LINGUIST List 11.1235

Fri Jun 2 2000

Books: General Theoretical Linguistics, Semantics

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <scottlinguistlist.org>


Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.

Directory

  1. Kim Lewis Brown, Theoretical Ling: Usage-Based Models of Language, M. Barlow & S. Kemmer
  2. Kim Lewis Brown, Semantics: The Ontology of Language, C. Fox

Message 1: Theoretical Ling: Usage-Based Models of Language, M. Barlow & S. Kemmer

Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 08:44:59 -0700
From: Kim Lewis Brown <kimcsli.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: Theoretical Ling: Usage-Based Models of Language, M. Barlow & S. Kemmer

Barlow, Michael (Rice University); Kemmer, Suzanne (Rice University; 
USAGE-BASED MODELS OF LANGUAGE; ISBN: 1-57586-170-4 (paper), 
1-57586-219-0 (cloth) 384 pages. CSLI Publications 2000: 
http://cslipublications.stanford.edu email:pubscsli.stanford.edu

This book brings together papers by the foremost representatives of a
range of theoretical and empirical approaches converging on a common
goal: to account for language USE, or how speakers actually speak and
understand language. Crucial to a usage-based approach are frequency,
statistical patterns, and, most generally, linguistic experience.
Linguistic competence is not seen as cognitively-encapsulated and
divorced from performance, but as a system continually shaped, from
inception, by linguistic usage events.The authors represented here
were among the first to leave behind rule-based linguistic
representations in favor of constraint-based systems whose structural
properties actually emerge from usage. Such emergentist systems evince
far greater cognitive and neurological plausibility than algorithmic,
generative models. Approaches represented here include Cognitive
Grammar, the Lexical Network Model, Competition Model, Relational
Network Model, and Accessibility Theory. The empirical data comes
from phonological variation, syntactic change, psycholinguistic
experiments, discourse, connectionist modelling of language
acquisition, and linguistic corpora.



CSLI Publications
Ventura Hall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-4115
Telephone (650) 723-1839
Fax (650) 725-2166
http://cslipublications.stanford.edu/
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Message 2: Semantics: The Ontology of Language, C. Fox

Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 08:50:04 -0700
From: Kim Lewis Brown <kimcsli.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: Semantics: The Ontology of Language, C. Fox

Fox, Chris (Goldsmiths College); THE ONTOLOGY OF LANGUAGE; ISBN: 
1-57586-234-4 (paper), 1-57586-233-6 (cloth) 384 pages. CSLI 
Publications 2000: http://cslipublications.stanford.edu 
email:pubscsli.stanford.edu

This volume is concerned with the representation of the meaning of
language in formal logic. The Ontology of Language aims to show how
some phenomena of language can be represented with a relatively simple
formal logic. Similar work in this area has suggested that standard,
'classical' logical systems must be extended to account for the
meaning of pronouns and other nominal expressions. Among other things,
this work shows that by reconsidering how we represent natural
language in a formal logic, some of these extensions are not
required. Specifically, The Ontology of Language explores how semantic
issues can be addressed in the framework of Property Theory in a way
that minimizes the ontological commitments of the resulting semantics.

The book contributes to a number of topics in semantics, while at the
same time provides an engaging discussion of key foundational issues
and of what Property Theory can bring to them. The book starts with a
version of Property Theory which stems from a combination of the
lambda calculus with Aczel's Frege structures (a combination
originally developed by Raymond Turner). Fox improves on this version
and substantially extends it with original applications to plurals and
mass nouns, to 'intensional individuals' and to the dynamics of
discourse. Some useful appendixes on further extensions and
alternatives are added. While formally this book is highly
sophisticated, it also gives a sense of the elegance and flexibility
of the underlying theory.




CSLI Publications
Ventura Hall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-4115
Telephone (650) 723-1839
Fax (650) 725-2166
http://cslipublications.stanford.edu/
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue
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Wednesday, May 17, 2000