This volume contains a detailed, precise and clear semantic formalism designed to allow non-programmers such as linguists and literary specialists to represent elements of meaning which they must deal with in their research and teaching. At the same time, by its basis in a functional programming paradigm, it retains sufficient formal precision to support computational implementation.
The formalism is designed to represent meaning as found at a variety of levels, including basic semantic units and relations, word meaning, sentence-level phenomena, and text-level meaning. By drawing on fundamental principles of program design, the proposed formalism is both easy to read and modify yet sufficiently powerful to allow for the representation of complex semantic phenomena.
In this monograph, the authors introduce the formalism and show its basic structure, apply it to the analysis of the semantics of a variety of linguistic phenomena in both English and French, and use it to represent the semantics of a variety of texts ranging from single sentences, to textual excepts, to a full story.
“Genuine interdisciplinary research between linguistics, literary studies and computational approaches is rare. The research detailed here is an example of such interdisciplinary collaboration at its best. Technical, but enjoyable, this is a book to be read and thought about as it opens many new vistas.” – Geoffrey Williams, Professor, Université De Bretagne-Sud, France