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Publication Details

A Calculus For Semantic Composition and Scoping

by Pereira, Fernando C. N.

Technical Note 467
Institution: AI Center, SRI International
Address: 333 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025
May 1989.

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Abstract

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.

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