Formal Semantics and Applied Mathematics: An Inferential Account


Authors
Ryan Mark Nefdt
University of Cape Town
Abstract
In this paper, I utilise the growing literature on scientific modelling to investigate the nature of formal semantics from the perspective of the philosophy of science. Specifically, I incorporate the inferential framework proposed by Bueno and Colyvan : 345–374, 2011) in the philosophy of applied mathematics to offer an account of how formal semantics explains and models its data. This view produces a picture of formal semantic models as involving an embedded process of inference and representation applying indirectly to linguistic phenomena. The final aim of the paper is directed at proposing a novel account of the syntax–semantics interface while shedding light on empty categories, semantically null forms, underspecified content and compositionality as a whole.
Keywords formal semantics  applied mathematics  philosophy of science  syntax-semantics interface
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DOI 10.1007/s10849-019-09298-z
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References found in this work BETA

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