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The main aim of the book is to provide a good understanding of a range of semantic phenomena and issues in semantics, adopting a truth-conditional account of meaning, but without using a compositional formalism. The book assumes no particular background in linguistics of philosophy, and all the technical tools used are explained as they are introduced. They style is accessible, with numerous examples.
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Kearns' book provides a lively and engaging introduction to formal semantics. This new edition extends the scope of the first edition by providing additional material on formalization in a very accessible manner. The presentation is clear and user-friendly throughout, making this a really useful resource for use with undergraduates and beginning graduate students alike' – Professor Louisa Sadler, University of Essex
Semantics is the study of the literal meaning of words and the meaning of the way words are combined. This engaging introduction to formal semantics assumes no prior knowledge, providing a solid understanding of a range of semantic phenomena. Truly wide-ranging in coverage, no other introductory textbook discusses a comparable range of topics. Areas covered include:
· a beginner's introduction to type theory and the lambda calculus
· generalized quantifier theory
· referential opacity
· thematic roles and lexical conceptual structure
· tense and aspect, including Discourse Representation Theory
· event semantics
Illustrated throughout with numerous practical examples, each chapter also contains exercises, graded to three different levels of difficulty, as well as suggestions for further reading.
Thoroughly revised and expanded, this second edition includes entirely new material on type theory, lambda calculus, semantic composition and discussion of time within a narrative. Comprehensive and accessible, Semantics is ideal for both undergraduate and postgraduate students working at a variety of levels.
Kate Kearns is Lecturer, Department of Linguistics, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
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