Re: Contexts and quantifiers in KIF

Jim Fulton <>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 93 09:35:10 -0700
From: Jim Fulton <>
Message-id: <>
To:, interlingua@ISI.EDU,,
Subject: Re:  Contexts and quantifiers in KIF

Got your message.  Two points:

1.  Montague is only one of many philosophers/linguists/logicians working in 
this area, albeit one of the most prominent.  I cannot give you alternative 
references since I've been out of that fray for the last 16 years.  My 
inclination is that more is to be gained by focusing on the similarities 
among Montague and Kripke on the one hand and Barwise et al on the other, 
than by focusing on the differences. 

2.  I do not think there is any Grand Unification Theory for language that 
will be able to deduce from general semantic theory plus specific syntax, even 
given specific behavioral context, the meaning of an expression.  Such a 
theory might provide insights that will focus the unification process more 
precisely than without it, but that process will always involve having the 
interested parties sitting down to work out the similarities and differences 
among the predicates they use to describe overlapping phenomena.  I can find 
no significant differences between this process and the process of formalizing 
a fragment of natural language that has been applied to that phenomena.  The 
result of the process is an agreement to communicate in a language that has 
been formalized, and the Tarskian model, extended in some way that learns 
>From both modal logic and situation theory, seems to offer significant power 
in describing the semantics of that formalization.