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Semantics

Glue Semantics and LFG


Together with Dr John Lamping of Google and Dr Vijay Saraswat of IBM TJ Watson Research Lab, Prof Dalrymple is one of the architects of Glue Semantics, a theory of the syntax-semantics interface. It is compatible with various syntactic frameworks, though most work within the glue framework has been conducted within Lexical Functional Grammar. Prof. Dalrymple was the editor of Semantics and syntax in Lexical Functional Grammar (MIT Press, 1999), an early collection of papers on glue. Her 2001 book Lexical Functional Grammar (Academic Press, 2001) also provides glue analyses for many of the constructions that are discussed. Glue Semantics is also a research focus for Dr. Asudeh, who has published various articles in the framework and also has a book published in 2012, The Logic of Pronominal Resumption (OUP), that adopts Glue Semantics and Lexical Functional Grammar as its formal frameworks.

Resource-sensitive semantic composition


Certain logical approaches to semantic composition, such as Categorial Grammar and Glue Semantics, highlight elements of semantic composition as resources that must be used exactly once in a successful semantic derivation. This 'logical resource sensitivity' forms the basis for 'linguistic resource sensitivity', which adds linguistically motivated constraints to resource-logical proofs. Linguistic resource sensitivity in turn leads to 1) issues of apparent 'resource deficit', where there is a single resource that apparently has multiple consumers, e.g. as in coordination, non-finite control, and parasitic gaps; 2) issues of apparent 'resource surplus', where there is a resource that apparently has no consumer, e.g. as in finite control and raising, resumptive pronouns, and copy raising. Dr. Asudeh has pursued this research program in various articles and in his 2012 book, The Logic of Pronominal Resumption (OUP). It continues to be a focus area in Dr. Asudeh's research.

Semantics and grammatical architecture


The syntax-semantics interface has been an important area of enquiry in theoretical linguistics, but the role of semantics in grammatical architecture more broadly should also be investigated. This raises a number of interesting questions, such as: 1) Are there direct interfaces between semantics and other parts of grammar? 2) Are there constraints on semantic composition that are not derived from constraints on syntactic well-formedness? In other words, does semantic composition have a distinct syntax of its own? 3) Is there empirical evidence for the nature of the syntax-semantics interface and semantic composition in light of the distinction between interpretive composition theories, such as LF approaches, and parallel composition theories, such as categorial approaches and Glue Semantics? Dr. Asudeh is investigating these and related questions.

Language and Music

The intriguing similarities between language and music have of late attracted the attention of researchers from a number of different disciplines, prompted not least by new techniques for examining what is happening in the human brain when we listen to music and speech. Current research is looking at how far linguistics pragmatics can be extended to account for the way humans ‘find meaning’ in music, drawing in particular on Relevance Theory.

 

Harmony and Controversy in 17th-century Scientific Thought

This is a three-year AHRC-funded project to investigate questions concerning the non-mathematic work of John Wallis (1616-703). The research outputs will include three volumes comprising critical editions of Wallis’s tracts on grammar, logical and music theory. The project is an interdisciplinary one, involving an international network of scholars who work in Oxford either full-time or on research visits.
http://wallis.clp.ox.ac.uk/

 

The Universal Language Internet Portal (TULIP)

In the mid seventeenth century, the idea of constructing a universal language attracted wide-spread and sometimes frenzied interest. But unlike tulip mania, the quest for a universal language was not simply a fashionable vogue but was firmly grounded in mainstream philosophy and science. This website aims to give a hands-on introduction to one of the more elegant of these schemes, and to provide the background needed to understand why leading scholars of the day thought the project was so important.

 

 

Psycholinguistics

Romance Linguistics

Sociolinguistics

Semantics

Syntax