Proof-theoretic semantics for a natural language fragment

Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (6):447-477 (2010)
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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.

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Author's Profile

Nissim Francez
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology

Citations of this work

Truth in Fiction: Rethinking its Logic.John Woods - 2018 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag.
Proof-Theoretic Semantics.Peter Schroeder-Heister - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A Note on Harmony.Nissim Francez & Roy Dyckhoff - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (3):613-628.
Advances in Proof-Theoretic Semantics.Peter Schroeder-Heister & Thomas Piecha (eds.) - 2015 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag.

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References found in this work

Ontological relativity and other essays.Willard Van Orman Quine (ed.) - 1969 - New York: Columbia University Press.
The logical basis of metaphysics.Michael Dummett - 1991 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Articulating reasons: an introduction to inferentialism.Robert Brandom - 2000 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Natural deduction: a proof-theoretical study.Dag Prawitz - 1965 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications.
Articulating Reasons: An Introduction to Inferentialism.Robert Brandom - 2000 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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