AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fifth International FLAIRS Conference

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Lexical Meanings Analysed by Means of Typed Applicative Representations
Jean-Pierre Descles

Last modified: 2012-05-16


Applicative languages (Church’s ?-calculus and Curry’s combinatory Logic) and functional types are useful logical tools for studying and representing the meanings of verbal predicates and other linguistic operators (prepositions, preverbs …) of natural languages by means of combinations of abstract and cultural primitives. The situations are semantic expressions associated to sentences; they are written by means of applicative expressions (ae) generated from semantic abstract primitives: (i) cognitive basic types (individual, massive, distributive class, abstract places, activity, situations…); (ii) operators transforming assigned types (as topological operators : take the interior, exterior, boundary, closure of an abstract place); (iii) kinematic, dynamic, cause relators:  MOVT and CHANG expressing movement or change the state of an entity; FAIRE, CONTR (to control) and TELEO (to intend a teleonomic situation) introducing a link between a kinematic situation and an entity (agent, intermediary instrument…); CAUSE establishing a link between two different situations (a cause and an effect). These abstract primitives are interpreted inside of the cognitive fields of perception and action. They are sources of numerous grammaticalizations in languages. Verbal predicates involve an actualization over topological intervals of instants; thus, it is necessary to introduce complex operators for transforming a situation into an aspectual situation (state, event, process …). This article presents systematically these abstract primitives with some examples of meanings represented inside the applicative framework. The applicative expressions of situations (semantic schemes) defined to a semantic level can be integrated into lexical predicates of another level, by using combinators of combinatory logic; this integration process in Cognitive and Applicative Grammar (GAC) has already been presented (in precedent FLAIRS).

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