Comparing and evaluating extended Lambek calculi

by   Richard Moot, et al.

Lambeks Syntactic Calculus, commonly referred to as the Lambek calculus, was innovative in many ways, notably as a precursor of linear logic. But it also showed that we could treat our grammatical framework as a logic (as opposed to a logical theory). However, though it was successful in giving at least a basic treatment of many linguistic phenomena, it was also clear that a slightly more expressive logical calculus was needed for many other cases. Therefore, many extensions and variants of the Lambek calculus have been proposed, since the eighties and up until the present day. As a result, there is now a large class of calculi, each with its own empirical successes and theoretical results, but also each with its own logical primitives. This raises the question: how do we compare and evaluate these different logical formalisms? To answer this question, I present two unifying frameworks for these extended Lambek calculi. Both are proof net calculi with graph contraction criteria. The first calculus is a very general system: you specify the structure of your sequents and it gives you the connectives and contractions which correspond to it. The calculus can be extended with structural rules, which translate directly into graph rewrite rules. The second calculus is first-order (multiplicative intuitionistic) linear logic, which turns out to have several other, independently proposed extensions of the Lambek calculus as fragments. I will illustrate the use of each calculus in building bridges between analyses proposed in different frameworks, in highlighting differences and in helping to identify problems.


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