A Single-Type Semantics for Natural Language

Kristina Liefke, Ludwig-Maximiliens-University Munich


In (Montague, 1970a), Montague defines a formal theory of linguistic meaning which interprets a small fragment of English through the use of two basic types of objects: individuals and propositions. In this talk, I develop a comparable semantic theory which only uses one basic type of object (hence, single-type semantics). Such a semantics has been suggested by Partee (2006) as a 'minimality test' for the Montagovian type system, which challenges the need for a fundamentally bi-partitioned semantic ontology. The resulting semantics captures the propositional interpretation of proper names, unifies Montague's semantic ontology, and yields insights into the apparatus of types in formal semantics.