[developers] Subordinating Pairs Analysis
aac10 at cl.cam.ac.uk
Mon Jun 19 20:35:00 CEST 2017
So the question is whether the "but" should be part of the semantics? I
think the "although" part clearly has to be there.
Reasoning along the same lines as English "if ... then", the "then" is
optional and doesn't seem to convey additional meaning, so if the
analogous situation held, there would be an argument for omitting the
That said, I do see a contrast between:
If they win, I'll regret saying the manager was an idiot.
If they win, THEN I'll regret saying the manager was an idiot.
I can imagine that not having anything in the MRS corresponding to
`then' might make accounting for that more difficult. I'm not
suggesting a change in the ERG, just thinking it has some possible
downsides and shouldn't necessarily be taken as determining what's done
in other grammars in this respect.
On 19/06/2017 18:06, Emily M. Bender wrote:
> 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
> <mailto: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)
> X so 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,
> Emily M. Bender
> Professor, Department of Linguistics
> Check out CLMS on facebook! http://www.facebook.com/uwclma
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