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The Science of MeaningEssays on the Metatheory of Natural Language Semantics$
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Derek Ball and Brian Rabern

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198739548

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198739548.001.0001

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Axiomatization in the Meaning Sciences

Axiomatization in the Meaning Sciences

Chapter:
(p.73) 2 Axiomatization in the Meaning Sciences
Source:
The Science of Meaning
Author(s):

Wesley H. Holliday

Thomas F. III Icard

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198739548.003.0002

While much of semantic theorizing is based on intuitions about logical phenomena associated with linguistic constructions—phenomena such as consistency and entailment—it is rare to see axiomatic treatments of linguistic fragments. Given a fragment interpreted in some class of formally specified models, it is often possible to ask for a characterization of the reasoning patterns validated by the class of models. Axiomatizations provide such a characterization, often in a perspicuous and efficient manner. This chapter highlights some of the benefits of providing axiomatizations for the purpose of semantic theorizing. Three examples from the study of modality provide an illustration of these benefits.

Keywords:   logic in language, axiomatization, completeness, entailment, modality

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