LINGUIST List 25.4879

Wed Dec 03 2014

Books: Continuations and Natural Language: Barker, Shan

Editor for this issue: Sara Couture <>

Date: 01-Dec-2014
From: Helena Palmer <>
Subject: Continuations and Natural Language: Barker, Shan
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Title: Continuations and Natural Language
Series Title: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 53
Published: 2014
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Book URL:

Author: Chris Barker
Author: Chung-Chieh Shan
Hardback: ISBN: 9780199575015 Pages: 256 Price: U.K. £ 65
Paperback: ISBN: 9780199575022 Pages: 256 Price: U.K. £ 29.99

This book takes concepts developed by researchers in theoretical computer science and adapts and applies them to the study of natural language meaning. Summarizing more than a decade of research, Chris Barker and Chung-chieh Shan put forward the Continuation Hypothesis: that the meaning of a natural language expression can depend on its own continuation. In Part I, the authors develop a continuation-based theory of scope and quantificational binding and provide an explanation for order sensitivity in scope-related phenomena such as scope ambiguity, crossover, superiority, reconstruction, negative polarity licensing, dynamic anaphora, and donkey anaphora. Part II outlines an innovative substructural logic for reasoning about continuations and proposes an analysis of the compositional semantics of adjectives such as 'same' in terms of parasitic and recursive scope. It also shows that certain cases of ellipsis should be treated as anaphora to a continuation, leading to a new explanation for a subtype of sluicing known as sprouting.

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
                            General Linguistics
                            Linguistic Theories
                            Philosophy of Language

Written In: English (eng)

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