[developers] Subordinating Pairs Analysis

Emily M. Bender ebender at uw.edu
Mon Jun 19 19:06:32 CEST 2017

Thank you, Ann.  I think one of our questions is whether we should ever
treat the adverbs
as contentful, and if so what that looks like.  Mandarin gives us several
examples of these,
including pairs like"虽然 ... 但是" ('although ... but'; I'm not at the office
today, so I can't
look through my grammar books).  It seems like rather than treating one (or
both) as semantically
empty, we might want something like:


h4 qeq h5, h3 qeq h6

Does that sound sensible?


On Sat, Jun 17, 2017 at 5:25 AM, Ann Copestake <aac10 at cl.cam.ac.uk> wrote:

> Hi Kristen,
> I can discuss the way the MRS might look, though not the details of how
> you get there.
> If there's a semantic relationship between the two clauses, then there
> needs to be some sort of two-place predicate taking the LTOP of each clause
> as an argument (usually via a qeq).   If the two elements of the pair
> always go together, and there is a restricted range of options, this
> two-place predicate might be the only element of the semantics.  If both
> elements are adverbial, the semantics might have to be associated with the
> construction rather than trying to do it via unusual semantics for an
> adverb.
> Looking at the ERG demo and delphin-viz, it seems that if_x_then is used
> for a range of situations, including ones without any lexical marking -
> e.g.,
> "Had I slept, it rained." (actually I find that ungrammatical, but never
> mind ...  "Had I slept, it would have rained." is fine)
> In terms of the actual semantics, one could say there are two things going
> on with if_x_then - one is a causality relationship and the other is a
> hypotheticality marking.
> "I slept, so it rained."
> is just causality.   So one could analyse
> if X then Y.
> as (schematically)
> cause(hyp(X),hyp(Y))
> and
> X so Y
> as
> cause(X,Y)
> I don't think this would be a good idea for English (too much
> decomposition, so it probably doesn't capture the nuances), but it might be
> more convenient for other languages.
> It is not the case that we can always capture the meaning directly for
> English.  For instance:
> "I slept and, as a consequence, it rained."
> implies causality, but we won't capture that directly in the MRS.  I'd say
> that what's going on is that `and' gives a two place relationship of the
> right form, but highly underspecified.  "as a consequence" means it has to
> be interpreted causally.
> In context:
> "I slept and it rained."
> can do the same thing.
> To sum up, what I'm saying is that I think you'll always want some type of
> two-place clausal connective, but it might be underspecified to some extent
> with additional meaning conveyed via additional predications on individual
> clauses.
> All best,
> Ann

Emily M. Bender
Professor, Department of Linguistics
Check out CLMS on facebook! http://www.facebook.com/uwclma
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