Reference to Abstract Objects in Discourse

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Springer Science & Business Media, Apr 30, 1993 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 455 pages
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Reference to Abstract Objects in Discourse presents a novel framework and analysis of the ways we refer to abstract objects in natural language discourse. The book begins with a typology of abstract objects and related entities like eventualities. After an introduction to `bottom up, compositional' discourse representation theory (DRT) and to previous work on abstract objects in DRT (notably work on the semantics of the attitudes), the book turns to a semantic analysis of eventuality and abstract object denoting nominals in English. The book then substantially revises and extends the dynamic semantic framework of DRT to develop an analysis of anaphoric reference to abstract objects and eventualities that exploits discourse structure and the discourse relations that obtain between elements of the structure. A dynamic, semantically based theory of discourse structure (SDRT) is proposed, along with many illustrative examples. Two further chapters then provide the analysis of anaphoric reference to propositions VP ellipsis. The abstract entity anaphoric antecedents are elements of the discourse structures that SDRT develops. The final chapter discusses some logical and philosophical difficulties for a semantic analysis of reference to abstract objects.
For semanticists, philosophers of language, computer scientists interested in natural language applications and discourse, philosophical logicians, graduate students in linguistics, philosophy, cognitive science and artificial intelligence.
  

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
FROM EVENTS TO PROPOSITIONS A TOUR OF ABSTRACT ENTITIES EVENTUALITIES AND THE NOMINALS THAT DENOTE THEM
15
1 DISTRIBUTIONAL DATA AND THE TYPOLOGY OF ABSTRACT ENTITIES
18
12 States and Other Sorts of Eventualities
23
13 Situations
24
14 Divisions Among Propositionlike Entities
26
2 QUANTIFICATION ABSTRACT OBJECT ANAPHORA AND THE TYPOLOGY OF ABSTRACT OBJECTS
32
22 Anaphora
34
4 CORRESPONDENCES AND CONNECTIONS BETWEEN ABSTRACT OBJECTS
206
42 The Spectra of Nouniness and World Immanence do not Correlate Completely
207
44 Predicate Incompatibilities and Polymorphic Characterizing Structures
210
45 Metaphysical Relations between Eventualities and Abstract Objects in Natural Language Metaphysics
212
5 THE PROBLEM OF EVENT NEGATION SOLVED
214
51 Three Tests for Negation and Event Descriptions
215
52 Negation Without Wide Scope Adverbials
217
53 Negation and Wide Scope Adverbials
218

3 PRINCIPLES OF SUMMATION AND STRUCTURED DOMAINS FOR ABSTRACT ENTITIES
40
31 Events
41
32 Propositions
48
33 States
51
34 Facts
55
4 PROVISIONAL CONCLUSIONS
57
A CRASH COURSE IN DRT
63
2 THE BASIC FRAGMENT
66
22 The Basic Construction Procedure
69
23 DRS Construction Multiple Sentence Discourse and Intersentential
73
24 Every and if then
74
25 SubDRSs Accessibility and Anaphora
75
26 Scopes for Quantifiers in DRT and Other Constraints on Anaphora
79
27 Other Determiners and Operators in the Basic Fragment
81
28 External Anchors and Definites
82
EVENTS IN DRT
85
4 PLURALS IN DRT
91
42 Plural Anaphora
92
FORMALIZATION OF DRS CONSTRUCTION AND DRS INTERPRETATION
95
52 Model Theory
96
53 The Construction Procedure and its Semantics
98
ATTITUDES AND ATTITUDE DESCRIPTIONS
111
2 ATTITUDES OPERATORS AND PREDICATES
115
3 INTERPRETING ATTITUDE ASCRIPTIONS
118
4 CONCEPTS AND ATTITUDES
122
5 ATTITUDES PROPOSITIONS AND REPRESENTATIONS
128
6 CONCLUSIONS
135
THE SEMANTIC REPRESENTATION FOR SENTENTIAL NOMINALS
138
1 SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC ASSUMPTIONS AND BASIC PRINCIPLES
141
12 Additional Semantic Principles and the Effects of the DP Analysis on DRS Construction
144
2 DERIVED NOMINALS
149
21 The Distinction between Process and Result Nominals
150
22 Process Nominals
152
23 Result Nominals
157
24 Prepositional and Fact Readings of Derived Nominate
159
25 Remarks on Property Derived Nominals
162
3 OFING GERUND PHRASES AND BARE NOMINALS
163
32 The Aspectual Force of ing in Ofing Gerunds
167
33 Bare Gerunds and Nominals
168
4 THAT CLAUSES
171
42 NCP Constructions
172
43 That Clause Constructions Factive Presuppositions and Individual Anaphora
178
INFINITIVALS AND PROJECTIVE PROPOSITIONS
180
52 Chierchias Analysis of Infinitivals
184
PROBLEMS FOR THE SEMANTICS OF NOMINALS
190
2 THE SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC ANALYSIS OF IP GERUNDS
193
22 POSSing Constructions as IPs
197
3 NAKED INFINITIVES
204
54 Negation and Event Nominals
219
LESSONS FOR NATURAL LANGUAGE METAPHYSICS
221
ANAPHORA AND ABSTRACT ENTITIES
225
2 EVENT ANAPHORA
232
3 EVENTTYPE ANAPHORA AND USING EVENTTYPES TO CONSTRUCT EVENT SUMS
235
4 PROPOSITION ANAPHORA
241
5 FACT ANAPHORA
245
6 CONCEPT ANAPHORA IN DRT
246
62 VP Ellipsis in DR Theory
251
A THEORY OF DISCOURSE STRUCTURE FOR AN ANALYSIS OF ABSTRACT ENTITY ANAPHORA
256
1 THE PROBLEM OF DISCOURSE STRUCTURE AND ANAPHORA
258
THEORY
262
3 DISCOURSE RELATIONS AND THEIR SEMANTICS
263
4 PRINCIPLES OF DISCOURSE SEGMENTATION AND SDRS CONSTITUENT CONSTRUCTION
269
41 Constraints on Attachment
270
42 Inferring Discourse Relations
272
43 Rules for Attachment
275
5 REVISION OF CONSTITUENTS AFTER UPDATING
284
6 TAKING STOCK
297
7 APPENDIX OF DEFINITIONS AND CONSTRAINTS IN CHAPTER 7
299
72 Axioms and Meaning Postulates for Discourse Relations
300
73 Basic Definitions and Axioms for SDRS Updating
302
74 Constituent Revision
304
APPLYING THE THEORY OF DISCOURSE STRUCTURE TO THE ANAPHORIC PHENOMENA
312
2 SOME EXAMPLES OF PROPOSITION ANAPHORA
318
3 AVAILABILITY ANAPHORA AND CONSTITUENT REVISION
321
32 A variability and Topic Revision
330
33 The Limits of Availability
338
4 DISCOURSE SUBORDINATION
339
5 EVENT AND PLURAL ANAPHORA REVISITED
345
6 ANAPHORIC CONNECTIONS ACROSS DIFFERENT ABSTRACT TYPES
349
7 CONCLUSIONS ABOUT ABSTRACT ANAPHORA
351
APPLICATIONS OF THE THEORY OF DISCOURSE STRUCTURE TO CONCEPT ANAPHORA AND VP ELLIPSIS
354
2 EXAMPLES OF OVERT CONCEPT ANAPHORA
357
3 VP ELLIPSIS
361
4 SLOPPY IDENTITY
370
5 CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ON ABSTRACT ENTITY ANAPHORA
381
3 PROBLEMS OF SELFREFERENCE
395
4 TWO ARGUMENTS FOR A REPRESENTATIONAL THEORY OF ABSTRACT ENTITIES
407
5 METAPHYSICAL REPRESENTATIONALISM AND METAPHYSICAL REDUCTION
413
6 TECHNICAL APPENDIX
419
62 Intensional Contents
424
63 The Semantics for the Expanded Construction Procedure
429
CONCLUSION
434
BIBLIOGRAPHY
436
INDEX
451
Copyright

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The Parameter of Aspect
C.S. Smith
Limited preview - 1997
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About the author (1993)

Nicholas Asher is Professor of Philosophy and of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include formal semantics and pragmatics, discourse processing and various topics in philosophical logic. He has published over eighty articles and is the author of Reference to Abstract Objects in Discourse (1993).