Choice Functions and
Natural Language Semantics

as part of the XIII European Summerschool in
Logic, Language and Information
(ESSLLI) 2001
in Helsinki (13 until 24, August 2001)


[ Organizers ] [ Description ] [ Workshop papers ]

[ Abstract-Brochure ]

Klaus von Heusinger

Fachbereich Sprachwissenschaft
Universität Konstanz
Fach D 185
78457 Konstanz, Germany

tel: 07531 - 88-3028
fax: 07531 - 88 -2741

Ruth Kempson

Leverhulme Research Professor,
Philosophy Department
King's College, The Strand,
London, WC2R 2LS, UK

tel.: 0171-848-2655
fax.: 848-2270

Wilfried Meyer-Viol

Philosophy Department
King's College, The Strand,
London, WC2R 2LS, UK

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Interest in the use of choice functions is increasing in formal semantics. Their syntactic counterpart, the epsilon operator, was introduced into meta-mathematics in the epsilon calculus of Hilbert and Bernays 1939, which provides an explicit study of arbitrary names used as predicate logic proof terms, the epsilon operator being a generalised iota operator underpinning uses of both existential and universal quantification. Choice functions provide a highly flexible semantic tool; yet as term-creating operators, epsilon terms exhibit properties that are discrete from more familiar quantifiers.

With epsilon terms as part of the presumed logical vocabulary for NL semantics, a number of phenomena can be analysed from a new perspective: eg scope phenomena of definite, indefinite NPs and wh-expressions, E-type anaphora, and maximalisation effects in relative clauses.

The goal of the workshop is to bring together linguists/logicians who have addressed these issues to explore applications of the epsilon calculus in NL syntax/semantics.

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Workshop papers

Klaus von Heusinger Choice Functions and the Anaphoric Semantics of Definite NPs [ Abstract-pdf]
Philipp Schlenker Choice Functions: From Definite Descriptions to Conditionals [ Abstract-pdf]
Wilfried Meyer-Viol Proof terms for the existential quantifier
Ingo Reich A one dimensional choice-function approach to "Association with Focus" [ Abstract-pdf]
Ruth Kempson and
Masayuki Otsuka and
Wilfried Meyer-Viol
Tree growth ant the construal of indefinites
[ Abstract-pdf]
Kimiko Nakanishi Scope Encoding of Indefinite NPs in Japanese
[ Abstract-pdf]
Donka Farkas Varieties of Indefinites
[ Abstract-pdf]
Cornelia Endriss and Christian Ebert Generalized quantifiers and in-situ interpretation
[ Abstract-pdf]
Dora Alexopoulou and Caroline Heycock Definites vs. indefinites in Functional Relative Clauses
[ Abstract-pdf]
Yoad Winter On Skolem functions and wide scope indefinites
[ Abstract-pdf]
Paul Dekker Skolem Functions and individual concepts
[ Abstract-pdf]

Reserve papers:

Uli Sauerland Donkey Anaphora and Choice Functions

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