## Ellipsis and Higher-Order Unification (1991)

Venue: | Linguistics and Philosophy |

Citations: | 108 - 1 self |

### BibTeX

@ARTICLE{Dalrymple91ellipsisand,

author = {Mary Dalrymple and Stuart M. Shieber and Fernando C. N. Pereira},

title = {Ellipsis and Higher-Order Unification},

journal = {Linguistics and Philosophy},

year = {1991},

volume = {14},

pages = {399--452}

}

### Years of Citing Articles

### OpenURL

### Abstract

We present a new method for characterizing the interpretive possibilities generated by elliptical constructions in natural language. Unlike previous analyses, which postulate ambiguity of interpretation or derivation in the full clause source of the ellipsis, our analysis requires no such hidden ambiguity. Further, the analysis follows relatively directly from an abstract statement of the ellipsis interpretation problem. It predicts correctly a wide range of interactions between ellipsis and other semantic phenomena such as quantifier scope and bound anaphora. Finally, although the analysis itself is stated nonprocedurally, it admits of a direct computational method for generating interpretations. This article is available through the Computation and Language E-Print Archive as cmp-lg/9503008, and also appears in Linguistics and Philosophy 14(4):399--452. cmp-lg/9503008 Ellipsis and Higher-Order Unification 1 Contents 1 Introduction 2 2 Basics 2 2.1 An Abstract Statement of the El...

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Citation Context ... is needed in our analysis of antecedent-contained ellipsis (Section 3.4.1) can be understood as a lambda calculus implementation of some aspects of Discourse Representation Theory (DRT) (Kamp, 1981; =-=Heim, 1982-=-). 11 Specifically, the interpretation of (24) John greeted every person. will be for us (25) every(x: hperson(x); greet(j; x)i) which we will abbreviate as every(x; person(x); greet(j; x)) . This int... |

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Citation Context ...nings, which is needed in our analysis of antecedent-contained ellipsis (Section 3.4.1) can be understood as a lambda calculus implementation of some aspects of Discourse Representation Theory (DRT) (=-=Kamp, 1981-=-; Heim, 1982). 11 Specifically, the interpretation of (24) John greeted every person. will be for us (25) every(x: hperson(x); greet(j; x)i) which we will abbreviate as every(x; person(x); greet(j; x)... |

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Citation Context .../9503008 Ellipsis and Higher-Order Unification 11 other words, on when we consider that two terms denote the same semantic object. One salient notion of equality is that of fffij interconvertibility (=-=Hindley and Seldin, 1986), which c-=-aptures formally the intuitive notion that two terms can represent the same "recipe" for calculating a function. Specifically, two terms are considered equal if one can be converted to the o... |

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Citation Context ...olving this equation for the unknown, P , we generate the relation (or relations, if multiple solutions exist) that the resolution of the ellipsis requires. Huet's higher-order unification algorithm (=-=Huet, 1975-=-) provides a means of completely enumerating representations of the solutions of such equations, under assumptions whose detailed discussion we defer to Section 2.7. 3 As an example of the use of equa... |

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Citation Context ...second tree under the constraint of identical interpretation (Sag, 1976). Finally, syntactic analyses may also allow the semantic ambiguity to arise from underspecification in the copied constituent (=-=Hellan, 1988-=-). The solutions therefore form a continuum, the ambiguity arising at more or less superficial levels. All of the analyses, however, share a reliance on semantic ambiguity in the source clause. Our so... |

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Citation Context ...ysis, nor do we believe it is a tenable stance. The multiplicity of interpretations for the elided phrase in an identity-of-relations analysis may arise in various ways. Purely interpretive analyses (=-=Gawron and Peters, 1990-=-; Roberts, 1987) allow for multiple semantic interpretations arising from an unambiguous syntactic analysis of the source clause. Partially interpretive analyses involve either copying the syntactic t... |

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Citation Context ...ntifiers to generalized quantifiers, and P, mapping generalized quantifiers to pair quantifiers, satisfying G(P(Q)) = Q and P(G(P )) = P . 11 Dynamic Montague grammar (Groenendijk and Stockhof, 1987; =-=Chierchia, 1988-=-) provides a more complex and possibly more general approach to incorporating some of the aspects of DRT into a compositional framework. cmp-lg/9503008 Ellipsis and Higher-Order Unification 16 G and P... |

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Citation Context ...ples later in this section. In general, the interpretation of a phrase will have the form \Gamma ` m where \Gamma is a set of assumptions analogous to a quantifier store in the Cooper storage method (=-=Cooper, 1983-=-) and m is a matrix term in which free variables introduced by the assumptions in \Gamma may occur. The assumptions used for quantifier scoping are triples of the form hq x pi where q is a determiner ... |

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Citation Context ...functionals, G, mapping pair quantifiers to generalized quantifiers, and P, mapping generalized quantifiers to pair quantifiers, satisfying G(P(Q)) = Q and P(G(P )) = P . 11 Dynamic Montague grammar (=-=Groenendijk and Stockhof, 1987-=-; Chierchia, 1988) provides a more complex and possibly more general approach to incorporating some of the aspects of DRT into a compositional framework. cmp-lg/9503008 Ellipsis and Higher-Order Unifi... |

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Citation Context ...e such notations for cases in which the space of readings generated is unaffected. cmp-lg/9503008 Ellipsis and Higher-Order Unification 5 second tree under the constraint of identical interpretation (=-=Sag, 1976-=-). Finally, syntactic analyses may also allow the semantic ambiguity to arise from underspecification in the copied constituent (Hellan, 1988). The solutions therefore form a continuum, the ambiguity ... |

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Citation Context ...e elliptical constructions has been independently noted by other researchers. Pulman and Milward implemented a prototype system that handled simple cases of VP ellipsis and gapping along these lines (=-=Pulman, 1988). Paresch-=-i and Steedman's "left conjunct decomposition " operation, which is used for the parsing of gapping constructions, bears a certain resemblance to higher-order unification as well (Steedman, ... |

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