[developers] Lexical rules changing predicate symbols

Emily M. Bender ebender at uw.edu
Wed Jan 20 23:11:38 CET 2016

Dear Ann, Dear all,

Picking up this thread again, with apologies for the delay.  Thank you,
Ann, for
the detailed reply!  If I've understood correctly, non-monotonicity in
lexical rules
is okay from a practical perspective because the search space will be
(given that the predicate symbol isn't allowed to change, only the sense)
from a theoretical perspective because: (a) the lexical rules are modeling
that are perhaps more diachronic than synchronic, such that we expect some
in the lexical semantics of the derived forms, (b) the leaps that people
make in
assigning words new meanings (using metaphor, etc) probably can't be modeled
with strict compositionality anyway.

That leads me to wonder whether we have two definitions of 'word' in play
might not line up as well as we'd like: One has to do with syntax (words
are the units
that syntax gets to play with) and phonology (words are the domains of a
set of phonological rules; though already these two don't line up quite
right).  The
other has to do with lexicalization and words as units of (potentially)
form-meaning pairing.  That's probably an over-blown way of saying: in some
there's more "grammar" going on inside of what we might call words by the
definition, and I would like to think that any fully productive
morphological process
is still compositional.

All of this is probably highly relevant to what Joshua is working on with
but it might be hard to tease apart which of those transitivizing suffixes
are productive
and which aren't...

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