Negative events in compositional semantics

Timothée Bernard 1, 2 Lucas Champollion 3
2 SEMAGRAMME - Semantic Analysis of Natural Language
Inria Nancy - Grand Est, LORIA - NLPKD - Department of Natural Language Processing & Knowledge Discovery
Abstract : Negative events have been used in analyses of various natural language phenomena such as negative perception reports and negative causation, but their conceptual and logical foundations remain ill-understood. We propose that linguistic negation denotes a function Neg, which sends any set of events P to a set Neg(P) that contains all events which preclude every event in P from being actual. An axiom ensures that any event in Neg(P) is actual if and only if no event in P is. This allows us to construe the events in Neg(P) as negative, "anti-P", events. We present a syntax-semantics interface that uses continuations to resolve scope mismatches between subject and verb phrase negation, and a fragment of English that accounts for the interaction of negation, the perception verb see, finite and nonfinite perception reports, and quantified subjects, as well as negative causation.
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Conference papers
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https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01931277
Contributor : Timothée Bernard <>
Submitted on : Thursday, November 22, 2018 - 4:00:24 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 4:47:32 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01931277, version 1

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Timothée Bernard, Lucas Champollion. Negative events in compositional semantics. Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT 28), May 2018, Cambridge (MA), United States. pp.512-532. ⟨hal-01931277⟩

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