Natural Logic for Natural Language
For a cognitive account of reasoning it is useful to factor out the syntactic aspect — the aspect that has to do with pattern matching and simple substitution — from the rest. The calculus of monotonicity, alias the calculus of natural logic, does precisely this, for it is a calculus of appropriate substitutions at marked positions in syntactic structures. We first introduce the semantic and the syntactic sides of monotonicity reasoning or ‘natural logic’, and propose an improvement to the syntactic monotonicity calculus, in the form of an improved algorithm for monotonicity marking. Next, we focus on the role of monotonicity in syllogistic reasoning. In particular, we show how the syllogistic inference rules (for traditional syllogistics, but also for a broader class of quantifiers) can be decomposed in a monotonicity component, an argument swap component, and an existential import component. Finally, we connect the decomposition of syllogistics to the doctrine of distribution.
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