Text Grammar and Text Logic

  • Teun A. Van Dijk
Part of the Foundations of Language book series (FLSS, volume 19)


This paper is intended as a contribution to the recent developments in the logical analysis of natural language. In particular, it investigates some of the logical properties of so-called text grammars, i.e. grammars formally describing the structure of texts in natural language. Our main working hypothesis will be that the base of a grammar contains, or is identical with a (natural) logic, and that such a ‘logic’ should most appropriately take the form of what might be called a text logic. Besides a more general discussion of the relations between logic and linguistics and of the present status of logical systems in grammatical research, we will specify some of the main tasks and requirements of a text logic. Special attention will be given to the abstract structures underlying description, quantification and identity in texts. These problems are also relevant in standard sentence grammars, but it will be argued that they can be better formulated in the framework of a text grammar and its corresponding text logic, thus leading to a number of interesting generalizations. It must be underlined that our attempt is provisional and often highly speculative, and that the treatment of the different problems will remain rather informal.


Natural Language Noun Phrase Relative Clause Definite Description Generative Grammar 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teun A. Van Dijk
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituut voor LiteratuurwetenschapUniversity of AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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