Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 255–285 | Cite as

The Natural Language Conjunction And

  • Isabel Gómez Txurruka

Abstract

In the first part of this article, we show that, contrary to the Gricean tradition, inter-clausal and is not semantically equivalent to logical conjunction and, contrary to temporal approaches such as Bar-Levand Palacas 1980, it is not temporallyloaded. We then explore a commonsenseidea – namely that while sentence juxtaposition might be interpreted either as discourse coordination or subordination, and indicates coordination. SDRT already includes notions of coordinating and subordinating discourse relations (cf. Lascarides and Asher 1993, Asher 1993), and the meaning of and is related to this distinction. Similar distinctions that play a crucial role in anaphora resolution have also appeared in AI – cf. Scha and Polanyi 1988, or Webber 1991. However, this discourse-structure-based distinction has not been well defined yet, and our approach provides independent motivation for it. This paper argues that the semantics of and includes a notion of coordination expressed as the requirement of a Coordinated Discourse Topic (CDT).CDT characterizes aclass of discourse relations, among which are Narration and Result.Once the basic semanticcontribution of and is isolated, effects related to its presence such as changes in temporal structure, blocking of a Discourse Relation, or conditional meanings are shown to follow from the defeasiblearchitecture set up by SDRT.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Alves, A. and I. G. Txurruka: 2001, ‘The Meaning of Same in Anaphoric Temporal Adverbials’, in Myriam Bras and Laure Vieu (eds.), Semantic and Pragmatic Issues in Discourse and Dialogue, Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  2. Asher, N.: 1993, Reference to Abstract Objects in Discourse, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Press.Google Scholar
  3. Asher, N.: 1998, Common Ground, Corrections and Coordination, Austin: Draft.Google Scholar
  4. Asher, N. and T. Fernando: 1997, ‘Representations with Effective Labeling for Disambiguation’, Second International Workshop on Computational Semantics, Tilburg, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  5. Asher, N. and A. Lascarides: 1998, The Semantics and Pragmatics of Presupposition, Draft.Google Scholar
  6. Asher, N. and M. Morreau: 1991, ‘Commonsense Entailment: A Modal Theory of Non-monotonic Reasoning’, in Greg Carlson and Jeff Pelletier (eds.), The Generic Book, University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  7. Austin, J. L.: 1962, How to do Things with Words, Oxford Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bar-Lev, Z. and A. Palacas: 1980, ‘Semantic Command over Pragmatic Priority’, Lingua 51, 137–146.Google Scholar
  9. Bergson, H.: 1940, Le rire, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  10. Blakemore, D. and R. Carston: 1999, The Pragmatics of and-Conjunctions: the Non-Narrative Cases, Draft. Published in UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 11, 1–20.Google Scholar
  11. Bras, M., A. Le Draoulec and L. Vieu: 2001, ‘French Adverbial puis between Temporal and Discourse Structure’, in M. Bras and L. Vieu (eds.), Semantic and Pragmatic Issues in Discourse and Dialogue, Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  12. Carlson, L.: 1994, Well in Dialogue Games, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  13. Carston, R.: 1993, ‘Conjunction, Explanation and Relevance’, Lingua 90, 27–48.Google Scholar
  14. Cohen, L. J.: 1971, ‘The Logical Particles of Natural Language’, in Y. Bar-Hillel (ed.), Pragmatics of Natural Languages, Dordrecht: Reidel, pp. 50–68.Google Scholar
  15. Cohen, R.: 1983, A Computational Model for the Analysis of Arguments, Ph.D. thesis, Technical Report 151, Computer Systems Research Group, University of Toronto.Google Scholar
  16. Danlos, L.: 2001, ‘Event Co-reference and Discourse Structure’, in Proceedings of ICCS-01, Donostia-San Sebastián.Google Scholar
  17. Dowty, D.: 1986, ‘The Effect of Aspectual Class on the Temporal Structure of Discourse’, Linguistics and Philosophy 9, 37–61.Google Scholar
  18. Gazdar, G.: 1979, Pragmatics, New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  19. Grice, H. P.: 1975, ‘Logic and Conversation’, in P. Cole, J.L. Morgan (eds.), Syntax and Semantics, 3: Speech Acts, New York: Academic Press, pp. 41–58.Google Scholar
  20. Grice, H. P.: 1989, Studies in the Way of Words, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Grosz, B. and C. Sidner: 1986, ‘Attention, Intention and the Structure of Discourse’, Computational Linguistics 12, 175–204.Google Scholar
  22. Kamp, H.: 1981, ‘A Theory of Truth and Semantic Interpretation’, In Jeroen Groenendijk et al. (eds.), Formal Methods in the Study of Language, Amsterdam: Mathematical Centre Tracts, pp. 277–322.Google Scholar
  23. Kamp, H. and U. Reyle: 1993, From Discourse to Logic, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  24. Kempson, R.: 1975, Presupposition and the Delimitation of Semantics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Kitis, E.: 1995, ‘Connectives and Ideology’, Fourth International Symposium on Critical Discourse Analysis, University of Athens.Google Scholar
  26. Lascarides, A. and N. Asher: 1993, ‘Temporal Interpretation, Discourse Relations and Commonsense Entailment’, Linguistics and Philosophy 14.Google Scholar
  27. Mann, B. and S. Thompson: 1986, ‘Relational Propositions in Discourse’, Technical Report RR-83-115, Information Sciences Institute, CA: Marina del Rey.Google Scholar
  28. Moxey, L. and A. Sanford: 1988, ‘Quantifiers and Focus’, Journal of Semantics 5, 189–206.Google Scholar
  29. Olman, L.: 1998, Evidence for Iconicity: The Instance Relation in Informational Exposition, University of Texas at Austin: MA thesis.Google Scholar
  30. Pierrehumbert, J. and J. Hirschberg: 1990, ‘The Meaning of Intonational Contours in the Interpretation of Discourse’, in P. R. Cohen, J. Morgan and M. Pollack (eds.), Intentions in Communication, Cambridge: MIT Press, pp. 271–312.Google Scholar
  31. Polanyi, L.: 1998, ‘A Formal Model of the Structure of Discourse’, Journal of Pragmatics 12, 601–638.Google Scholar
  32. Polanyi, L.: 1999, Linguistic Discourse Structure, Draft.Google Scholar
  33. Posner, R.: 1978, ‘Semantics and Pragmatics of Sentence Connectives in Natural Language’, in F. Kiefer, J. Searle (eds.), Speech Acts and Pragmatics, Amsterdam: North Holland.Google Scholar
  34. Scha, R. and L. Polanyi: 1988, ‘An Augmented Context Free Grammar for Discourse’, in Proceedings of COLING, Budapest.Google Scholar
  35. Schmerling, S.: 1975, ‘Asymmetric Conjunction and Rules of Conversation’, in P. Cole, J. L. Morgan (eds.), Syntax and Semantics 3: Speech Acts, New York: Academic Press, 211–232.Google Scholar
  36. Searle, J. 1968, Speech Acts, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Seville, H. and A. Ramsay: 1999, Reference-Based Discourse Structure for Reference Resolution, Manchester, England: Center for Computational Linguistics. Draft.Google Scholar
  38. Walker, M. 1995. Corrections, AAAI Symposium on Computational Implicature, CA: Stanford.Google Scholar
  39. Webber, B. L.: 1991, ‘Structure and Ostension in the Interpretation of Discourse Deixis’, Language and Cognitive Processes 6, 197–135.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabel Gómez Txurruka
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Logic, Cognition, Language and Information (ILCLI)Donostia-San Sebastián

Personalised recommendations