Dynamic Syntax: The Flow of Language Understanding
December 2000, Wiley-Blackwell
Natural Language as a Formal Language?.
Underspecification in Language Processing.
The Representational Theory of Mind.
Pronominal Anaphora: Semantic Problems.
The Problem of Multiple Ambiguity.
The Problem of Uniqueness.
The Problem of Indirect Reference.
Syntactic Processes of Anaphora.
The Anaphora Solution -- Towards a Representational Account.
2. The General Framework.
A Preliminary Sketch.
The Data Structures of the Parsing Model.
Basic Tree Structures.
Partial Tree Structures.
Descriptions of Tree Structures.
3. The Dynamics of Tree Building.
The Parsing Process - A Sketch.
A Basic Example.
A Left-Dislocation Example.
Verb-final Languages and the Grammar-parser Problem.
The Parsing Process Defined.
Pragmatic Actions and Lexical Constraints.
4. Linked Tree Structures.
Relative Clauses -- Preliminaries.
The LINK Relation.
The Data Reviewed.
The Analysis -- A Sketch for English.
Defining Linked Tree Structures.
Relativisers Annotating Unfixed Nodes.
Relatives: Towards a Dynamic Typology.
Relativisers Projecting a Requirement.
Variation in Locality.
Topic Structures and Relatives.
Variation in Order -- Head-Final Relatives.
The Potential for Lexical Variation.
Genitive Constructions as LINK Structures.
5. Wh Questions: A General Perspective.
The Semantic Diversity of wh Questions.
Scopal Properties of wh Expressions.
Wh-initial vs wh-in-situ Structures.
Wh-in-situ from a Dynamic Perspective.
Expletive wh Structures.
Partial Movement as a Reflex of a Requirement.
Wh Expressions and Scope Effects.
6. Crossover Phenomena.
Crossover -- The Problem.
Crossover -- The Dynamic Account.
Crossover in Relatives.
Crossover Phenomena in Questions.
7. Quantification Preliminaries.
Scope Effects and Indefinites.
Applications -- E-type Anaphora.
8. Reflections on Language Design.
The Overall Perspective.
Underspecification and the Formal Language Metaphor.
English is not a Formal Language.
Wellformedness and Availability of Interpretations.
Universals and Language Variation.
On Knowledge of Language.
9. Appendix: The Formal Framework.
Feature Decorated Tree Construction.
The Structure of Goal-directed Pointed Partial Tree Models.
Actions over Goal-directed Partial Tree Models.
Finite Binary trees.
Wilfried Meyer-Viol is Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at King's College London. He is a logician with a background in psychology who has published on cognitive psychology and on classical, intuitionistic and modal logic.
Dov Gabbay is Professor of Computer Science at King's College London. He is one of the world's foremost authorities on non-classical logics and their applications in computing. He has published over 170 papers and books on this subject, and initiated several currently active research areas in logic and computation.
- Sets out an original model of language processing to explain
the structural properties of language.
- Re-opens the debate on basic methodological assumptions of
- Written by leading figures in the fields of linguistics and
"This is an important book and ... the ideas presented in it deserve the close attention of syntacticians and semanticists." Linguist List