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ter Meulen, Alice. Logic and Natural Language
2001, In Lou Goble (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Philosophical Logic. Blackwell
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Added by: Franci Mangraviti

Logicians have always found inspiration for new research in the ordinary language that is used on a daily basis and acquired naturally in childhood. Whereas the logical issues in the foundations of mathematics motivated the development of mathematical logic with its emphasis on notions of proof, validity, axiomatization, decidability, consistency, and completeness, the logical analysis of natural language motivated the development of philosophical logic with its emphasis on semantic notions of presupposition, entailment, modality, conditionals, and intensionality. The relation between research programs in both mathematical and philosophical logic and natural language syntax and semantics as branches of theoretical linguistics has increased in importance throughout the last fifty years. This chapter reviews the development of one particularly interesting and lively area of interaction between formal logic and linguistics—the semantics of natural language. Research in this emergent field has proved fruitful for the development of empirically, cognitively adequate models of reasoning with partial information, sharing or exchanging information, dynamic interpretation in context, belief revision and other cognitive processes.

Comment: Can be helpful in an introductory course to philosophy of language or in an introductory course to logic, to emphasize the connection with linguistics. There are basically no formal prerequisites.

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