|Title:||Procedural lexical semantics|
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
|Department:||Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies|
|Pages:||ix, 141 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.|
|Abstract:||This thesis takes a fresh look at the notion of predication with a single goal to give an outline of a theory of semantic well-formedness. We advocate a procedural approach to semantic analysis, which argues for a notion of meaning conceived as an abstract procedure. We use two main departure points in our enterprise. First, we evaluate several proposals made by the Generative Lexicon theory and suggest new solutions. Second, we extend the theory of the Transparent Intensional Logic and apply its formal techniques to analysis of word semantics, which allows us to approach the principle by which meanings bond together in complex expressions from a different angle and offer a richer analysis of meaning, both at the level of lexical semantic as well as compositional semantic analysis. Our theory of predication goes beyond simple juxtaposition of a predicate and an argument and we ask what goes on in the process of function application, the representative approach to the unity of proposition, itself. We analyse this process in detail by decomposing both predicates and arguments and point out the ways by which these two combine in complex expressions and ultimately how they create propositions. These techniques allow us to describe a flexible formal system suitable for analysis of meaning change as well as meaning variation, including the analysis of cross-linguistic phenomena.|
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