Journal of Logic, Language and Information

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 45–81

A Resource Sensitive Interpretation of Lexical Functional Grammar


DOI: 10.1023/A:1008212427572

Cite this article as:
Johnson, M. Journal of Logic, Language and Information (1999) 8: 45. doi:10.1023/A:1008212427572


This paper investigates whether the fundamental linguistic insights and intuitions of Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG), which is usually presented as a “constraint-based” linguistic theory, can be reformulated in a “resource sensitive” framework using a substructural modal logic. In the approach investigated here, LFG's f-descriptions are replaced with expressions from a multi-modal propositional logic (with permutation and possibly limited contraction). In effect, the feature structure “unification” basis of LFG's f-structures is replaced with a very different resource based mechanism. It turns out that some linguistic analyses that required non-monotonic devices in LFG (such as the “constraint equations” in the Andrews (1982) analysis of Icelandic) can be straightforwardly expressed in the framework presented here. Moreover, a Curry–Howard correspondence between proofs in this logic and λ-terms provides a semantic interpretation as a by-product of the process of showing syntactic well-formedness.

Lexical Functional Grammarfeature-structures“unification” grammar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cognitive and Linguistic SciencesBrown UniversityProvidenceU.S.A