Introducing some of the foundational concepts, principles and techniques in the formal semantics of natural language, Elements of Formal Semantics outlines the mathematical principles that underlie linguistic meaning. Making use of a wide range of concrete English examples, the book presents the most useful tools and concepts of formal semantics in an accessible style and includes a variety of practical exercises so that readers can learn to utilise these tools effectively. For readers with an elementary background in set theory and linguistics or with an interest in mathematical modelling, this fascinating study is an ideal introduction to natural language semantics. Designed as a quick yet thorough introduction to one of the most vibrant areas of research in modern linguistics today this volume reveals the beauty and elegance of the mathematical study of meaning. ; In five short chapters, this introductory textbook introduces some of the most essential principles and techniques of formal semantics. ; 1: Introduction; 2: Meaning and Form; 3: Types and Meaning Composition; 4: Quantified Noun Phrases; 5: Long-Distance Meaning Relationships; 6: Intensionality and Possible Worlds; 7: Conclusion and further topics; Bibliography; Index ; 1: Introduction 2: Meaning and Form 3: Types and Meaning Composition 4: Quantified Noun Phrases 5: Long-Distance Meaning Relationships 6: Intensionality and Possible Worlds 7: Conclusion and further topics Bibliography Index
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An excellent introduction to the subject, both as a textbook and as background reading for students who find themselves exposed to more advanced parts of semantics. I haven’t seen the foundations of formal semantics explained more clearly, more cleanly and more elegantly anywhere before.
Professor Hans Kamp, University of Stuttgart
Yoad Winter is professor in Semantics and Artificial Intelligence at the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics at Utrecht University.