LINGUIST List 14.2701

Tue Oct 7 2003

Diss: Semantics: Sailer: 'Combinatorial...'

Editor for this issue: Takako Matsui <>


  1. mf, Combinatorial Semantics and Idiomatic Expressions

Message 1: Combinatorial Semantics and Idiomatic Expressions

Date: Mon, 06 Oct 2003 07:21:32 +0000
From: mf <>
Subject: Combinatorial Semantics and Idiomatic Expressions

Institution: University of T�bingen
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2000

Author: Manfred Sailer 

Dissertation Title: Combinatorial Semantics and Idiomatic Expressions
in Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field: Semantics 

Subject Language: English (code: ENG)

Director 1: Erhard W. Hinrichs
Dissertation Director 2: Friedrich Hamm
Dissertation Director 3: Uwe M�nnich
Dissertation Director 4: J�rgen Pafel

Dissertation Abstract: 

This thesis focusses on the interaction of regularity and irregularity
in combinatorial semantics, i.e., in the interpretation of complex
syntactic structures are interpreted. The empirical domain of the
study lies within the varying degree of syntactic and semantic
regularity apparent in the continuum between free combinations ("read
a book"), (more or less flexible) idiomatic expressions ("spill the
beans"), and fully fixed expressions ("trip the light fantastic").

The thesis extends the architecture of grammar of Head-Driven Phrase
Structure Grammar (Pollard and Sag 1994) with a model-theoretic
semantics and with an irregularity module. The former is located in
the CONTENT value of a linguistic sign, the latter in the value of a
new feature, COLL (Context Of Lexical Licensing).

It will be argued that the new architecture for semantics has
considerable advantages over the architecture of Pollard and Sag 1994,
and that the treatment of idiomatic expressions meets the requirement
for an integrated treatment of regularity and irregularity in natural
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