Vectors as relative positions: a compositional semantics of modified PPs

Journal of Semantics 14 (1):57-86 (1997)
Abstract
The interpretation of modified PPs, like one meter behind the disk, far outside the village, or right under the lamp, has never received much attention in the literature about prepositions. However, as this paper shows, the modification of PPs presents an intriguing problem for a compositional semantics of PPs. This problem can be solved when the PP is interpreted, not as a set of points or mereological portions of space, but as a set of vectors, that represent positions relative to the reference object. Modifiers map a set of vectors to a subset For example, if behind the desk denotes the set of vectors pointing backward from the desk, then one meter behind the desk denotes the subset consisting of those vectors that have a length of one meter. Given the familiar operations on vectors, the denotations of PPs can be studied in a systematic way, by formulating formal properties that characterize empirically relevant subclasses of locative PPs or that provide general constraints on their denotation. The examples are taken from Dutch, but the conclusions are valid for all languages that have the kind of PP modification that exists in Dutch and English
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/jos/14.1.57
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,781
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Prepositional Aspect and the Algebra of Paths.Joost Zwarts - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (6):739 - 779.
Cross-Categorial Restrictions on Measure Phrase Modification.Yoad Winter - 2004 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (2):233 - 267.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Prepositional Aspect and the Algebra of Paths.Joost Zwarts - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (6):739 - 779.
On the Linguistic Complexity of Proper Names.Ora Matushansky - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (5):573-627.
From Compositional to Systematic Semantics.Wlodek Zadrozny - 1994 - Linguistics and Philosophy 17 (4):329 - 342.
Communication And The Complexity of Semantics.Peter Pagin - 2012 - In Markus Werning, Wolfram Hinzen & Edouard Machery (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Compositionality. Oxford University Press.
Quantification in Eskimo: A Challenge for Compositional Semantics.Maria Bittner - 1995 - In E. Bach, E. Jelinek, A. Kratzer & B. Partee (eds.), Quantification in Natural Languages. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 59--80.
Quantification.Anna Szabolcsi - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
Compositional Semantics and the Lemma Dilemma.Marco Zorzi & Gabriella Vigliocco - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (1):60-61.
Interpreting Concatenation and Concatenates.Paul M. Pietroski - 2006 - Philosophical Issues 16 (1):221–245.
On the Compositional Extension Problem.Dag Westerståhl - 2004 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 33 (6):549-582.
Added to PP index
2010-09-02

Total downloads
32 ( #166,175 of 2,199,239 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #149,211 of 2,199,239 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature