Sunday, March 2, 2003

Linguistic Side Effects

Chung-chieh Shan (via Lambda):

Making a linguistic theory is like specifying a programming language: one typically devises a type system to characterize what utterances are acceptable, and a denotational semantics to explain which statements entail which other ones. Along this connection, programming language research can inform linguistic theory and vice versa; in particular, computational side effects are intimately related to referential opacity in natural languages. In this talk, I will illustrate this link by using continuations and composable contexts to analyze quantification (as in “every student passed”).

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