Mark Steedman

Mark Steedman is Professor of Cognitive Science in the Division of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Surface Structure and Interpretation (1996) and The Syntactic Process (2000), both published by the MIT Press.

  • Taking Scope

    Taking Scope

    The Natural Semantics of Quantifiers

    Mark Steedman

    A novel view of the syntax and semantics of quantifier scope that argues for a “combinatory” theory of natural language syntax.

    In Taking Scope, Mark Steedman considers the syntax and semantics of quantifier scope in interaction with negation, polarity, coordination, and pronominal binding, among other constructions. The semantics is “surface compositional,” in that there is a direct correspondence between syntactic types and operations of composition and types and compositions at the level of logical form. In that sense, the semantics is in the “natural logic” tradition of Aristotle, Leibniz, Frege, Russell, and others who sought to define a psychologically real logic directly reflecting natural language grammar.

    The book reunites the generative-transformational tradition initiated by Chomsky—which views the formal syntactic component as entirely autonomous—-with the older, strongly lexicalist, construction-based tradition, which has sought to define a more lingistically transparent theory of meaning representation. Steedman offers a logical formalism that relates directly to the surface form of language and to the process of inference and proof that it must support. Such a natural logic, although formal by definition, should be allowed to grow organically from attested language phenomena rather than be axiomatized a priori in terms of any standard logic. Steedman also considers the application of natural semantic interpretations to practical natural language processing tasks, emphasizing throughout the elimination of traditional quantifiers from semantic formalism in favor of devices such as Skolem terms and structure-sharing among representations in processing.

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99
  • The Syntactic Process

    The Syntactic Process

    Mark Steedman

    This book covers topics in formal linguistics, intonational phonology, computational linguistics, and experimental psycholinguistics, presenting them as an integrated theory of the language faculty.

    In this book Mark Steedman argues that the surface syntax of natural languages maps spoken and written forms directly to a compositional semantic representation that includes predicate-argument structure, quantification, and information structure without constructing any intervening structural representation. His purpose is to construct a principled theory of natural grammar that is directly compatible with both explanatory linguistic accounts of a number of problematic syntactic phenomena and a straightforward computational account of the way sentences are mapped onto representations of meaning. The radical nature of Steedman's proposal stems from his claim that much of the apparent complexity of syntax, prosody, and processing follows from the lexical specification of the grammar and from the involvement of a small number of universal rule-types for combining predicates and arguments. These syntactic operations are related to the combinators of Combinatory Logic, engendering a much freer definition of derivational constituency than is traditionally assumed. This property allows Combinatory Categorial Grammar to capture elegantly the structure and interpretation of coordination and intonation contour in English as well as some well-known interactions between word order, coordination, and relativization across a number of other languages. It also allows more direct compatibility with incremental semantic interpretation during parsing.

    The book covers topics in formal linguistics, intonational phonology, computational linguistics, and experimental psycholinguistics, presenting them as an integrated theory of the language faculty in a form accessible to readers from any of those fields.

    • Hardcover $57.50
    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00
  • Surface Structure and Interpretation

    Surface Structure and Interpretation

    Mark Steedman

    The core of the book is a detailed treatment of extraction, a focus of syntactic research since the early work of Chomsky and Ross.

    Combinatory Categorial Grammar (CCG) offers a new approach to the theory of natural language grammar. Coordination, relativization, and related prosodic phenomena have been analyzed in CCG in terms of a radically revised notion of surface structure. CCG surface structures do not exhibit traditional notions of syntactic dominance and command, and do not constitute an autonomous level of representation. Instead, they reflect the computations by which a sentence may be realized or analyzed, to synchronously define a predicate-argument structure, or logical form. Surface Structure and Interpretation shows that binding and control can be captured at this level, preserving the advantages of CCG as an account of coordination and unbounded dependency.The core of the book is a detailed treatment of extraction, a focus of syntactic research since the early work of Chomsky and Ross. The topics addressed include the sources of subject-object asymmetries and phenomena attributed to the Empty Category Principle (ECP), asymmetric islands, parasitic gaps, and the relation of coordination and extraction, including their interactions with binding theory. In his conclusion, the author relates CCG to other categorial and type-driven approaches and to proposals for minimalism in linguistic theory. Linguistic Inquiry Monograph No. 30

    • Hardcover $35.00
    • Paperback $20.00 £15.99

Contributor

  • Language, Music, and the Brain

    Language, Music, and the Brain

    A Mysterious Relationship

    Michael A. Arbib

    A presentation of music and language within an integrative, embodied perspective of brain mechanisms for action, emotion, and social coordination.

    This book explores the relationships between language, music, and the brain by pursuing four key themes and the crosstalk among them: song and dance as a bridge between music and language; multiple levels of structure from brain to behavior to culture; the semantics of internal and external worlds and the role of emotion; and the evolution and development of language. The book offers specially commissioned expositions of current research accessible both to experts across disciplines and to non-experts. These chapters provide the background for reports by groups of specialists that chart current controversies and future directions of research on each theme.

    The book looks beyond mere auditory experience, probing the embodiment that links speech to gesture and music to dance. The study of the brains of monkeys and songbirds illuminates hypotheses on the evolution of brain mechanisms that support music and language, while the study of infants calibrates the developmental timetable of their capacities. The result is a unique book that will interest any reader seeking to learn more about language or music and will appeal especially to readers intrigued by the relationships of language and music with each other and with the brain.

    Contributors Francisco Aboitiz, Michael A. Arbib, Annabel J. Cohen, Ian Cross, Peter Ford Dominey, W. Tecumseh Fitch, Leonardo Fogassi, Jonathan Fritz, Thomas Fritz, Peter Hagoort, John Halle, Henkjan Honing, Atsushi Iriki, Petr Janata, Erich Jarvis, Stefan Koelsch, Gina Kuperberg, D. Robert Ladd, Fred Lerdahl, Stephen C. Levinson, Jerome Lewis, Katja Liebal, Jônatas Manzolli, Bjorn Merker, Lawrence M. Parsons, Aniruddh D. Patel, Isabelle Peretz, David Poeppel, Josef P. Rauschecker, Nikki Rickard, Klaus Scherer, Gottfried Schlaug, Uwe Seifert, Mark Steedman, Dietrich Stout, Francesca Stregapede, Sharon Thompson-Schill, Laurel Trainor, Sandra E. Trehub, Paul Verschure

    • Hardcover $60.00 £50.00
  • An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Second Edition, Volume 4

    An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Second Edition, Volume 4

    Methods, Models, and Conceptual Issues

    Daniel N. Osherson, Saul Sternberg, and Don Scarborough

    The chapters in this volume span many areas of cognitive science—including artificial intelligence, neural network models, animal cognition, signal detection theory, computational models, reaction-time methods, and cognitive neuroscience.

    An Invitation to Cognitive Science provides a point of entry into the vast realm of cognitive science by treating in depth examples of issues and theories from many subfields. The first three volumes of the series cover Language, Visual Cognition, and Thinking.

    Volume 4, Methods, Models, and Conceptual Issues, expands the series in new directions. The chapters span many areas of cognitive science—including artificial intelligence, neural network models, animal cognition, signal detection theory, computational models, reaction-time methods, and cognitive neuroscience. The volume also offers introductions to several general methods and theoretical approaches for analyzing the mind, and shows how some of these approaches are applied in the development of quantitative models.

    Rather than general and inevitably superficial surveys of areas, the contributors present "case studies"—detailed accounts of one or two achievements within an area. The goal is to tell a good story, challenging the reader to embark on an intellectual adventure.

    • Hardcover $23.75 £18.99
    • Paperback $10.75 £8.99
  • An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Second Edition, Volume 1

    An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Second Edition, Volume 1

    Language

    Lila Gleitman, Mark Liberman, and Daniel N. Osherson

    An Invitation to Cognitive Science provides a point of entry into the vast realm of cognitive science, offering selected examples of issues and theories from many of its subfields. All of the volumes in the second edition contain substantially revised and as well as entirely new chapters.

    Rather than surveying theories and data in the manner characteristic of many introductory textbooks in the field, An Invitation to Cognitive Science employs a unique case study approach, presenting a focused research topic in some depth and relying on suggested readings to convey the breadth of views and results. Each chapter tells a coherent scientific story, whether developing themes and ideas or describing a particular model and exploring its implications.

    The volumes are self contained and can be used individually in upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses ranging from introductory psychology, linguistics, cognitive science, and decision sciences, to social psychology, philosophy of mind, rationality, language, and vision science.

    • Hardcover $65.00
    • Paperback $45.00 £38.00