With this study of Maori and Chamorro, Sandra Chung and William Ladusaw make a valuable contribution to the growing literature on the formal semantic analysis of non-Indo-European languages. Their ultimate focus is on how the study of these Austronesian languages can illuminate the alternatives for semantic interpretation and their interaction with syntactic structure. Revisiting the analysis of indefiniteness in terms of restricted free variables, they claim that some varieties of indefinites are better analyzed by taking restriction and saturation to be fundamental semantic operations.Chapters examine the general topic of modes of composition (including predicate restriction and syntactic versus semantic saturation), types of indefinite determiners in Maori, and object incorporation in Chamorro (including discussions of the extra object and restriction without saturation). The authors' goal is that the two case studies they offer, and their larger focus on modes of composition, will contribute to a broader account of the interaction of form, position, and semantic interpretation.
"Chung and Ladusaw propose and motivate an original and elegant solution to a longstanding problem in syntactic-semantic composition: how to deal with combinations that are neither function-argument application nor function composition. The fruit of a collaboration between two major researchers in the syntax and semantics of natural language, this study will have a lastingimpact on the field."--Emmon Bach, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and SOAS, University of London