The Syntax-Semantics Interface: On-Line Composition Of Sentence Meaning

  • Pylkkänen L
  • McElree B
  • 141


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 50


    Citations of this article.


This chapter presents a discussion on the syntax-semantics interface. The task of a theory of semantic interpretation is to characterize how elements in a syntactic string semantically relate to one another. Clearly, this depends on how one conceptualizes the meaning of the elementary building blocks-that is, the terminal nodes of a syntactic tree. Interpreting an expression typically requires integrating it into an evolving discourse model. Frequently, this requires resolving ambiguities at conceptually distinct levels, fixing reference, and drawing inferences to align local and global aspects of the discourse. To fully accomplish this task, it is uncontroversial that, in addition to lexical and syntactic constraints, comprehenders must draw upon pragmatic knowledge. The importance of high-level constraints has been illustrated by the finding that comprehenders sometimes adopt a pragmatically plausible interpretation even if it is incongruent with lexical and syntactic constraints. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Liina Pylkkänen

  • Brian McElree

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free