Towards a variable-free semantics

Linguistics and Philosophy 22 (2):117-185 (1999)
The Montagovian hypothesis of direct model-theoretic interpretation of syntactic surface structures is supported by an account of the semantics of binding that makes no use of variables, syntactic indices, or assignment functions & shows that the interpretation of a large portion of so-called variable-binding phenomena can dispense with the level of logical form without incurring equivalent complexity elsewhere in the system. Variable-free semantics hypothesizes local interpretation of each surface constituent; binding is formalized as a type-shifting operation on expressions that denote functions, & sentences containing a free pronoun are analyzed as a function from individuals to propositions having a meaning of type (e,t). Standard weak crossover effects & binding patterns in sentences with multiple pronouns are shown to submit to straightforward type-theoretic treatments that do not rely on indexation. The variable-free semantics smoothly implements full surface compositionality & requires less machinery than standard accounts to handle functional questions, their answers, sloppy inferences, & across-the-board binding. 73 References. J. Hitchcock.
Keywords Linguistics   Philosophy of Language   Artificial Intelligence   Computational Linguistics   Semantics   Syntax
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1005464228727
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,914
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
N. Ángel Pinillos (2011). Coreference and Meaning. Philosophical Studies 154 (2):301-324.
Nate Charlow (2014). Logic and Semantics for Imperatives. Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):617-664.
Chris Barker (2007). Parasitic Scope. Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (4):407-444.

View all 22 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

90 ( #31,349 of 1,725,622 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

11 ( #59,851 of 1,725,622 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.