Pauline I. Jacobson Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences

Pauline Jacobson received her BA (1968), and Ph.d. (1977) from UC Berkeley. She has been on the Brown faculty since 1975, with visiting appointments at Ohio State, Harvard, and several shorter visiting "minicourses". She has also taught at several Linguistic Society of America summer institutes, at the European Summer School in Language, Logic, and Information and at the East Asian School in Language, Logic, and Computation. Her research focusses on the formal tools needed to model the syntactic and semantic systems of natural languages, with special emphasis on the interaction of syntax and semantics. She has been especially concerned with the hypothesis of "Direct Compositionality" which maintains a direct and transparent fit between the syntactic and semantic compositions without recourse to levels such as "Logical Form". She is president of Linguistics and Philosophy associates (the oversight board of the journal Linguistics and Philosophy (Springer), and former editor-in-chief of that journal. She has served on the NSF Linguistics Panel, the Fulbright Linguistics panel, and serves on a number of editorial boards. She teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses on a variety of topics in syntax and semantics, and undergraduate introductory linguistics courses.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

to appear, 2013. Compositional Semantics: An Introduction to the Syntax/Semantics Interface , Oxford University Press.

"Direct Compositionality", in W. Hinzen et al. (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Compositionality, Oxford University Press. to appear, 2012. (35 ms pp.)

"The Logic of Ellipsis", invited (1 hour) talk, Conference in conjunction with the Second Annual East Asian Summer School in Language, Logic, and Computation, Chongqing, China, August 2012.

"Deconstructing Reconstruction", invited (1 hour) talk, Workshop on Reconstruction, Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin. July, 2011.

"The Syntax/Semantics Interface: Compositionality Issues", in Nick Bezhanishvili et al. (eds.), Logic, Language, and Computation: 8th International Tbilisi Symposium. Springer-Verlag (Lecture Notes in Computer Science), 2011. pp. 249-270.

"Sorry, I can't hear the strikethroughs:, invited (1 hour) talk, Ellipsevent, Stanford University, April, 2011.

"Direct Compositionality: Montague's Legacy and Beyond", invited (1 hour) talk, Theoria: 75 years, Stockholm, September, 2010.

"The Short Answer: Implications for Direct Compositionality (and vice-versa)", invited talk (1 hour), Conference on Head Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Göttingen, Germany, July, 2009.

"Remarks on A. Haida, '(Proto-)Logophoricity in Tangale", invited discussant remarks (20 minutes), North Eastern Linguistic Society Special Session on the Semantics of Pronouns, MIT, November, 2009.

The Syntax/Semantics Interface: Compositionality Issues. 3 hour invited tutorial, 8th Tbilisi Symposium on Language, Logic, and Information, Bakuriani, Georgia, September, 2009.

"Do Representations Matter or Do Meanings Matter?: The Case of Antecedent Containment", in E. Hinrichs and J. Nerbonne (eds.), Theory and Evidence in Semantics: : Papers in Honor of David R. Dowty,Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information, 2009. pp. 81-107.

"Short Answers under Direct Compositionality", invited (1 hour) talk, 8th Tbilisi Symposium on Language, Logic and Information, Bakuriani, Georgia, Septebmer, 2009. (distinct from tutorial listed above)

"The Answer, in Short", invited talk (1 hour), Rutgers Workshop on Semantics and Philosophy (hosted by Rutgers Philosophy Department), April, 2009.

"Direct Compositionality and Variable-Free Semantics: The Case of Antecedent Contained Deletion", in K. Johnson (ed.), Topics in Ellipsis, Cambridge University Press, 2008. pp. 30-68.

"Does Grammar "see" Structure?", invited (1 hour) talk, University of Maryland Mayfest: The Role of Structure, University of Maryland, May, 2007.

"Direct Compositionality and 'uninterpretability': A new look at 'uninterpretable features' on bound pronouns". Invited speaker, (1 hour talk) Amsterdam Colloquium Special Session on "Uninterpetability", University of Amsterdam, December, 2007.

"Direct Compositionality and Variable-Free Semantics: The Case of Principle B Effects", in C. Barker and P. Jacobson (eds.), Direct Compositionality, Oxford University Press, 2007. pp. 191-236.

co-editor (with C. Barker), Direct Compositionality., Oxford University Press, 2007.

"Direct Compositionality and Variable-Free Semantics: Taking the Surprise out of Complex 'Variables'", invited keynote address, Penn Linguistics Colloquium, February, 2006.

Review of P. Portner and B. Partee (eds.), Formal Semantics: The Essential Readings, in Language 83.4 (2006), pp. 927-930.

"I can't seem to figure this out", in B. Birner and G. Ward (eds.), Drawing the Boundaries of Meaning: Studies in Neo-Gricean Pragmatics and Semantics in Honor of Laurence R. Horn, J. Benjamins, 2006. pp. 157-177.

"Do Representations Matter or Do Meanings Matter? The Case of Antecedent Containment", invited talk (1 hour) at the conference Theory and Evidence in Semantics: Conference in Honor of David R. Dowty, Groningen, June, 2006.

"Constituent Structure" in The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics II, Elsevier Press, 2005.

"In Defense of Narrowmindedness", invited discussant remarks (20 mins.) on paper by Chierchia "Broaden Your Horizons: Domain Widening", Workshop on Formal Pragmatics, LSA Summer Institute, Havard/MIT, July, 2005.

"Direct Compositionality: Is there any reason why not?" (invited paper - 3 hour session), University of Michigan Annual Workshop on Lingusitics and Philosophy, November, 2004.

"Kennedy's Puzzle: What I'm Named or Who I am?", in Proceedings of the 14th Conference on Semantics and Linguistic Theory, Cornell University Linguistics (CLC) Publications, 2004. (18 pp.)

"Kennedy's Puzzle: What I'm named or Who I am", 14th Annual Meeting of the conference on Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT), Northwestern University, May, 2004.

"Direct Compositionality and Variable-Free Semantics: The Case of 'Principle B' Effects", Brown University Workshop on Direct Compositionality, June, 2003.

"Direct Compositionality: Evidence for Ellipsis" (invited 1-hour plenary talk), 14th Amsterdam Colloquium, University of Amsterdam Institute for Language, Logic, and Computation, December, 2003.

"Binding without pronouns (and pronouns without binding", in R. Oehrle, ed., Resource Sensitivity and Binding, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003., pp. 57-93.

"Direct Compositionality: Consequences for Ellipsis" (abstract), in Proceedings of the 14th Amsterdam Colloquium. University of Amsterdam: Institute for Language, Logic and Computation, 2003. (2 page abstract)

"Direct Compositionality and Ellipsis", (invited paper, 1 hour), Workshop on Ellipsis, UC Santa Cruz, January, 2003.

"Direct Compositionality and Variable Free Semantics: The Case of Binding Into Heads", 12th Annual Meeting of the conference on Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT), UC San Diego, Marcy, 2002.

"Direct Compositionality and Variable-Free Semantics: The Case of Binding into Heads", in B. Jackson (ed.), Proceedings of the Twelfth Conference on Semantics and Linguistic Theory, 2002. Cornell University Linguistics (CLC) Publications (18 pp.)

"The (dis)organization of the grammar: 25 years", Linguistics and Philosophy 25.6, 2002, pp. 601-626.

"Surface Compositionality and Variable Free Semantics", 1 week (10 hours) invited minicourse, UCLA, May 2001.

"Paychecks and Stress", 10th Annual meeting of the conference on Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT), Cornell University, June, 2000.

"Extraction out of tough", in Snippets 1, 2000. (2 pp.)

"Paycheck Pronouns, Bach-Peters Sentences, and Variable-Free Semantics", Natural Language Semantics 8.2, 2000. pp. 77-155.

"Paychecks and Stress", in Proceedings of the Tenth Conference on Semantic and Linguistic Theory, 2000. Cornell University Linguistics (CLS) Pulbicatons (18 pp.)

"Pied Piping and Reconstruction" (invited paper, 1 hour), Workshop on Relative Clauses, Tel Aviv University, June, 2000.

"Towards a Variable-Free Semantics", Linguistics and Philosophy 22, 1999. pp. 117- 184.

"Variable Free Semantics", 2 week (8 hour) invited minicourse, MIT, May, 1999.

"Binding Without Pronouns" (invited paper, 1 hour), presented at the Symposium on Resource Sensitivity, Formal Grammar Conference, Utrecht, August, 1999.

"Antecedent Contained Deletion and Pied-Piping: Evidence for a Variable-Free Semantics", 8th Annual Conference on Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT), MIT, May 1998.

"Projection from the Lexicon? The case of relative pronouns" (invited paper), Conference on "The Lexicon in Focus", (sponsored by the University of Duesseldorf), Wuppertal, Germany, August, 1998.

Lectures Series on Variable-Free Semantics, 3 weeks (8 hours), Institute for Machinelle Sprachverarbeitung (Institute for Computational Linguistics), University of Stuttgart, May-June, 1998.

"Antecedent Contained Deletion and Pied-Piping: Evidence for a Variable-Free Semantics", inProceedings of the Eighth Conference on Semantics and Linguistic Theory, 1998. Cornell University Linguistics (CLS) Publications) (18 pp.)

"LF (not), Variable-Free Semantics, and a Free Paycheck" (invited paper), 2nd Conference on (Preferably) Non-Lexical Semanitcs, Universite de Paris 7 (Jussieu), Paris, May 1998.

"Structure and Content: How Form Constrains Meaning", invited lecture at Michkenot Sha'ananim, Jerusalem, December, 1997. (This was the lead-off lecture in a series of 3 lectures entitled "The Great Puzzles of Semantics", intended for the general (non- linguistics) Israeli academic community.)

"Where (if anywhere) is transderivationality located?" in P. Culicover and L. McNally (eds.), The Limits of Syntax, Academic Press, 1997. pp. 303-336.

"ACE and Pied-Piping: Evidence for Variables?" (invited paper), The Jerusalem Semantics Conference, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dec., 1997.

"The Locality of Interpretation: The Case of Binding and Coordination" (invited paper), 6th Annual Meeting of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT), Rutgers, March, 1996.

"Coordination, Binding, and Extraction", (invited paper), Symposium on Coordination, European Summer School in Language, Logic, and Information. Prague, August, 1996.

"Semantics in Categorial Grammar", in S. L appin (ed.), Handbook of Semantics, Oxford: Basil Blackwell Inc. 1996. pp. 89-116.

"The Locality of Interpretation: The Case of Binding and Coordination" in Proceedings of the 6th Conference on Semantics and Linguistic Theory, 1996. Distributed by Cornell University Working Papers in Linguistics (25 pp.)

"Weakest Crossover in a Variable Free Semantics", Conference on (Non-Lexical) Semantics, Universite de Paris 7 (Jussieu), Paris, June, 1996.

"On the Quantificational Force of English Free Relatives", in E. Bach, E. Jelinek, A. Kratzer, and B. Partee (eds.), Quantification in Natural Languages. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1995. pp. 451-486.

"Where (if anywhere) is transderivationality located?" (invited paper), Conference on The Limits of Syntax, Ohio State University, December, 1995. (funded by NSF)

"Copular Connectivity", 4th Annual Conference on Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT), University of Rochester, May, 1994.

Predication and Specification, UC Santa Cruz, November, 1994.

"i-within-i effects in a Variable-Free Semantics and a Categorial Syntax", in P. Dekker et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the 9th Amsterdam Colloquium. Amsterdam: ITLI University of Amsterdam 1994, pp. 349-368.

"Copular Connectivity", in Proceedings of the 4th Conference on Semantics and Linguistic Theory, 1994. Distributed by Cornell Working Papers in Linguistics (18 pp.)

"The Locality of Interpretation" (invited paper), Blaubeuren Symposium on Recent Advances in the Semantics of Natural Language, Blaubeuren, Germany, October, 1994.

Invited Participant, Workshop on Tense and Modality (funded by NSF, organized by Craige Roberts and David Dowty), July, 1993, Ohio State University.

"Constituent Structure", in The Encylopedia of Language and Linguistics, Pergammon Press, 1993. Reprinted in The Concise Encyclopedia of Syntactic Theory, Elsevier Press, 1996, and in The Concise Encyclopedia of Grammatical Categories, Elsevier Press, 1999.

"i-within-i Effects in a Variable-Free Semantics and a Categorial Syntax", 9th Amsterdam Colloquium, ILLI, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, December, 1993.

"Flexible Categorial Grammars: Questions and Prospects", in R. Levine (ed.), Formal Grammar: Theory and Implementation (Vancouver Studies in Cognitive Science), Oxford University Press, 1992. pp. 129-167.

"The Lexical Entailment Theory of Control and the Tough Construction", in I. Sag and A. Szabolcsi (eds.), Lexical Matters, CSLI Public;ations 1992. pp. 269-300.

"Antecedent Contained Deletion in a Variable-Free Semantics", in Proceedings of the Second Conference on Semantics and Linguistic Theory. Ohio State University, 1992. pp. 193-213.

"Raising without Movement", in R. Larson et al. (eds.), Control and Grammatical Theory, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1992. pp. 149-194.

"Bach-Peters Sentences in a Variable Free Semantics", in P. Dekker and M. Stokhof (eds.), Proceedings of the 8th Amsterdam Colloquium. Amsterdam: ITLI, University of Amsterdam, 1992. pp. 283-302.

"Antecedent Contained Deletion in a Variable-Free Semantics", 2nd Conference on Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT), Ohio State University, May, 1992.

"Antededent Contained Deletion without Logical Form", Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting, Jan., 1991.

"Bach-Peters' Sentences in a Variable-Free Semantics", 8th Amsterdam Colloquium, ILLI, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, December, 1991.

"Functional Questions, Paycheck Pronouns, and Variable binding", Conference on Language and Logic, sponsered by the Association for Symbolic Logic and the Linguistic Society of America, Santa Cruz, July, 1991.

with M. Johnson, "Tree Generation with Context-Sensitive Rules Yields only Context- Free Languages", in Proceedings of the 9th West Coast conference on Formal Linguistics, Stanford (distributed by Center for the Study of Language and Information), 1990. pp. 289-304.

"Raising as Function Composition", Linguistics and Philosophy 13.4, 1990, pp. 423-475.

"Raising as Function Composition", (invited paper), Workshop on Control, MIT, March, 1989.

Invited Participant, Workshop on Cross-Linguistic Approaches to Quantification, held at the 1989 Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute, University of Arizona.

"A(nother) Categorial Account of Extraction", Conference on Categorial Grammar, University of Arizona (LSA Summer Institute), July, 1989.

Invited participant, Workshop on Categorial Grammar, held at the 1989 Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute, University of Arizona.

"Remarks on Dynamic Categorial Grammar" (invited discussant paper), Conference on Formal Linguistics: Theory and Implementation. Simon Fraser University, February, 1989.

(with D. Dowty), "Agreement as a Semantic Phenomenon", 5th Annual Meeting of the Eastern States Conference on Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, Sept., 1988.

(with D. Dowty), "Agreement as a Semantic Phenomenon", in J. Powers (eds.), Proceedings of the 5th Annual Eastern States Conference on Linguistics, Ohio State University, 1988. pp. 95-108.

"The syntax and Semantics of English Free Relatives" (invited paper), Symposium on Cross-Linguistic Approaches to Quantification (B. Partee, organizer), Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting, December, 1988 (New Orleans).

"Phrase Structure, Grammatical Relations, and Discontinuous Constituents", in G. Huck and A. Ojeda (eds.), Syntax and Semantics 20: Discontinuous Constituency. New York: Academic Press, 1987. pp. 27-69.

"Review of G. Gazdar, E. Klein, G. Pullum, and I. Sag, Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar", in Linguistics and Philosophy 10, 1987. pp. 389-426. [Review article]

(with G. Chierchia), "Local and Long Distance Control", in Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Linguistic Society, 1986. pp. 57-74.

"A Categorial Grammar Analysis of Raising", Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting, December, 1986 (New York).

(with G. Chierchia), "Local and Long Distance Control", Sixteenth Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Linguistic Society, McGill University, November, 1985.

"The 'Comp' Analysis of Free Relatives and the Notion Head", Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting, December, 1985 (Seattle).

(with G. Chierchia), "Local and Long Distance Control", Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting, December, 1985 (Seattle).

"Bounded Discontinuities" (invited paper), Conference on Discontinuous Constituents, University of Chicago, July, 1985.

"Connectivity in Phrase Structure Grammar", in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 14, 1984. pp. 535-581.

"Grammatical Relations and Phrase Structure Grammar", Colloquium Lecture at the Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting, December, 1983 (Minneapolis).

On the Syntax and Semantics of Multiple Relatives in English. Indiana University Linguistics Club, 1983. (84 pp.)

"Visser Revisited", 18th Annual meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, University of Chicago, April, 1982.

"Evidence for Gaps", in P. Jacobson and G.K. Pullum (eds.), The Nature of Syntactic Representation, Dordrecht, Reidel Inc., 1982. pp. 187-228.

"Visser Revisited", in Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, 1982. pp. 218-243.

co-editor (with G.K. Pullum), The Nature of Syntactic Representation, Dordrecht: Reidel, Inc., 1982.

"Comments on J. Grimshaw, 'Subcategorization and Grammatical Relations' ", in A. Zaenen (ed.), Subjects and Other Subjects: Proceedings of the Harvard Conference on Grammatical Relations, Indiana University Linguistics Club 1982. pp. 57-69.

"Multiple Relatives and Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar" (invited paper), Workshop on Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar, Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute, University of Maryland, August, 1982.

"Evidence for Gaps", Conference on The Nature of Syntactic Representation, Brown University, June, 1981.

Invited Colloquium Discussant (for paper by D. Perlmutter), Linguistic Society of America Annual Winter Meeting, December, 1981 (New York).

"Multiple Relatives Without Stacking", Linguistic Society of America Annual Winter Meeting, December, 1981 (New York).

Invited Participant, Sloan Workshop on Non-Transformational Grammars, Stanford University, June, 1981.

Invited Discussant (for paper by J. Grimshaw), Conference on the Representation of Grammatical Relations, Harvard University, December, 1981.

The Syntax of Crossing Coreference Sentences, Garland Publishing, Inc.,1980. (Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics Series). (Also published by the Indiana University Linguistics Club, 1979).

Invited Participant, Workshop on Pragmatics, Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute, University of Illinois, June-July, 1978.

"Some Aspects of Movement and Deletion", Third Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistic Society, February, 1977.

"Some Aspects of Movement and Deletion", in Proceedings of the Third Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 1977. pp. 347-359.

(with P. Neubauer), "Rule Cyclicity: Evidence from the Intervention Constraint", Linguistic Inquiry 7.6, 1976. pp. 429-462.

"Crossover and About Movement in a Relational Grammar", in Proceedings of the First Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 1975. pp. 233-245.

"How a Non-Derivational Grammar Might (or Might Not) Work", in C. Fillmore, G. Lakoff, and R. Lakoff (eds.), Berkeley Studies in Syntax and Semantics, 1974. (28 pp.)

(with P. Neubauer), "Extraposition Rules and the Cycle", in C. Fillmore, G. Lakoff and R. Lakoff (eds.), Berkeley Studies in Syntax and Semantics, 1974. (99 pp.)

BOOKS

Conference Papers and Invited Workshops

Review of P. Sells, Lectures in Contemporary Syntactic Theory, in The Journal of Symbolic Logic.

Review Article/Reviews

"Direct compositionality and 'uninterpretability': The case of (sometimes) 'uninterpretable' features on pronouns'. To appear, Journal of Semantics.

Articles

(Introduction co-authored by C. Barker and myself).

Publications and Presented Papers

Invited Lecture Series and Minicourses (excluding Summer Institute courses listed on p1)

research overview

My research area is within theoretical linguistics, and is mainly concerned with constructing formal models of the semantics and syntax of natural 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.

research statement

My research is mainly concerned with constructing formal models of the semantics and syntax of natura l languageand 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 such as 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.

funded research

NSF Grant BCS - 0646081, "Direct Compositionality: Ellipsis, 'Reconstruction', and Binding, Sept. 1, 2007 " Feb. 28, 2013. ($225,000)
NSF Grant 0236462, "Direct Compositionality: A Workshop" (conference grant), March, 03 - March, 04. ($25,583)
NSF Grant SBR 98-50552, "Surface Compositionality and Variable-Free Semantics", July 1998-June 2003. ($82,000)
NSF Grant BNS-9014676, "Variable Binding in Extraction and Anaphoric Constructions: Levels of Representation or Direct Surface Interpretation?", Aug. 1990 - June, 1993. ($86,320)
REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) Supplement to NSF Grant BNS-90- 14676, Sept. 1991-June, 1992. ($5,000)
NSF Grant BNS-84-19227 (co-PI's: Gennaro Chierchia and Pauline Jacobson), "The Syntax and Semantics of Subjectless Constructions", July 1985-Nov. 1987. ($78,000)
NSF Grant BNS (number not in my records), "The Nature of Syntactic Representation: A Conference" (conference grant; conference held at Brown University, May, 1979. (approximately $8,000)