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Liefke, Kristina (2015): Codability and Robustness in Formal Natural Language Semantics. In: Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence
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Abstract

According to the received view of type-logical semantics (suggested by Montague and adopted by many of his successors), the correct prediction of entailment relations between lexically complex sentences requires many different types of semantic objects. This paper argues against the need for such a rich semantic ontology. In particular, it shows that Partee’s temperature puzzle – whose solution is commonly taken to require a basic type for indices or for individual concepts – can be solved in the more parsimonious type system from [11], which only assumes basic individuals and propositions. We generalize this result to show the soundness of the PTQ-fragment in the class of models from [11]. Our findings support the robustness of type-theoretic models w.r.t. their objects’ codings.