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Multi-dimensional Type Theory: Rules, Categories, and Combinators for Syntax and Semantics

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Abstract:

We investigate the possibility of modelling the syntax and semantics of natural language by constraints, or rules, imposed by the multi-dimensional type theory Nabla. The only multiplicity we explicitly consider is two, namely one dimension for the syntax and one dimension for the semantics, but the general perspective is important. For example, issues of pragmatics could be handled as additional dimensions. One of the main problems addressed is the rather complicated repertoire of operations that exists besides the notion of categories in traditional Montague grammar. For the syntax we use a categorial grammar along the lines of Lambek. For the semantics we use so-called lexical and logical combinators inspired by work in natural logic. Nabla provides a concise interpretation and a sequent calculus as the basis for implementations.

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