Integrating compositional semantics and event semantics (NASSLLI 2018 lecture notes)
Lucas Champollion, Maria Esipova
June 2018

Lecture notes for the NASSLLI 2018 course ( -- It is sometimes said that the marriage of (Neo-)Davidsonian event semantics and compositional semantics is an uneasy one. And indeed, in many implementations of event semantics, standard treatments of scope-taking elements such as quantifiers, negation, conjunctions, modals, the adverb 'only', etc. are complicated compared to the simple accounts they get in semantics textbooks. A typical graduate Semantics I course will introduce students to the main idea and motivation of event semantics, and will then go on to describe phenomena like quantification and negation in an event-free framework. While specialists who wish to combine the two frameworks will know where to look for ideas, there are currently no easy-to-use, off-the-shelf systems that puts the two together, textbook-style. An aspiring semanticist might be discouraged by this situation, particularly when a given language or phenomenon that seems to be well-suited to event semantics also involves scope-taking elements that need to be analyzed in some way. For example, event semantics is a natural choice for a fieldworker who wishes to sketch a semantic analysis of a language without making commitments as to the relative hierarchical order of arguments or the argument-adjunct distinction. Yet the same fieldworker would face significant technical challenges before being able to also use such standard tools as generalized quantifier theory or classical negation when encountering quantifiers and negation. This course aims to remedy this situation by presenting an implementation of Neo-Davidsonian event semantics that combines with standard treatments of scope-taking elements in a well-behaved way. -- This material is based in part on an earlier course taught by Lucas Champollion at ESSLLI 2014 ( and NASSLLI 2014 (
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004082
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: NASSLLI 2018
keywords: event semantics, thematic roles, quantifiers, negation, coordination, for-adverbials, plurals, mereology, only, exhaustification, semantics
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