From compositional to systematic semantics

Linguistics and Philosophy 17 (4):329 - 342 (1994)
Abstract
We prove a theorem stating that any semantics can be encoded as a compositional semanties, which means that, essentially, the standard definition of compositionality is formally vacuous. We then show that when compositional semantics is required to be systematic (that is, the meaning function cannot be arbitrary, but must belong to some class), it is possible to distinguish between compositional and noncompositional semantics. As a result, we believe that the paper clarifies the concept of compositionality and opens the possibility of making systematic formal comparisons of different systems of grammar.
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    Zoltan Szabo (2010). The Determination of Content. Philosophical Studies 148 (2):253 - 272.
    Zoltán Szabó (2010). The Determination of Content. Philosophical Studies 148 (2):253 - 272.
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