Terence Parsons

Terence Parsons is Professor Emeritus and Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles.

  • A Course in Semantics

    A Course in Semantics

    Daniel Altshuler, Terence Parsons, and Roger Schwarzschild

    An introductory text in linguistic semantics, uniquely balancing empirical coverage and formalism with development of intuition and methodology.

    This introductory textbook in linguistic semantics for undergraduates features a unique balance between empirical coverage and formalism on the one hand and development of intuition and methodology on the other. It will equip students to form intuitions about a set of data, explain how well an analysis of the data accords with their intuitions, and extend the analysis or seek an alternative. No prior knowledge of linguistics is required. After mastering the material, students will be able to tackle some of the most difficult questions in the field even if they have never taken a linguistics course before.

    After introducing such concepts as truth conditions and compositionality, the book presents a basic symbolic logic with negation, conjunction, and generalized quantifiers, to serve as the basis for translation throughout the book. It then develops a detailed compositional semantics, covering quantification (scope and binding), adverbial modification, relative clauses, event semantics, tense and aspect, as well as pragmatic phenomena, notably deictic pronouns and narrative progression.

    A Course in Semantics offers a large and diverse set of exercises, interspersed throughout the text; those labeled “Important practice and looking ahead” prepare students for material to come; those labeled “Thinking about ” invite students to think beyond the content of the book.

    • Hardcover $45.00
  • Events in the Semantics of English

    Events in the Semantics of English

    Terence Parsons

    This extended investigation of the semantics of event (and state) sentences in their various forms is a major contribution to the semantics of natural language, simultaneously encompassing important issues in linguistics, philosophy, and logic. It develops the view that the logical forms of simple English sentences typically contain quantification over events or states and shows how this view can account for a wide variety of semantic phenomena. Focusing on the structure of meaning in English sentences at a "subatomic" level—that is, a level below the one most theories accept as basic or "atomic"—Parsons asserts that the semantics of simple English sentences require logical forms somewhat more complex than is normally assumed in natural language semantics. His articulation of underlying event theory explains a wide variety of apparently diverse semantic characteristics of natural language, and his development of the theory shows the importance of seeing the distinction between events and states.

    • Hardcover $39.95
    • Paperback $25.00