In The Dynamics of Meaning, Gennaro Chierchia tackles central issues in dynamic semantics and extends the general framework.
Chapter 1 introduces the notion of dynamic semantics and discusses in detail the phenomena that have been used to motivate it, such as "donkey" sentences and adverbs of quantification. The second chapter explores in greater depth the interpretation of indefinites and issues related to presuppositions of uniqueness and the "E-type strategy." In Chapter 3, Chierchia extends the dynamic approach to the domain of syntactic theory, considering a range of empirical problems that includes backwards anaphora, reconstruction effects, and weak crossover. The final chapter develops the formal system of dynamic semantics to deal with central issues of definites and presupposition. Chierchia shows that an approach based on a principled enrichment of the mechanisms dealing with meaning is to be preferred on empirical grounds over approaches that depend on an enrichment of the syntactic apparatus.
Dynamics of Meaning illustrates how seemingly abstract stances on the nature of meaning can have significant and far-reaching linguistic consequences, leading to the detection of new facts and influencing our understanding of the syntax/semantics/pragmatics interface.
This self-contained introduction to natural language semanticsaddresses the major theoretical questions in the field.
This self-contained introduction to natural language semantics addresses the major theoretical questions in the field. The authors introduce the systematic study of linguistic meaning through a sequence of formal tools and their linguistic applications. Starting with propositional connectives and truth conditions, the book moves to quantification and binding, intensionality and tense, and so on. To set their approach in a broader perspective, the authors also explore the interaction of meaning with context and use (the semantics-pragmatics interface) and address some of the foundational questions, especially in connection with cognition in general. They also introduce a few of the most accessible and interesting ideas from recent research to give the reader a bit of the flavor of current work in semantics. The organization of this new edition is modular; after the introductory chapters, the remaining material can be covered in flexible order. The book presupposes no background in formal logic (an appendix introduces the basic notions of set theory) and only a minimal acquaintance with linguistics. This edition includes a substantial amount of completely new material and has been not only updated but redesigned throughout to enhance its user-friendliness.