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Institute for Logic, Language and Computation

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7 November 2003, ILLC Lectures (Special), Mark Steedman

Speaker: Mark Steedman (Informatics, University of Edinburgh)
Title: Scope Alternation and the Syntax-Semantics Interface
Date: Friday November 7, 2003
Time: 15:00
Location: (<em>changed</em>)
Grote Vergaderzaal, Herengracht 182, Amsterdam

Ambiguities arising from alternations of scope in inter-pretations for multiply quantified sentences appear to require grammatical operations that compromise the strong assumptions of syntactic/semantic transparency and monotonicity underlying the Frege-Montague approach to the theory of grammar. Examples that have been proposed include covert movement at logical form, equivalent abstraction or storage mechanisms, and proliferating type-changing operations.

This talk discusses some interactions of scope alternation with syntactic phenomena including coordination, binding, and word-order in Germanic languages. Starting from the assumption that many expressions that have been treated as generalized quantifiers are in fact referential expressions, and using Combinatory Categorial Grammar (CCG) as a grammatical framework, I will present an account of quantifier scope ambiguities according to which the available readings are projected directly from the lexicon by the combinatorics of the syntactic derivation, without any independent manipulation of logical form and without recourse to type-changing operations.

If there is time Steedman will sketch the model theory, which (as distinct from the grammatical apparatus) shows some affinities to Farkas' and dynamic accounts.

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.