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Optional Argument in Abstract Categorial Grammar

By C.J.L. Blom


In this thesis I investigate semantic and syntactic properties of implicit arguments in a formal grammatical framework. Many verbs are flexible in the number of syntactic arguments they take, for example \word{eat} and \word{read} can be used as intransitive verbs (1 argument) and as transitive verbs (2 arguments). Although the number of realized arguments may differ, the number of semantic arguments can be the same, which is exhibited in the entailments such verbs show when we vary the number of arguments. For example 'eat' and 'read' exhibit existential entailments when used with only the subject argument. To give a formal account of optionality I show how the Abstract Categorial Grammer framework can be extended with option types to accommodate optionality, and use this extension to analyze various constructions involving optional arguments

Topics: abstract categorial grammar, acg, categorial grammar, option types, implicit arguments, optional arguments, sum types, understood object, hypothetical reasoning, verb classes, grammar transformation, tecto grammar, semantics
Year: 2012
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