M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentBeryozkin Genady
SubjectPlural Semantics for Control Sentences in LFG's "Glue"
DepartmentDepartment of Computer Science
Supervisor PROFESSOR EMERITUS Nissim Francez


Control sentences have been extensively studied in the linguistic literature and semantic analysis of control has been proposed in the context of different linguistic theories. However, split control sentences, in which the subject and the object can both contribute to the meaning of the understood subject, haven't received a comprehensive formal semantic analysis.

This thesis presents a formal semantic analysis of the plural reading of split control sentences in the context of the propositional theory of control in the framework of LFG and Glue. For sentences that involve a collective controlled verb, the proposed analysis provides, for the first time, an adequate semantic derivation that does not require anaphoric resolution of the understood subject.

Two extensions of the existing frameworks are proposed in order to derive the meaning of such sentences. The concept of multi-functional control proposes to represent the contribution of multiple grammatical functions to the understood subject of the controlled sentence as a set of f-structures. Such set can be assigned non-distributive features that describe the understood subject, such as the semantic number. The meaning of multi-functional control sets is derived using meta-meaning constructors that extend the semantic derivation process by providing the means to derive the meaning of f-structure sets when the number of set elements is a-priori unknown. I also show how resource sensitivity issues can be resolved by employing the multiplicative fragment of the underlying linear logic.

As an additional result, meta-meaning constructors can be used to solve the problem of coordination of more than two conjuncts.