 Prooftheoretic Semantics
Nissim Francez
This book is a monograph on the topic of ProofTheoretic Semantics, a theory of meaning constituting an alternative to the more traditional ModelTheoretic Semantics. The latter regards meaning as truthconditions (in arbitrary models), the former regards meaning as canonical derivability conditions in a meaningconferring naturaldeduction proofsystem.
In the first part of the book, the ProofTheoretic Semantics for logic is presented. It surveys the way a naturaldeduction system can serve as meaningconferring, and in particular analyses various criteria such a system has to meet in order to qualify as meaningconferring. A central criterion is harmony, a balance between introductionrules and eliminationrules. The theory is applied to various logics, e.g., relevance logic, and various proof systems such as multiconclusion naturaldeduction and bilateralism. The presentation is inspired by recent work by the author, and also surveys recent developments.
In part two, the theory is applied to fragments of natural language, both extensional and intensional, a development based on the author’s recent work. For example, conservativity of determiners, once set up in a prooftheoretic framework, becomes a provable property of all (regular) determiners. It is shown that meaning need not carry the heavy ontological load characteristic of ModelTheoretic Semantics of complex natural language constructs.
Nissim Francez is an emeritus professor of computer science at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. At a certain point in his career he moved from research related to concurrent and distributed programming and program verification to research in computational linguistics, mainly formal semantics of natural language.
In recent years, he has worked on ProofTheoretic Semantics, in particular for natural language.
October 2015
9781848901834
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