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Events in the Semantics of English: A Study in Subatomic Semantics (Current Studies in Linguistics)

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ISBN-13: 978-0212110728
ISBN-10: 0262660938
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About the Author

Terence Parsons is Professor of Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Product Details

  • Series: Current Studies in Linguistics
  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (January 20, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262660938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0212110728
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,776,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Randall Helzerman on May 22, 2005
It might seem a bit eccentric to be writing a review of this book--considering that at this writing, there is only 1 used copy available, priced at around US$150.00 But whoever buys that copy will be getting a bargain--I wouldn't part with my copy for 10 times the price.

Parsons here gives us probably the most lucid explaination of event-based semantics ever written. Very in-depth discussions of why an event-based semantics is the way to go, and a careful examination of the various objections which have been raised against it.

The only critique of this book I have is that Parsons tries in places to "go too far". While event-based semantics works great for things that happen (stabbings, runnings, etc) further investigation in these areas has convinced me that trying to use event-based semantics for attributes like being green or states like being on the grass, etc, just arn't apropos.

Despite this drawback, Parsons book is a must-read for everyone interested in natural language processing or semantic linguistics. Parsons has somehow managed to write a book which doesn't have to compromise on formal rigor in order to be lucid. Indeed, he presents a very substantial fragment of English, called "Eventlish" which is a formally-defined subset of English which is amenable to event-based methods.

I would very much hope Parsons would come out with a second edition of this work, or would otherwise convince the publisher to do an additional printing. Lets hope that by the time you read this, someone else hasn't bought the only copy left for sale :-)
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