Pauline Jacobson

My research is mainly concerned with constructing formal models of the semantics and syntax of natura l language - and in particular on the way that the syntax and the semantics interact. My work is carried out within the tradition of model-theoretic ("formal") semantics, combined with a Categorial Grammar syntax. Categorial Grammar is a theory that posits a transparent relationship between the combinatory operations used in the syntax and in the semantics - and as such makes a very simple and elegant claim about how these two systems interact.

More specifically, I am interested in questions like the following: What kinds of formal operations are used by natural languages in building up the meanings of expressions? Are surface sentences directly assigned a meaning (i.e., a model-theoretic interpretation)or are they instead mapped into a level of Logical Form which is then interpreted? Just what phenomena should be accounted for in the syntax, and what phenomena should be accounted for in the semantics? Using techniques from both linguistics and logic, these general questions are approached by detailed investigation of areas such as pronominal binding, quantifier scopes, extraction, anaphora, and especially the interaction of all these phenomena. Additional interests include mathematical linguistics and the boundaries between semantics and pragmatics.

Here's a bit more detail about my research interests.

Relevent Links

Abstracts of On-Line Papers

Selected Publications

Courses 2002-2003

Workshop on Direct Compositionality
Recent & Upcoming Minicourses
ESSLLI, 2001
course notes
UCLA minicourse, 2001
course notes
LSA 2003
Some Semantics Stuff
Semantics Archive

Skiing and Snow
New England Regional
Ski for Light
Ski for Light
(national site)