From compositional to systematic semantics
9503024 | cmp-lg
We prove a theorem stating that any semantics can be encoded as a compositional semantics, which means that, essentially, the standard definition of compositionality is formally vacuous. We then show that when compositional semantics is required to be "systematic" (that is, the meaning function cannot be arbitrary, but must belong to some class), it is possible to distinguish between compositional and non-compositional semantics. As a result, we believe that the paper clarifies the concept of compositionality and opens a possibility of making systematic formal comparisons of different systems of grammars.