[PhD dissertation, Rutgers
University - slightly reformatted & revised]
[committee: Maria Bittner (chairperson), Hans Kamp
(external member), Roger Schwarzschild and Matthew Stone]
discourse reference in natural language involves two equally important
components with essentially the same interpretive dynamics, namely
values, i.e. non-singleton sets of objects (individuals and possible
and reference to structure, i.e. the correlation / dependency between
sets, which is introduced and incrementally elaborated upon in
To define and investigate structured discourse reference, a new dynamic
system couched in classical (many-sorted) type logic is introduced
extends Compositional DRT (CDRT, Muskens 1996) with plural information
i.e. information states are modeled as sets of variable assignments
van den Berg 1996a), which can be can be represented as matrices with
assignments (sequences) as rows. A plural info state encodes both
values (the columns
of the matrix store sets of objects) and structure (each row of the
encodes a correlation / dependency between the objects stored in it).
Given the underlying type logic, compositionality at sub-clausal level
follows automatically and standard techniques from Montague semantics
type shifting) become available.
The idea that
plural info states are semantically necessary is
motivated by examples with morphologically singular anaphors, in
the previous literature that argues for plural info states based on
anaphora. Plural Compositional DRT (PCDRT) enables us compositionally
a variety of phenomena, including: (i) mixed weak &
anaphora, e.g. Every person who buys au
computer and has au' credit card uses itu'
to pay for itu,
quantificational subordination, e.g. Harvey courts au
girl at everyu'
convention. Sheu alwaysu' comes to the banquet with
modal anaphora and modal subordination, e.g. Au
in. Itu wouldp eat Harvey first (based on Roberts
1989) and (iv)
naturally-occurring discourses exhibiting complex
interactions between modalized conditionals, donkey anaphora, modal
subordination and the entailment particle therefore,
man cannot live without joy.
Therefore, when he is deprived of true spiritual joys, it is necessary
become addicted to carnal pleasures (Thomas Aquinas).
PCDRT account of these phenomena explicitly and systematically captures
the anaphoric and quantificational parallels between the individual and