Proof-theoretic semantics for a natural language fragment

Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (6):447-477 (2010)
Abstract
The paper presents a proof-theoretic semantics (PTS) for a fragment of natural language, providing an alternative to the traditional model-theoretic (Montagovian) semantics (MTS), whereby meanings are truth-condition (in arbitrary models). Instead, meanings are taken as derivability-conditions in a dedicated natural-deduction (ND) proof-system. This semantics is effective (algorithmically decidable), adhering to the meaning as use paradigm, not suffering from several of the criticisms formulated by philosophers of language against MTS as a theory of meaning. In particular, Dummett’s manifestation argument does not obtain, and assertions are always warranted, having grounds of assertion. The proof system is shown to satisfy Dummett’s harmony property, justifying the ND rules as meaning conferring. The semantics is suitable for incorporation into computational linguistics grammars, formulated in type-logical grammar
Keywords Proof-theoretic semantics  Natural language  Harmony  Natural deduction
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Citations of this work BETA
Nissim Francez & Roy Dyckhoff (2012). A Note on Harmony. Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (3):613-628.
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