## §4Verbs and predication (pp. 115-147)

In this chapter,

### 4.1 The structure and interpretation of elementary clauses

Evidence for the division of sentences into subjects and predicates [review data 116-7]

• Dislocation
• Elision
• Pro-form replacement
• Subsititution by a single form

#### 4.1.1 The theory PC+

The goal is to express the truth conditions of parts of sentences in terms of "familiar, garden-variety objects like people, places, and things". We start with the truth conditions of terminal nodes:

Terminal node  Semantic value Example
proper noun  persons Val(x, Jill ) iff x = Jill
intransitive verb condition that holds of an object  Val(x, ponder ) iff x ponders
transitive verb  condition that holds of two objects  Val(<x,y>, knows ) iff x knows y

The truth conditions of nonterminal nodes:

Nonterminal node  Syntactic structure Example
S (sentence) [S NP VP] Val(x, Jill ) iff x = Jill
VP (intransitive verb phrase) [VP V]  Val(x, ponder ) iff x ponders
VP (transitive verb phraase) [VP V NP]  Val(<x,y>, knows ) iff x knows y

An example:

### 4.2 The semantics of predicates and predication

 figure Name Predicate The expressions that go here name, refer to, or designate an object. The expressions that go here describe, apply to, or are predicated of this object.

#### 4.2.1 Some thought experiments

##### Hypothesizing predicates

Feature placers vs. predicates: when we find expressions whose semantic contributions require us to distinguish features of objects, and hence objects themselves, we are dealing with predicates.

#### 4.2.2 Generality and object independence

Each predicate is associated with a condition that an object may meet or fail to meet. If the object meets the condition, the predicate applies to the object. If not, it doesn't.

Contrasts between proper nouns and predicates
Proper noun Predicate
proper nouns care how many individuals they apply to  predicates do not care how many individuals they apply to
proper names care which individuals they apply to  predicates do not care which individuals they apply to