Lexical semantics and type theory

Language & Logic

The pioneering work of Ranta (1994) on using Type Theory for NL semantics has initiated a strong interest in the use of Type Theories for representing formal semantics. And even though Type Theory was initially mainly concerned with compositional and formal semantics, a number of linguists logicians and computer scientists noticed the relevance of type theory for lexical semantics as well. Around 2000 the paper "the metaphysics of words in context" by Asher & Pustejovsky (2001) initiated Type Theoretic approaches to lexical coercions and meaning transfers by investigating extension and refinement of the type system used by Montague. Accounts for this type of phenomena need to capture ordinary selectional restriction phenomena (e.g. a "chair" may not "bark", in an ordinary context), while at the some time they have to ensure some flexibility for adapting meanings to contexts in case of meaning transfers, co-predication etc. The study of this kind of phenomena is of course not new. Their study goes back at least till the 80’s (Bierwisch, Nunberg, Cruse among others). What is relatively new is the study of these phenomena from the perspective of Type Theory. Using Type Theory to deal with lexical phenomena is an active research theme, with an increasing presence in various formal/computational semantic journals and conferences and valuable type theoretical contributions on incorporating lexical considerations into compositional semantics.

First week
14:00 - 15:30 - slot 3