The Very Idea of Dynamic Semantics
9406026 | cmp-lg
"Natural languages are programming languages for minds." Can we or should we take this slogan seriously? If so, how? Can answers be found by looking at the various "dynamic" treatments of natural language developed over the last decade or so, mostly in response to problems associated with donkey anaphora? In Dynamic Logic of Programs, the meaning of a program is a binary relation on the set of states of some abstract machine. This relation is meant to model aspects of the effects of the execution of the program, in particular its input-output behavior. What, if anything, are the dynamic aspects of various proposed dynamic semantics for natural languages supposed to model? Is there anything dynamic to be modeled? If not, what is all the full about? We shall try to answer some, at least, of these questions and provide materials for answers to others.