Introducing Continuations

Chris Barker


This working paper introduces CONTINUATIONS (a concept borrowed from computer science) as a new technique for characterizing certain aspects of the semantics of a natural language. I should emphasize at the outset that this is just an introduction, and that more a rigorous and thorough treatment is under development (see Barker (ms)). In the meantime, this paper mentions certain formal results without proving them, and describes certain new empirical generalizations without exploring them. What it will do is provide an explicit account of a range of familiar phenomena relat­ed to quantification, including quantifier scope ambiguity, NP as a scope island, and generalized coordination. What makes the account noteworthy is that it provides a fully and strictly compositional analysis of quantification and generalized coordina­tion that does not rely on syntactic movement operations such as Quantifier Move­ment, auxiliary storage mechanisms such as Cooper Storage, or type ambiguity as in Hendriks' Flexible Types system.

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