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Abstract

A protogroup is an ordered monoid in which each element a has both a left proto-inverse a such that a a ≤ 1 and a right proto-inverse a r such that aa r ≤ 1. We explore the assignment of elements of a free protogroup to English words as an aid for checking which strings of words are well-formed sentences, though ultimately we may have to relax the requirement of freeness. By a pregroup we mean a protogroup which also satisfies 1 ≤ aa and 1 ≤ a r a, rendering a a left adjoint and a r a right adjoint of a. A pregroup is precisely a poset model of classical non-commutative linear logic in which the tensor product coincides with it dual. This last condition is crucial to our treatment of passives and Wh-questions, which exploits the fact that a ℓℓa in general. Free pregroups may be used to recognize the same sentences as free protogroups.

Keywords

Noun Phrase Relative Clause Linear Logic Type Assignment Mass Noun 
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.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Lambek
    • 1
  1. 1.McGill UniversityUSA

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