English Relative Clause Extraction: A Syntactic and Semantic Approach
AuthorBourgeois, Thomas C.
AffiliationUniversity of Arizona
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DescriptionPublished as Coyote Papers: Working Papers in Linguistics from A-Z, Unification Based Approaches to Natural Languages
AbstractWithin this paper we analyze the formation of and extraction from a specific type of noun phrase, namely that consisting of the definite article followed by a common noun modified by a relative clause, where the common noun can be the subject or the object of the modifying clause. Representative examples of this construction appear in Figure 1: (1) ( i ) . Sal knows the man Sid likes. (ii) . Sal knows the man who bought the carrot. The framework we assume here makes use of a system of functional syntactical and (corresponding) semantical types assigned to each item in the string. These types act upon each other in functor-argument fashion according to a small set of combinatory rules for building syntactic and semantic structure, adopted here without proof but not without comment. To emphasize the direct correspondence of the syntax/semantics relationship, we describe combinatory rules in terms of how they apply on both levels. For maximum clarity, data appear in the form of triplets consisting of the phonological unit (the word), the syntactic category, and the semantic representation. We present an example below: (2) 'bought; (N P\S)/N P; λoλs.B(o),(s)