Research on Language and Computation

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 267–285 | Cite as

Separating Syntax and Combinatorics in Categorial Grammar

  • Reinhard MuskensEmail author
Open Access


This paper argues that modern versions of categorial grammar and in particular multimodal categorial grammar can profit considerably from reintroducing Haskell Curry’s old distinction between what he called phenogrammatics and tectogrammatics. Tectogrammatics is the abstract way in which linguistic signs are built up, while phenogrammatics deals with concrete processes of string formation and the way in which the sign ultimately manifests itself. The distinction will be modeled in a theory called Lambda Grammars in which tectogrammatics is formalized by taking linear lambda terms over a given lexicon. Phenogrammatics can then be formalized with the help of a set of modal operators. The procedure is illustrated by means of an analysis of some aspects of Dutch word order that is based on earlier multimodal work of Oehrle and Moortgat on Dutch.


Categorial grammar Lambda grammar 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

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