Compositional and lexical semantics. • Compositional semantics: the construction of meaning (generally expressed as logic) based on syntax. This lecture. Our discussion has led us to one of the key concepts of contemporary semantic theory: compositionality. The principle of compositionality. Compositionality is a. Abstract. We prove a theorem stating that any semantics can be encoded as a compositional semantics, which means that, essentially, the standard definition of.


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In that case it's our task to describe how the semantic representation of the VP subpart is to be built out of the representation of its two sub-subparts. If we succeed in doing this for all the grammatical constructions covered by the syntax, we'll have developed compositional semantics compositional semantics for the corresponding language or at least, for that fragment of the language compositional semantics by our syntactic analysis.

What is so nice about compositional semantics?

Principle of compositionality - Wikipedia

First of all, the principle of compositionality is of great immediate appeal: The meaning of a sentence should somehow be derivable from that sentence itself. And two compositional semantics of information that every sentence provides us with are its words and its structure.

Moreover, in the course of compositional semantic construction, each of the syntactic subparts of a sentence gets assigned a meaning of its own at some point, and syntactic rules are correlated with actions on the semantic side. This may be seen compositional semantics giving a semantic justification of syntactic structure.

More philosophically, the principle of compositionality offers an explanantion of how a human being can understand a possibly infinite number of sentences never heard before namely by constructing their meaning from a finite set of rules and a finite set of known lexical meanings.

Also, a compositional account of meaning suggests a plausible explanation of compositional semantics we perceive a connection in meaning between compositional semantics that share syntactic parts.

Principle of compositionality

Discussion Of course, both of these arguments aren't really coercive. Satisfactory explanantions for the described phenomena could probably also be given on the basis of compositional semantics construction methods that would not neccesarily be counted as compositional.

Speaking in terms of syntax, this predicts that modifiers are typically adjuncts and thus do not change the syntactic distribution of their respective target; therefore, modifiers can be easily iterated see, for instance, spicy vegetarian soup or Ben prepared a soup in the camper yesterday.

This initial characterization sets modification apart from other combinatorial operations such compositional semantics argument satisfaction and quantification: Their comparatively loose connection to their hosts renders modifiers a flexible, compositional semantics certainly not random, means within combinatorial meaning constitution.

The foundational question is how to work their being endotypical compositional semantics a full-fledged compositional semantics analysis. On the one hand, modifiers can be considered endotypical functors by virtue of their lexical endowment; for instance, vegetarian would be born a higher-ordered function from predicates to predicates.


On the other hand, modification can be considered a rule-based operation; for instance, vegetarian would denote a simple predicate from entities to truth-values that receives its modifying endotypical function only by virtue of compositional semantics separate modification rule.

It is frequently taken to mean that every operation of compositional semantics syntax should be associated with an operation of the semantics that acts on the meanings of the constituents combined by the syntactic operation.

As a guideline for constructing semantic theories, this is generally taken, as in the compositional semantics work on the philosophy of language by Donald Davidson compositional semantics, to mean that every construct of the syntax should be associated by a clause of the T-schema with an operator in the semantics that specifies how the meaning of the whole expression is built from constituents combined by the syntactic rule.

In some general mathematical theories especially those in the tradition of Montague grammarthis guideline is taken to mean that the interpretation of a language is essentially given by a homomorphism between an algebra of compositional semantics representations and an algebra of semantic objects.

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The principle of compositionality also exists in a similar form in the compositionality of programming languages.

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