 initial element 34

Hintikka 57, 82-84, 114, 115, 231 intensifier 190

homomorphism 12, 33 intension 3, 4, 6-8, 10, 61-65, 72,

homonymy 81,91 92, 215, 229

Hughes 52 intensional adjective 236

Humean property 211 intensional ambiguity 17

Husserl 63 intensional function 96

intensional isomorphism 12

hypothetical syllogism 45 intensional logic 18, 37, 61, 104

intensional model 72

identical 21

intensional object 65, 98, 99, 131,

identifying be 74, 82, 96

143, 201, 228, 236

identity 16, 56, 57, 83, 94-96, 158

intensional operator 228

— function 94

intensional preposition 64

— of indiscernibles 96

intensional type 64

ideographic name 194

intensional verb 228

imperative 126, 127, 132, 155

intensionality 52, 61

implication 37, 39, 41, 151

intensive 188

implicative verb 146, 151, 152, 232

interpretation 41, 48, 50, 61, 72, 128,

implicature 14

201

impossibility 54

intersection 22

inalienable possession 122

intransitive verb 5, 6, 58, 59, 64, 124,

inclusive disjunction 22, 39, 150

164-166, 168, 172-174,

inclusive or 202

176, 189, 191, 198, 199,

indefinite article 26, 177

215, 217, 227, 236, 239

indefinite quantifier 79

indeterminate value 147, 148 invalid 41

index 62, 105, 106, 108, 127 invalidity 53

indexical 13, 127-129 iota operator 140

— model 132 irreflexive relation 28

indexing rule 108 Isard 135

indicative 233 isomorphism 12, 32

individual 5, 6, 11, 47-49, 68, 99,

Jackendoff 115

127, 139, 142-144, 167,

joint 22

177, 201, 214, 215, 217,

justification 211, 212

218, 227, 231, 234-236

— concept 70, 98, 201, 215, 228

Kalish 16, 95

infelicity 156

Karttunen 134, 146, 158

inference 40, 47, 211, 212

Katz 10, 15

infinite 23

Keenan 15, 53, 137, 144

— verb 121

Kepler paradox 96

infinitive 98, 106, 108, 111, 121, 123,

Kiparsky 144

124, 172, 173, 193, 194,

Kittay 14

231, 232

256 Index

Kneale - Kneale 96 logical quantifier 176, 217, 222

Koster 104, 109, 174 logical representation 90, 162

Kripke 55 logical sum 22

logical validity 51

Lakoff 4, 86, 126, 133, 134, 136, 143 logical word 55

lambda abstraction 18, 61, 120, 132, logically true proposition 4

164, 165, 178, 190, 227 Lukasiewicz 147

lambda binding 168 Lyons 81, 210

lambda categorial language 196

lambda conversion 60, 71 major premise 95

lambda operator 59, 140, 164 major term 45

Langer 30 many-to-many relation 29

language acquisition 18 many-to-one relation 29

law of substitution 7 mapping 34, 148

Lees 179 mass noun 176, 181, 182, 187, 216,

leftness condition 119, 120 218 220, 221, 225

Leibniz 7, 10, 16, 95 material implication 52, 53

—' law 52 mathematical linguistics 1

Leonard 152-154 McCawley 38, 48, 51, 53, 58, 98,

Lesniewski 63 137, 140-146, 148, 149,

Lewis 3, 11, 58, 62, 126-128, 134, 153, 157-159

237 meaning postulate 76, 228

lexical ambiguity 16, 17 meaningful expression 66

lexical content 78, 79 meet 22

lexical decomposition 153 meso- 29

lexical noun 108, 111 metalanguage 207

lexicalism 107 metaphor 14

lexicon 63, 199 middle term 45

linguistic-knowledge 3 minor premise 95, 97

logical connective 203 minor term 45

logical constant 38, 40, 51, 84, 147, modal 50

202, 203, 205 — calculus 104

logical deletion 170 — logic 18, 39, 42, 54, 61, 68, 72

logical form 2, 104, 105, 116, 130, — operator 63, 182, 193

133, 163-166, 169, 175, — verb 54, 174

177, 179, 183, 185, 186, modality 42, 50, 74, 101

188, 192 194 model 13

logical form representation 18, modus ponens 40

107-109, 111, 112, monotonicity 42

116-118, 120, 127 Montague 1, 2, 10-13, 15-20, 29, 37,

logical implication 9 42, 45, 47, 50, 58, 61-66,

logical impossibility 53 68-72, 74, 76, 82, 87, 92,

logical invalidity 51 93, 95, 96, 98, 109,

Index 257

147, 162, 165, 168, 169, nonspecific 86-88, 218, 220

171-174, 177, 182, 183, nonsymmetrical relation 28

185 186, 196, 201, 217, noun modifier 185

228, 237 noun phrase 6, 16, 43, 83, 87,

— grammar 1, 68, 105 105-107, 109, 114, 122,

mood 45, 47 181

Moore 33 -— conjunction 90

morphology 4, 173, 186-188 np-movement 113

movement 106, 119, 175, 188, 192 null set 21-23

multiplication 22, 31, 164

object deletion 170

narrow scope 86, 89, 220 obligation 54, 101

natural logic 135 oblique 120-123

natural number 21, 23 — context 64, 65

necessary condition 3, 4, 57 old information 107, 138, 141, 156,

necessary connection 211 157, 219

necessary proposition 51, 52 one-to-many relation 29

necessary truth 10 one-to-one relation 29, 32, 33

necessity 4, 7, 10, 41, 50, 51, 54 opacity condition 111, 112, 115, 117,

— operator 52, 53, 101 119

negation 21, 30, 31, 37, 85, 87, 88, opaque context 52, 64, 87, 88, 91

101, 139, 146, 167, 202, open formula 47

207-210, 220 open individual 131, 141-143

negative comparison 187 open proposition 124, 129, 130, 141,

negative 192 147, 173, 201

negator 182, 209 ordered pair 6, 8, 24-26, 93

new information 138, 156-158, 220 ordered set 23

nominal 58, 90, 125, 140, 162, ordering 120, 130

165-167, 171, 173, 175, — function 132

176, 178, 180, 185, 192,

193, 208, 213-215, 217, paradox 65, 94, 96

221, 226, 227, 229, 230, part of speech 79, 162, 186

238 Partee 177, 179, 186

nominalisation 90 partial function 99, 142

nominative 120-122 particle 170-172, 188, 193

nonclassical necessitation 149 particular affirmative 43

nonclassical world 55 particular negative 43

nonessential property 11 particular quantification 43, 44, 48,

nonfactive clause 145 82

nonfactive verb 144, 145 partitive 121, 179, 180, 184, 189,

nonlogical 202 190, 226, 227

— necessity 10 passive 86, 122

nonmonotonic 54 past tense 75, 98, 99

258 Index

performative 126, 133, 134, 137 probability grammar 1

permission 54 problem of knowledge 3

phrasal verb 171, 229 product set 24, 25, 72

plane of expression 2 progressive aspect 170

plural 84 prohibition 54

plurality 182 projection principle 114

point of reference 127 pronoun 13, 107-113, 115, 117-119,

polysemy 80, 81, 101, 220 127, 157, 171

positive 186, 189, 192 proper noun 5, 11, 46-48, 62, 83, 97,

possibility 50, 54, 57, 74, 101 117, 165, 167, 168, 178,

— operator 53 183, 201, 214

possible world 3-6, 8, 11, 41, 42, 47, proper subset 21

50, 51, 53, 55-57, 61, 62, property 5, 6, 41, 47, 49, 70, 71, 96,

68, 127, 130, 142, 201, 202 99, 114, 128, 129, 142,

possibly true proposition 51, 53, 131 167, 176, 177, 186, 186,

postpone 171, 172 188, 193, 194, 205, 215,

postulate 30, 31, 64 216, 224, 236, 237, 239

— of properties 214, 239

power set 24

proportional quantifier 176, 187, 188,

pragmatic 79, 105, 125, 201, 204,

190, 192, 217, 222

206, 207, 234, 238

proposition 3-6, 8-10, 12-15, 27, 30,

— operator 39, 210

31, 4 1 ^ 3 , 47, 50-53,

— presupposition 137-139, 155

55-57, 70, 71, 81, 92-94,

pragmatics 13, 126

123, 124, 129, 139, 141,

predicate calculus 18, 43, 58, 61, 73,

142, 148, 155, 156, 201,

94, 104, 106, 116, 164

202, 204, 205, 208, 210,

predicative 181, 182, 184, 189, 190,

213, 229, 233, 239

199

propositional attitude 8, 54, 83, 87,

— be 74, 82, 83, 96

91-93, 95, 97, 98, 123,

preposition 121, 122, 130, 171, 172,

124, 166, 174, 231

178, 179, 183, 184, 241,

propositional calculus 18, 40, 41, 45,

242

47, 163

prepositional adverb 229 propositional content 9, 12, 134, 202,

prepositional phrase 185, 241, 242 238

present perfect 143, 213 propositional equivalence 56

present 68, 213 propositional function 5, 17, 47-49,

— tense 75, 100, 148 58, 59, 76, 124

presupposition 15, 52, 126, 148, 152, propositional identity 56

153, 156-159, 219, 239 protoproposition 56, 57

presuppositional failure 69, 138, 147, prototype theory 78

155, 156 pseudocontradiction 205

presuppositional language 148

primary occurrence 92 quantification 43, 88, 116

Index 259

quantifier 49, 85, 88, 106, 107, 116, Russell 15, 23, 24, 37, 40, 47, 69, 82,

167, 177, 178, 184, 186, 84, 92, 140, 141, 155, 177,

192 186, 204, 207, 235

— interpretation 106, 107, 119

— order 86 Sapir 223

— phrase 71, 87, 106, 176, 178, 179, satisfaction 5, 14, 17, 25, 48, 49, 59,

182, 183 73, 84, 130, 134, 135, 137,

— scope 17, 44, 45, 104, 106, 119, 140, 149, 209, 215, 224,

175 235, 238

— word 88, 167, 168, 176 scope 60, 85, 87, 105, 106, 120, 207

question 133, 153, 154 — ambiguity 85, 86, 88, 89

Quine 16, 79-81, 85-88, 102, 185, — of negation 147

186, 205, 220 Scott 127

Quirk 182 Searle 84, 136

second order calculus 49

range 6, 26 secondary occurrence 92

reconstruction 118 secondary presupposition 154

reduction 189, 192 selectional restriction 116

reference modifier 184 selectional restriction 216, 217, 228,

reflexive pronoun 106, 111, 114, 115, 229, 234

117, 123 semantic presupposition 138, 139,

reflexive relation 28 146, 151, 158

reflexivity 57 semantic redundancy 94

regimentation 102, 185 semantic representation 2, 18, 39, 59,

Reichenbach 22, 24, 27, 29, 50 61, 76, 104, 125, 130, 132

relation 5, 6, 15, 16, 22, 23, 25-29, sense 6, 62, 63, 72, 83, 93, 95, 96,

41, 48, 52, 55-57, 60, 71, 10, 129, 214, 229

94, 95, 107, 108, 111, 148, sentence grammar 107

149, 151, 158, 188, 192, sentence modifier 50, 183, 196

206, 207, 211 sentential adverb 63, 64, 182, 190

relative clause 90, 110, 112, 113, sentential complement 87, 91, 92,

141, 144, 175, 179, 185, 193, 194

186, 189, 198 sentential connective 203

relative pronoun 111, 143, 186 set 20, 28, 29, 31, 48, 141

relevance 14, 49, 204, 205 — theory 20

remote subject 124 Sgall 130

reported speech 91 shallow structure 2, 105, 120, 169,

Rescher 69, 147 219

restrictive relative clause 89, 185 similarity relation 23

Tightness 207 simple past 143

rigid designator 11 simple present 98, 100

rule of derivation 32 sortal presupposition 142, 143, 153,

rule of inference 32 156

rules of functional application 196 specific 7, 86-88, 170, 218, 220

260 Index

speech-act theory 14 transformation 25, 34, 86, 107,

state of affairs 3, 10, 47, 48, 50, 148 1 6 9 - 1 7 1 , 185, 231, 2 3 2

statistical linguistics 1 transformational 14, 16, 184

Strawson 69, 131, 142, 151, 155 — grammar 86, 89, 105, 170, 182

strict implication 9, 53, 160 transitive relation 28

structural ambiguity 16 transitive verb 6, 7, 122, 1 6 7 - 1 7 2 ,

structure dependence 109 174, 198, 227, 228, 2 3 0

subjunctive 123, 233 transitivity 28, 58

subordinate 189 truth 3, 4, 8, 9, 21, 30, 31, 39, 65,

subordinating 197, 203 79, 80, 105, 126, 127, 134

subset 21, 24, 28 — condition 3, 9, 202

substantive verb 74, 82, 82, 97 — predicate 9 4

substitution 5, 7, 8, 40, 51, 59, 94, 97 — table 38, 40, 149, 203

— by definition 4 0 — value 3, 8, 9, 14, 38

superlative 186, 189-191 functionality 51

supervaluation 1 4 8 - 1 5 0 value gap 147

suppletion 79, 1 8 6 - 1 8 8 type 63, 64, 167

surface form 93

surface structure 2, 104, 107, 116,

uncertainty 207, 208

118, 125, 127, 166, 170,

underlying item 93, 94, 178

173, 183, 189, 213

understand 129

Sweet 78

understanding 3

syllogism 45, 95, 97

uniform substitution 4 0

symmetrical 58

union 22

— relation 28

unique individual 16, 47, 99, 140,

synonymy 9, 10, 12, 49, 180

141, 177, 214

syntactic function 5, 162, 163

unique value 5, 26, 27, 48, 131

tag-question 2 0 9 unit set 23

Tarski 9, 73, 94 unitary nominal 176, 177, 179, 181,

tautology 3, 7, 31, 41, 139, 151 192, 198

Taylor 78 universal affirmative 43

temporal connective 38, 212, 213 universal grammar 18, 66, 79, 109,

temporal quantifier 79, 80, 99 111, 113, 120

tense 68, 121, 130, 131, 143, 153, universal negative 43

209, 212, 213, 68 universal quantification 43, 44, 48,

— logic 18, 68 49, 74, 82, 222

term of a syllogism 45 universal set 21, 31

term variable 164, 165, 175 universal statement 45

thing 5, 47, 234 universe of discourse 140, 141

Thomason 1, 27, 7 4 unordered pair 25

topic 142, 156 utterance 75, 126, 128, 130, 131,

trace 106, 107, 113, 116, 118, 119 132, 2 4 0

Index 261

— preposition 121, 179-181, 183 wellformedness condition 105-107

valid question 154 wellformedness constraint 109

validity 46, 51, 55, 56 wh-interpretation 118-119

value 26 wh-movement 107, 119, 122

Van Dijk 156, 157, 204 wh-question 116, 119, 120, 75

wh-trace 117, 118

Van Fraassen 148, 149, 160

wh-word 116, 118, 133, 174, 209,

Van Riemsdijk 113

234

Van R i e m s d i j k - W i l l i a m s 104, 105,

Whitehead 37, 40

110, 111, 114, 115,

wide scope 85, 86, 89, 220

117-119

world-heaven 57

Vendler 141-237

world-knowledge 3

verb 27, 43, 50, 70, 122, 192, 193,

228 yes/no question 175

— phrase adverb 182

— phrase modifier 182 Zermelo 21

void set 23, 31

Mulder, Jan

m Foundations of Axiomatic

Linguistics

m 1989.15.5 χ 23 cm. ΧΠ, 475 pages. Cloth.

ISBN 311 011234 5

m (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 40]

the study of languages, and differs from other

m approaches in three major respects.

The methodology of the theory, a variant of Pop-

m per's hypothetico-deductive method, could be

termed "negativist", in order to differentiate it

from the "positivist" tradition the author sees as

m prevalent in European and American linguistics.

The theory is axiomatically based, closely rea-

m soned, and simple in relation to its adequacy,

thus making it a powerful theory.

m Finally, the theory, in close conjunction with the

methodology, is the sole instrument in the de-

m scription of languages.

Illustrated by examples from European and

m Oriental languages, the work gives a comprehen-

sive introduction to the theory, deals with pho-

m nology and morphology (in chapter V), and dis-

cusses syntax in general, as well as presenting a

m detailed description of English syntax (chap-

ters VI and VII). The "sentential level" is also

m covered (chapter VI) while chapter VIII presents

the axioms and definitions, i. e., the whole of the

m theory in compact form.

m mouton de gniyter

Berlin · New York

m Dietmar Zaefferer (Editor)

m Semantic Universale and

Universal Semantics

m 1991. 24 χ 16 cm. VIII, 242 pages. Cloth.

ISBN 3110133911

m

This collection of ten articles brings together empirically

m oriented investigations into semantic universale by logi-

cally interested linguists and theoretically oriented

research on universal semantics by linguistically oriented

m logicians.

Traditionally, empirical studies of those properties of

m the semantic subsystem of human language that are

shared by any other language have been carried out pri-

m marily by linguists, and have tended to be hampered not

only by a lack of data, but also by a lack of terminological

precision and rigor.

m Theoretically oriented research on a theory of semantic

subsystems that is general enough to fit any language has

m been the domain of logicians and philosophers of lan-

guage. Although this work has been precise and rigorous,

m it has tended to be of such generality as to be almost void of

empirical content.

m The uniting of these two approaches provides a basis

for a discussion of the adequacy of standard first order

logic for the modelling of natural language semantics.

m

Contributors are Johannes Bechert, Johan van Benthem,

David Gil, Manfred Immler, Ekkehard König, Manfred

m Krifka, Godehard Link, Hans-Jürgen Sasse, and Dietmar

Zaefferer.

m

m mouton de gruyter

m Berlin · New York

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