1. Mastering logical techniques in formal semantics (types, lambdas, intensions).
2. Learning to describe semantic phenomena in natural language using these techniques.
3. Learning about problems, theories and applications in formal semantics by studying relevant literature.
4. Learning about problems, theories and applications in computational semantics and/or experimental semantics and pragmatics.
Deze cursus maakt deel uit van het verdiepingspakket Reasoning and Language.|
What are the relations between mathematical logic and meanings in natural language? Can the semantics of natural languages be described in mathematical-logical means? What sort of linguistic phenomena are most amenable to logical treatment? How expressible should such logics be, and how can they be defined? Can logical treatments of natural language meaning help computers to understand it? What is the experimental support for semantic theory?
This course will give an intensive introduction to the study of these questions in contemporary theoretical, computational and experimental linguistics. We will start from basic notions in formal semantics: entailment, ambiguity, compositionality, direct model-theoretic interpretation, types and model structure, boolean operators and generalized quantifiers. Motivations and examples will draw on recent research of coordination, quantifier scope and intensionality. A selection of diverse semantic problems involving plural expressions, spatial expressions, lexical meaning and pragmatics will be discussed.
Part of the course will cover on-going work on the computation of meaning for natural language. We will learn about applications of formal semantics for reasoning using natural language, for the representation of ambiguity, and for translation from English to the Haskell programming language. We will cover on-going experimental work in experimental semantics and pragmatics, and show how it is related to the logical topics of this course.
For literature see the list of materials (“materialen”). The course will also draw on articles that will be distributed to the students.
Early Exit option for international exchange students (5 ECTS)
Exchange students who are required to return to their home university before January, are allowed to choose an Early Exit option for this course. The Early Exit option means that students can finish the course before Christmas break, receiving 5 ECTS for the course. Students must make arrangements with the course coordinator at the start of the course.