In his classic paper on frame semantics, Charles Fillmore says that it comes from traditions of empirical semantics rather than formal semantics. In this paper we will try to draw a closer connection between empirical and formal semantics and suggest that a notion of frame closely related to that found in FrameNet can be usefully exploited in formal semantics based on a particular type theory with records (TTR). We will first show how frames of this kind can be used to give a compositional semantics for verbs relating to Reichenbach’s analysis of tense using speech, reference and event time. We will then revisit an old puzzle from Montague semantics relating to temperature and price. We will relate our solution to this puzzle to Fernando’s string theory of events. Finally, we will consider some consequences of our analysis for the way in which agents acquire and modify word meaning as a result of exposure to linguistic input.


Type Theory Formal Semantic Record Type Individual Concept Frame Element 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bos, J., Nissim, M.: Combining Discourse Representation Theory with FrameNet. In: Favretti, R.R. (ed.) Frames, Corpora, and Knowledge Representation, pp. 169–183. Bononia University Press (2008)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cooper, R.: Austinian truth, attitudes and type theory. Research on Language and Computation 3, 333–362 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cooper, R.: Records and record types in semantic theory. Journal of Logic and Computation 15(2), 99–112 (2005)zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cooper, R.: Type theory with records and unification-based grammar. In: Hamm, F., Kepser, S. (eds.) Logics for Linguistic Structures, pp. 9–34. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cooper, R.: Type theory and semantics in flux. In: Kempson, R., Asher, N., Fernando, T. (eds.) Handbook of the Philosophy of Science. Philosophy of Linguistics, vol. 14. Elsevier BV, Amsterdam (forthcoming), General editors Gabbay, D.M., Thagard, P., Woods, J.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cooper, R., Larsson, S.: Compositional and ontological semantics in learning from corrective feedback and explicit definition. In: Edlund, J., Gustafson, J., Hjalmarsson, A., Skantze, G. (eds.) Proceedings of DiaHolmia: 2009 Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue, Department of Speech, Music and Hearing, KTH, pp. 59–66 (2009)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Coquand, T., Pollack, R., Takeyama, M.: A logical framework with dependently typed records. Fundamenta Informaticae XX, 1–22 (2004)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fernando, T.: A finite-state approach to events in natural language semantics. Journal of Logic and Computation 14(1), 79–92 (2004)zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fernando, T.: Situations as strings. Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science 165, 23–36 (2006)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fernando, T.: Finite-state descriptions for temporal semantics. In: Bunt, H., Muskens, R. (eds.) Computing Meaning. Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy, vol. 3, vol. 83, pp. 347–368. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fernando, T.: Situations in LTL as strings. Information and Computation 207(10), 980–999 (2009)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fillmore, C.J.: Frame semantics. In: Linguistics in the Morning Calm, pp. 111–137. Hanshin Publishing Co., Seoul (1982)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ginzburg, J.: The Interactive Stance: Meaning for Conversation. Oxford University Press, Oxford (forthcoming)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Larsson, S., Cooper, R.: Towards a formal view of corrective feedback. In: Alishahi, A., Poibeau, T., Villavicencio, A. (eds.) Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Aspects of Computational Language Acquisition. EACL, pp. 1–9 (2009)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Linell, P.: Rethinking Language, Mind, and World Dialogically: Interactional and contextual theories of human sense-making. In: Advances in Cultural Psychology: Constructing Human Development, Information Age Publishing, Inc., Charlotte (2009)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Montague, R.: The Proper Treatment of Quantification in Ordinary English. In: Hintikka, J., Moravcsik, J., Suppes, P. (eds.) Approaches to Natural Language: Proceedings of the 1970 Stanford Workshop on Grammar and Semantics, pp. 247–270. D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht (1973)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Montague, R.: Formal Philosophy: Selected Papers of Richard Montague. Yale University Press, New Haven (1974), Introduction by R.H. Thomason (ed.)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Prior, A.N.: Time and modality. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1957)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Prior, A.N.: Past, present and future. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1967)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pustejovsky, J.: The Generative Lexicon. MIT Press, Cambridge (1995)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pustejovsky, J.: Type theory and lexical decomposition. Journal of Cognitive Science 6, 39–76 (2006)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Reichenbach, H.: Elements of Symbolic Logic. University of California Press, Berkeley (1947)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of ScienceUniversity of GothenburgGöteborgSweden

Personalised recommendations