RGGU: Formal Semantics and Anaphora

Barbara H. Partee, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Visiting Professor, RGGU, Jan - June 2008

Time: Tuesdays: Lecture 14:00-15:30, Seminar 12:15-13:45. (Seminar is BEFORE the lecture!) Starting Feb 19 we will meet in the LaTyp room on the second floor. (I've forgotten the room number; it's near the end of the hall.)


Объявление по-русски

Conferences:  ***APRIL 3-4, 2008: Student Conference "Syntactic Structures - 2"; information at http://syntactic-structures.ru/.  ***APRIL 5, 2008: Fourth Annual Workshop: Formal Semantics in Moscow.  Information at http://fsim4.narod.ru/index.html  .  ***April 17-18, 2008: Moscow Student Linguistics Conference MSCL-3; information at http://www.philol.msu.ru/~otipl/new/mscl .

MY E-MAIL ADDRESS: partee@linguist.umass.edu

phone: (495) 757-0108 

MY HOME PAGE:  http://people.umass.edu/partee/




I. The languages of the course:

Lectures, handouts, and text mostly in English. Seminar sessions and other discussion in Russian and/or English. Homework may be done in Russian.

II. Reading materials: Handouts (mostly in English) and some xeroxed articles (some in English, some in Russian) will be given to all enrolled students. As much material as possible will be made available for download from the web.

***For everyone interested in this topic: LINKS TO MANY OF THE READINGS, and MANY OTHER ONLINE RESOURCES FOR FORMAL SEMANTICS, ARE HERE.*** This file will be updated during the semester. It includes a number of works of general interest for semantics as well as works specifically connected to the lectures. See individual lecture handouts for recommended readings.

SEMANTICS CD 2008 NOW EXISTS. I brought copies to class on March 18. There is now a master copy at LaTyp at RGGU and one at OTiPL at MGU which can be borrowed to make additional copies. The 2008 CD contains everything that was on the 2007 CD and more; the 2007 CD contained everything that was on the 2005 CD and more. An index to everything on the 2005 CD is on the CD, and here; a partial index to the 2007 and expanded 2008 CD is on the CD and here.

III. Structure of Course and Requirements: Every week there will be one lecture and one seminar. There will be five homework assignments, one every two or three weeks. The seminars will be an opportunity to ask questions, to discuss examples and issues from the lectures, to get help with homework assignments, and to discuss the results of past homework assignments and readings. 

Requirements: Attendance, assigned reading, and written homework assignments. One short class presentation in April.

Requirements to receive a 5: Very good attendance, at least 80% of lectures and seminars. Assignments completed on time and in a satisfactory manner; no assignments missing.

Requirements to receive a 4: Good attendance, at least 60% of lectures and seminars. Most written homework assignments completed on time and in a satisfactory manner; not more than two assignments missing.

Requirements for zachet:  Same as requirements for a 4.

If more than two assignments are missing, you will not receive a zachet or a grade higher than a 3 unless you do some extra work of a high quality; see me if you wish to negotiate alternative assignments in place of some written homework.

IV. Outline of the course. (Subject to change, and more information will be added as the semester progresses. )   "Linked" handouts available for download in PDF format.  

The first four lectures are almost the same as the beginning of my course at RGGU in 2005 and my course at MGU in 2007, updated to include some background notions related to anaphora and binding near the beginning and to improve Lecture 4. Starting with Lecture 5, the focus will be on anaphora: its syntax, semantics, pragmatics and typology.

Lecture 1. Feb. 9 Basic ideas of formal semantics. Compositionality. The relation between semantics and syntax. Example: Syntax and model-theoretic semantics of predicate logic. Homework #0: Anketa. Practice homework: to do together in Seminar. Reading: (1R. Larson (1995) Semantics. Chapter 12 in L. Gleitman and M.Liberman, eds. An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Vol I: Language, pp 361-380. (2) Partee, Barbara H. 1999. "Semantics" in R.A. Wilson and F.C. Keil, eds., The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. 739-742. (3) Partee, Barbara H. (in press). "Formal semantics". to appear in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences, ed. Patrick Colm Hogan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Choose [Handout full-size Word file] or [Handout 2-up PDF file] (identical except 1 vs. 2 pages per printed page.)

"Homework #0": Anketa -- please bring to second lecture or return it to me by e-mail.

Seminar [same day, 2:00 - 3:30; not listed below except when there will be a special guest lecture in Seminar.]

Link to list of Keywords Lectures 1,2,3  (from RGGU 2005, but they haven't changed!)

Lecture 2. Feb. 16. Lambda abstraction and the semantics of noun phrases.  Ambiguity and logical form. Quantifier scope. Generalized quantifiers (beginning), lexicon and grammar (beginning). Homework #1, Lambda exercises. Due Feb. 26. Choose [Handout full-size Word file] or [Handout 2-up PDF file] .


Lecture 3. Feb. 19. Applications of the lambda calculus to linguistic examples.  Fragment 1. Basic principles of compositional interpretation. Type-driven interpretation. Pronouns as bound variables. Relative clauses as predicates interpretable via lambda-abstraction. Choose [Handout full-size Word file] or [Handout 2-up PDF file] .

Lecture 4. Feb 26. Noun phrases and generalized quantifiers.  Function-argument structure, syntactic categories, and semantic types. NPs as Generalized Quantifiers, continued.  Weak and strong determiners and existential sentences. Tests for weak determiners in Russian.  Reading: (1) R. Larson (1995) Semantics. (from Lecture 1. Read it again!) (2): Partee, Barbara H., Alice ter Meulen, and Robert E. Wall. 1990. Mathematical Methods in Linguistics. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Chapter 14: Generalized Quantifiers. (3) Keenan, Edward L. 2003. The definiteness effect: semantic or pragmatic? Natural Language Semantics 11:187 -216.  Optional: The classic Barwise and Cooper (1983): 03-Barwise.Cooper-Generalized.Quantifiers.and.Natural.Language.djvu; Partee (1989): https://udrive.oit.umass.edu/partee/partee89.pdf Homework #2, Due March 18. Choose [Handout full-size Word file] or [Handout 2-up PDF file]

The remaining part of the schedule includes new things that were not included in other years. Schedule of topics, to be revised and filled in with more details as the semester proceeds.

Lecture 5. March 4.  Introduction to Issues in Anaphora.  Coreference vs. variable-binding. Syntactic, semantic, pragmatic aspects of anaphora. Definite Noun Phrases as anaphoric expressions. Issues and puzzles in anaphora. Readings: (1) Partee, Barbara H. 1978. Bound variables and other anaphors. (2) Carlson, Gregory. 2006. Anaphora.  (3) Reinhart, Tanya. 1999. Binding theory.  (4) Karttunen, Lauri. 1976. Discourse referents.  (5) King, Jeffrey C. 2005. Anaphora. Choose [Handout full-size Word file] or [Handout 2-up PDF file]


Lecture 6. March 18. Kamp-Heim theory I Discourse anaphora with indefinite antecedents; donkey anaphora; definites and indefinites. Previous approaches. Reading:  Heim, Irene. 1982. The Semantics of Definite and Indefinite Noun Phrases, University of Massachusetts: Ph.D. dissertation; published 1989, New York: Garland. Read Chapter 1. Dissertation available as a djvu file or as a very large PDF file. It's also on the CD. Other suggested readings are mentioned on the handout. Choose [Handout full-size Word file] or [Handout 2-up PDF file]

Lecture 7. March 25. Kamp-Heim theory II. Heim's theory in its "Logical Form" version, and Kamp's Discourse Representation Theory. Reading: (1) Heim dissertation, Chapter 2. (2) Kamp, Hans. 1981. A theory of truth and semantic representation.  (3) Karttunen, Lauri. 1976. Discourse referents.  Optional readings: (4) Heim, Irene. 1983. File change semantics and the familiarity theory of definiteness.  (5) Lewis, David. 1979. Scorekeeping in a language game.  (6) Stalnaker, R. 1978. Assertion Homework #3: Heim's theory of indefinites, definites, quantifiers, and anaphora. Due April 8.  Choose [Handout full-size Word file] or [Handout 2-up PDF file]. In either case, you also need the Appendix: [APPENDIX - PDF only]

Lecture 8. April 1. Kamp-Heim theory III.  Definite NPs as anaphoric expressions. Parallels between anaphora and presupposition. Reading: Heim, Irene. 1983. On the projection problem for presuppositions.  Kamp, Hans. 1981. A theory of truth and semantic representationOptional: Heim dissertation, Chapter 3. Heim (1983) File change semantics and the familiarity theory of definiteness.  Stalnaker (1978) Assertion.  Van der Sandt (1992) Presupposition projection as anaphora resolution (on the CD). Choose [Handout full-size Word file] or [Handout 2-up PDF file].

MARCH 31: Guest lecture by Peter Svenonius (University of Tromsø), Institut Jazykoznanija RAN, 4:00.

APRIL 1:  Special lecture by David Pesestsky (MIT) at RGGU, 5:30pm, room 602. "Music Syntax is Language Syntax".

APRIL 2: Special lecture by Manfred Krifka (ZAS, Humboldt University, Berlin) at MGU, 2:30, room 957: "Approximate interpretation of number words".  Also at MGU, open discussion with David Pesetsky on Russian and generative grammar, 16:00, and a lecture by  Brigitte Pakendorf (Max Plank Institute, Leipzig), 18:00 (Room 953), Linguistic and Genetic Approaches to (Pre)historic Population Contacts.

APRIL 3-4, 2008: Second Moscow Syntactic Structures Student Conference, at RGGU. Information about the conference at the site http://syntactic-structures.ru/.

APRIL 5, 2008: Fourth Annual Workshop: Formal Semantics in Moscow, at ABBYY. Information about the workshop is in the archives of MOSLING and at the Live Journal community msk_semantics. Workshop website here.  

Lecture 9. April 8. Pronouns and reflexives, syntax and semantics. Readings: Chomsky, Reinhart, Bach&Partee, Büring, others. Choose [Handout full-size Word file] or [Handout 2-up PDF file]. Homework #4: Look at issues of pronouns and reflexives in Russian and/or in other language(s) that you know, and prepare to give a very short presentation in class, with a short handout, April 22. Due April 22. Feel free to consult with me in advance and send me a draft of your handout to look at.

Lecture 10. April 15. Pronouns and reflexives II: Semantics and distribution of different kinds of reflexives, variants of binding theories.  Readings:  Büring, esp. Chapters 3,6,11 (on CD); Testelets (2005) St Petersburg Lectures on Binding, Lectures 2 and 3 (on CD); Reinhart & Reuland (1993), on the CD; also Pollard and Sag (1992), Heim (1998), and in preparation for next week, start reading Kiparsky (2002).  Choose [Handout full-size Word file] or [Handout 2-up PDF file]. Consult with me about your plans for April 29 presentation.

April 17-18, 2008: Moscow Student Linguistics Conference MSCL-3 at MGU; information at http://www.philol.msu.ru/~otipl/new/mscl .

Lecture 11. April 22. Pronouns and reflexives III: typological issues. Readings: (1) Kiparsky (2002): Disjoint reference and the typology of pronouns; (2) Testelets (2005) St Petersburg Lectures on Binding, Lectures 2 and 3 (on CD); (3) Büring Chapter 11 (on CD); (4) Fischer (2004) Optimal binding (on CD); (5) Lee (2003): Anaphoric expressions as bound variables (on CD); (6) Introduction to Cole, Hermon, and Huang (eds) (2001) Long Distance Reflexives. Choose [Handout full-size Word file] or [Handout 2-up PDF file] Consult with me about your April 29 presentation. Feel free to send me a draft of your handout in advance for feedback.  Some guidelines and suggestions for the presentation and Homework 5.  Also April 22: Guest presentation by Yakov Testelets "Typology of Anaphoric Elements". [Handout PDF file]]. To be continued May 13.

Guidelines for Homework 4 (presentation) and Homework 5 (the write-up of the presentation).

"Lecture" 12: April 29: Pronouns and reflexives IV: Short presentations by class participants relating to pronouns and reflexives and typology. We will use both the "Seminar" para (12:15 - 1:45) and the "Lecture" para (2:00 - 3:30) for the presentations.

Schedule (subject to change), with some suggested background readings I've assembled (mainly for presenters, but all are welcome)

*** New May 28: Links to final write-ups are below with the names of the participants.

Part I, 12:15 - 1:45

12:20   1.  Pasha Rudnev, Turkish anaphora    [some suggested references on Turkish anaphora]

12:37   2.  Alina Lobzina,  Hindi anaphora    [some suggested references on Hindi anaphora]   postponed to May 13

12:54   3.  Ivan Kapitonov, Russian anaphora    [background: Lubowicz 1999 and Kapitonov 2007, on your CD; and see Kiparsky 2002 paper.]

1:11     4.  Masha Shkapa, Welsh anaphora

1:28     5.  Anna Zaretskaya*, Norwegian anaphora  [some suggested references on Norwegian anaphora]

                    *Joint write-up by Anna Zaretskaya and Masha Kireeva comparing Norwegian and Japanese anaphora.

Coffee Break 1:45 – 2:05

Part II, 2:05 – 3:30

2:05    6.  Vera Tsukanova and Liudmila Nikolaeva, Arabic anaphora  [some suggested references on Semitic anaphora]

2:22    7.  Vadim Kimmelman, anaphora in Russian Sign Language with comparisons to American Sign Language

2:39    8.  Olga Panova, Chinese anaphora    [some suggested references on Chinese anaphora]

2:56    9.  Masha Kireeva*, Japanese anaphora    [some suggested references on Japanese anaphora]    postponed to May 13

3:13     General Discussion, Suggestions for topics to follow up on, questions to try to get answers to, etc.

Homework #5: Write up a short report based on your presentation; this can be done either individually, reporting about your language and the typological properties of its anaphoric elements, or in teams of two or more, comparing anaphora in two or more languages. Due May 20.

Reminder -- the useful document Links to Readings 2008  is updated weekly -- refer to it from time to time.

No class May 6. I will be away that week.

Lecture 13. May 13.  Part I: Last two student presentations. Masha Kireeva’s presentation on Japanese anaphora and Alina Lobzina’s presentation on Hindi anaphora. Part II:  second guest presentation by Yakov Testelets on "Typology of Anaphoric Elements", to include Sections 6 and 7 (Long Distance-only reflexives, Long distance pronouns) of his April 22 handout, plus something about the remarkable bound-variable anaphoric R-expressions of Zapotec (Lee 2003) Thai, and Japanese (Nakao 2004).  Part III: (Partee). Pronouns and Reflexives IV: Notes on Semantic Typology.  Readings: (1) Lee, Felicia, 2003: Anaphoric expressions as bound variables. Syntax 6: 84-114. On your CD. (2) Nakao, Chizuru. 2004. A Note on Japanese Anaphoric R-expressions. Linguistic Research 20:207-214. http://www.ling.umd.edu/~cnakao/LR20_nakao_b.pdf . (3) Kiparsky (2002): Disjoint reference and the typology of pronouns. Handouts: [Testelets May 13 handout, Word file.] [Handout Lecture 13, full-sizeWord file] [Handout Lecture 13, 2-up pdf file]

Lecture 14. May 20. Binding, Quantification, and the Dynamics of Context-Dependence. Extending the notion of anaphora and dynamic context-dependence to a range of phenomena. The "accessibility relations" between "antecedents" and "dependent elements" can be shown to pattern similarly for (1) presupposition, (2) anaphora (nominal, temporal, other), (3) contextual anchoring of context-dependent expressions (local, enemy, 3 days later, foreign, nearby), and (4) the specification of the domains of adverbial quantifiers like always and other operators. In all these domains we can observe parallels in binding vs. coreference, 'donkey anaphora', pragmatic anaphora. We show how the Kamp-Heim theory makes it easier to capture the parallels. Recent research on temporal anaphora.  Readings:  (1) Heim (1993) The projection problem for presuppositions, WCCFL 2, http://newstar.rinet.ru/~goga/biblio/essential-readings/10-Heim-On.the.Projection.Problem.for.Presuppositions.djvu  (2) Partee 1984, Nominal and temporal anaphora.  http://bhpartee.narod.ru/Partee1984NomTemp.pdf , (3) van der Sandt 1992, Presupposition projection as anaphora resolution (on your CD), (4) Partee 1989, Binding implicit variables in quantified contexts, https://udrive.oit.umass.edu/partee/Partee89_BindingImplicitVar.pdf. (5) a handout similar to this lecture, in Russian, from my talk at DIALOG in 2003: Анафора, Квантификация, и Динамическая Зависимость от контекста: http://people.umass.edu/partee/RGGU_2008/BHPDialog2003DynamicContextDepHO4Rus with TOC.doc. Choose [Handout full-size Word file] or [Handout 2-up PDF file]  HOMEWORK #5 (and any late homework) DUE. Possible extension for late homework to May 27 if you get my permission.

Lecture 15, May 27.  Anaphora, Null Anaphora, and Ellipsis.  Deep and surface anaphora. Sloppy identity in deep anaphora. Null anaphora and its semantic properties across languages. “pro-drop”. The preference for expressing bound variable anaphora with null rather than overt pronouns when possible. Bound variable "I" as a non-null Zero Pronoun (Kratzer). Approaches to verb phrase ellipsis (VPE). VPE within VPE and higher-order sloppy identity (Schwarz, Hardt). Ellipsis resolution via equation-solving: Higher Order Unification (HOU) - Dalrymple et al, Gardent. How to distinguish ellipsis from autonomous subsentential fragments? (Barton, Progovac et al, Stainton, Merchant.) Readings: (1) (Hoji ms. 2003) Sloppy Identity in Surface and Deep Anaphora; (2) (Dalrymple et al. 1991) Ellipsis and higher-order unification; (3) (Stainton 2006) Neither fragments nor ellipsis; (4) (Merchant 2007) Three kinds of ellipsis: syntactic, semantic, pragmatic?; (5) (Hoji 1998) Null object and sloppy identity in Japanese; (6) (Gardent 2000) Deaccenting and Higher-Order Unification; (7) (Kratzer 1998) More structural analogies between pronouns and tense.  Optional: Partee, Barbara H., and Emmon Bach. 1981. Quantification, pronouns and VP anaphora. Choose [Handout full-size Word file] or [Handout 2-up PDF file]


Lecture 16, June 3.  Property-type anaphora and related topics.  English Common Noun Phrase anaphora with one and null. Adjectival anaphora with such, takoj, etc. Adverbial anaphora with so, thus, there, then, thereby, therein.  Slavic tak. In seminar June 3: (1) Guest presentation by Ivan Zakharyaschev on Anaphora in Type-Logical Grammar. (2) Questions or comments on any topic whatever. (3) Discussion of electronic resources, other resources, networking, etc. Also all paperwork for ocenki and zachety – bring your documents; I have the vedomost’. All late homework was due May 27.  Readings: (1) Landman, Meredith, and Marcin Morzycki. 2003. Event kinds and the representation of manner. In WECOL 11. http://www.msu.edu/~morzycki/papers/takso.pdf. .  Choose [Handout full-size Word file] or [Handout 2-up PDF file]

June 4-8: Conference DIALOG 2008.  Information at http://www.dialog-21.ru/.

Three supplementary handouts online only; all three are most useful in electronic version with their links active: (1) the latest version of "Links to Readings 2008", HERE. (2) Notes on the Wikipedia project to put more semantics (and more linguistics in general) onto the Russian-language Wikipedia, HERE. (3) Supplement to final lecture Handout: Semantics Resources (from semantics course at MGU 2007).

Last updated 04 Jun 2008 by Barbara Partee