Paper: A Calculus For Semantic Composition And Scoping

ACL ID P89-1019
Title A Calculus For Semantic Composition And Scoping
Venue Annual Meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 1989

Certain restrictions on possible scopings of quan- tified noun phrases in natural language are usually expressed in terms of formal constraints on bind- ing at a level of logical form. Such reliance on the form rather than the content of semantic inter- pretations goes against the spirit of composition- ality. I will show that those scoping restrictions follow from simple and fundamental facts about functional application and abstraction, and can be expressed as constraints on the derivation of possi- ble meanings for sentences rather than constraints of the alleged forms of those meanings. 1 An Obvious Constraint? Treatments of quantifier scope in Montague gram- mar (Montague, 1973; Dowty et al. , 1981; Cooper, 1983), transformational grammar (Reinhart, 1983; May, 1985; Helm, 1982; Robert...