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The Proper Treatment of Events : Explorations in Semantics - Michiel Van Lambalgen

The Proper Treatment of Events

Explorations in Semantics


Published: 28th January 2005
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The Proper Treatment of Events offers a novel approach to the semantics of tense and aspect motivated by cognitive considerations. The book begins by presenting data about the human conceptualization of time, proposing that planning is important in this regard, and hence equally for the linguistic encoding of time as tense and aspect. It then introduces a formal theory of planning, a combination of an event calculus as developed in Artificial Intelligence with a truth theory and logic programming techniques. The combined system is then applied to detailed analyses of tense, grammatical and lexical aspect, coercion, and different types of nominalizations.

..".an essential book for linguistics students and researchersinterested in the latest trends."
The Linguist List

"This book presents a highly innovative approach to thesemantics of natural language. The authors manage with admirableease to draw together insights from different fields and show howtheir theory can actually explain facts rather than simply assumingthem. This is not a trivial achievement: to derive even the mostsimple sounding conclusion requires a lot of effort. This book is atruly intellectual book, written with love for the subject. Iconsider it a must for everyone who is interested in events ornatural language semantics in general." The Bulletin ofSymbolic Logic

"This fine book is a welcome addition to the Explorationsin Semantics series. The coverage of the very complex literature inthe area is very good. Content, style, and presentation are allexcellent, and tutorial exercises of the kind appropriate for useas a basis for a graduate seminar are included."
Mark Steedman, University of Edinburgh

"This elegant book redefines the traditional study oftemporal reasoning. Merging insights from cognitive science, computer science, and linguistics, the authors propose an eventcalculus for natural language that is computationally tractable andlogically appealing. This original synthesis of AI and linguisticsemantics feels like a natural fit from the start."
Johan van Benthem, University ofAmsterdam and StanfordUniversity

"This volume helps to bring the study of tense and aspect, and the correlative study of events in linguistic semantics, withinthe purview of algorithmic conceptions of meaning, and othernotions derived from abstract computer science. It will be animportant companion to classical logical and syntactic studies, contributing to what we may hope will be an eventual unification ofthe computational and classical viewpoints."
James Higginbotham, University of SouthernCalifornia

"Michiel van Lambalgen and Fritz Hamm have written a magnificentbook on semantics of temporal discourse in natural languages...Their book introduces and applies an important new tool ofphilosophical analysis, and thus should be available in any good, analytically oriented philosophical library."



Part I: Time, events and cognition.

Chapter 1: Time.

Psychology of time.

Why do we have the experience of time at all?.

Chapter 2: Events and time.

The analogy between events and objects.

The Russell-Kamp construction of time from events.

Walker?s construction.

Richer languages for events.

Some linguistic applications.

**Continuous time from events.


Chapter 3: Language, time and planning.

Part II: The formal apparatus.

Chapter 4: Events formalized.

A calculus of events.

The axiom system EC.


Minimal models.

Chapter 5: Computing with time and events.

Logic programming with constraints.

Minimal models revisited.

How to get to the other side of a street.

**When do causes take effect?.

Exercises for chapters 4 and 5.

Da capo, with feeling.

Chapter 6: Finishing touches.

Coding VPs as fluents and events.

Consistency, truth and partiality.

Part III: A marriage made in heaven ? linguistics and robotics.

Chapter 7: Aktionsart.


Formal definition of Aktionsarten.

Perfective and imperfective eventualities.

Chapter 8: Tense.

Reichenbach?s reference time R.

Event time and the sentence.

Present tense.

Past tense.

Future tense.


Chapter 9: Tense in French: Passe Simple and Imparfait.



Formalizing the Passe Simple and Imparfait.



Chapter 10: Grammatical aspect.

The perfect.

The progressive.

**A computational proof.

Comments on the literature.


Chapter 11: Coercion.

Additive coercion.

Subtractive coercion.


Temporal adverbials: ?in? and ?for?.

Coercion and intensionality.


Chapter 12: Nominalization.

Two types of English Gerunds.

History of the English gerundive system.

Nominalizations formalized I: Denotation types.

Nominalizations formalized II: Lexical meaning.

Chapter 13: Appendix: the basics of logic programming.

Logic programming for propositional logic.

Logic programming for predicate logic.



ISBN: 9781405112123
ISBN-10: 1405112123
Series: Explorations in Semantics
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 28th January 2005
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.33 x 17.17  x 2.08
Weight (kg): 0.49
Edition Number: 1