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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

6 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.32

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.240
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.819

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Volume 2012, Issue 188 (Jan 2012)


Semantic bounds for everyday language

Marcin Mostowski, / Jakub Szymanik,
Published Online: 2012-02-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2012-0022


We consider the notion of everyday language. We claim that everyday language is semantically bounded by the properties expressible in the existential fragment of second-order logic. Two arguments for this thesis are formulated. First, we show that Barwise's so-called test of negation normality works properly only when assuming our main thesis. Second, we discuss the argument from practical computability for finite universes. Everyday language sentences are directly or indirectly verifiable. We show that in both cases they are bounded by second-order existential properties. Moreover, there are known examples of everyday language sentences that are the most difficult in this class (NPTIME-complete).

Keywords:: everyday language; natural language; semantics; second-order logic; finite models; computational complexity

About the article

Published Online: 2012-02-18

Published in Print: 2012-02-01

Citation Information: , ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2012-0022.

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© 2012 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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