A Calculus For Semantic Composition and Scoping


Pereira, F. C. (1989, June). A calculus for semantic composition and scoping. In 27th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (pp. 152-160).


Certain restrictions on possible scopings of quantified noun phrases in natural language are usually expressed in terms of formal constraints on binding at a level of logical form. Such reliance on the form rather than the content of semantic interpretations goes against the spirit of compositionality. 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 possible meanings for sentences rather than constraints of the alleged forms of those meanings.

Read more from SRI