Polysemy and Coercion – A Frame-Based Approach Using LTAG and Hybrid Logic

  • William Babonnaud
  • Laura Kallmeyer
  • Rainer OsswaldEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10054)


In this article, we propose an analysis of polysemy and coercion phenomena using a syntax-semantics interface which combines Lexicalized Tree Adjoining Grammar with frame semantics and Hybrid Logic. We show that this framework allows a straightforward and explicit description of selectional mechanisms as well as coercion processes. We illustrate our approach by applying it to examples discussed in Generative Lexicon Theory [23, 25]. This includes the modeling of dot objects and associated coercion phenomena in our framework, as well as cases of functional coercion triggered by transitive verbs and adjectives.


Systematic polysemy Coercion Lexical semantics Frame semantics Hybrid logic Lexicalized tree adjoining grammars Hole semantics Underspecification Syntax-semantics interface Generative lexicon theory 


  1. 1.
    Abeillé, A., Rambow, O.: Tree adjoining grammar: an overview. In: Abeillé, A., Rambow, O. (eds.) Tree Adjoining Grammars: Formalisms, Linguistic Analysis and Processing, pp. 1–68. CSLI Press, Stanford (2000)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Areces, C., ten Cate, B.: Hybrid logics. In: Blackburn, P., Benthem, J.V., Wolter, F. (eds.) Handbook of Modal Logic, pp. 821–868. Elsevier, Amsterdam (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Asher, N.: A Web of Words: Lexical Meaning in Context. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Asher, N.: Types, meanings and coercions in lexical semantics. Lingua 157, 66–82 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Asher, N., Luo, Z.: Formalization of coercions in lexical semantics. In: Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung, vol. 17, pp. 63–80 (2012)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Asher, N., Pustejovsky, J.: Word meaning and commonsense metaphysics. Semant. Arch. (2005).
  7. 7.
    Asher, N., Pustejovsky, J.: A type composition logic for generative lexicon. J. Cogn. Sci. 6, 1–38 (2006)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Barsalou, L.W.: Frames, concepts, and conceptual fields. In: Lehrer, A., Kittay, E.F. (eds.) Frames, Fields, and Contrasts, pp. 21–74. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah (1992)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bos, J.: Predicate logic unplugged. In: Dekker, P., Stokhof, M. (eds.) Proceedings of the 10th Amsterdam Colloquium, pp. 133–142 (1995)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fillmore, C.J.: Frame semantics. In: Linguistics in the Morning Calm, pp. 111–137. Hanshin Publishing Co., Seoul (1982)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gardent, C., Kallmeyer, L.: Semantic construction in feature-based TAG. In: Proceedings of the 10th Meeting of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL), pp. 123–130 (2003)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Joshi, A.K., Schabes, Y.: Tree-adjoning grammars. In: Rozenberg, G., Salomaa, A.K. (eds.) Handbook of Formal Languages, vol. 3, pp. 69–123. Springer, Heidelberg (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kallmeyer, L., Joshi, A.K.: Factoring predicate argument and scope semantics: underspecified semantics with LTAG. Res. Lang. Comput. 1(1–2), 3–58 (2003)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kallmeyer, L., Lichte, T., Osswald, R., Pogodalla, S., Wurm, C.: Quantification in frame semantics with hybrid logic. In: Cooper, R., Retoré, C. (eds.) Proceedings of the ESSLLI 2015 Workshop on Type Theory and Lexical Semantics, Barcelona, Spain (2015)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kallmeyer, L., Osswald, R.: Syntax-driven semantic frame composition in lexicalized tree adjoining grammars. J. Lang. Model. 1(2), 267–330 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kallmeyer, L., Osswald, R., Pogodalla, S.: Progression and iteration in event semantics - an LTAG analysis using hybrid logic and frame semantics. In: Pinón, C. (ed.) Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics, vol. 11 (2016)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kallmeyer, L., Romero, M.: Scope and situation binding in LTAG using semantic unification. Res. Lang. Comput. 6(1), 3–52 (2008)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Löbner, S.: Evidence for frames from human language. In: Gamerschlag, T., Gerland, D., Osswald, R., Petersen, W. (eds.) Frames and Concept Types. Applications in Language and Philosophy, pp. 23–67. Springer, Heidelberg (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nunberg, G.: The non-uniqueness of semantic solutions: polysemy. Linguist. Philos. 3(2), 143–184 (1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nunberg, G.: Transfers of meaning. J. Seman. 12(2), 109–132 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Petersen, W.: Representation of concepts as frames. In: The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication, vol. 2, pp. 151–170 (2006)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pustejovsky, J.: The Generative Lexicon. MIT Press, Cambridge (1995)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Pustejovsky, J.: The semantics of lexical underspecification. Folia Linguistica 32(3–4), 323–348 (1998)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pustejovsky, J.: A survey of dot objects. Manuscript (2005)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Pustejovsky, J.: Coercion in a general theory of argument selection. Linguistics 49(6), 1401–1431 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Pustejovsky, J., Rumshisky, A.: Mechanisms of sense extension in verbs. In: de Schryver, G.-M. (ed.) A Way with Words: Recent Advances in Lexical Theory and Analysis, pp. 67–88. Menha Publishers, Kampala (2010)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Vijay-Shanker, K., Joshi, A.K.: Feature structures based tree adjoining grammar. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING), pp. 714–719 (1988)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Babonnaud
    • 1
  • Laura Kallmeyer
    • 2
  • Rainer Osswald
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.ENS Cachan, Université Paris-SaclayCachanFrance
  2. 2.Heinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany

Personalised recommendations