Semantic bounds for everyday language

Semiotica 2012 (188):363-372 (2012)
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Abstract

We consider the notion of everyday language. We claim that everyday language is semantically bounded by the properties expressible in the existential fragment of second–order logic. Two arguments for this thesis are formulated. Firstly, we show that so–called Barwise's test of negation normality works properly only when assuming our main thesis. Secondly, we discuss the argument from practical computability for finite universes. Everyday language sentences are directly or indirectly verifiable. We show that in both cases they are bounded by second–order existential properties. Moreover, there are known examples of everyday language sentences which are the most difficult in this class (NPTIME–complete).

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Author Profiles

Jakub Szymanik
University of Amsterdam
Marcin Mostowski
Last affiliation: Jagiellonian University

References found in this work

On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem.Alan Turing - 1936 - Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society 42 (1):230-265.
Quantifiers in Language and Logic.Stanley Peters & Dag Westerståhl - 2006 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
Quantifiers in Language and Logic.Stanley Peters & Dag Westerståhl - 2006 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press UK.

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