My research area is within theoretical linguistics, and is mainly concerned with constructing formal models of the semantics and syntax of natura l language and in particular on the way that the syntax and the semantics interact. My work is carried out within the tradition of model-theoretic ("formal") semantics, combined with a Categorial Grammar syntax. Categorial Grammar is a theory that posits a transparent relationship between the combinatory operations used in the syntax and in the semantics and as such makes a very simple and elegant claim about how these two systems interact.
Pauline Jacobson received her BA (1968), and Ph.d. (1977) from UC Berkeley. She has been on the Brown faculty since 1975, with visiting appointments at Ohio State, Harvard, and several shorter visiting "minicourses". She has also taught at several Linguistic Society of America summer institutes, at the European Summer School in Language, Logic, and Information and at the East Asian School in Language, Logic, and Computation. Her research focusses on the formal tools needed to model the syntactic and semantic systems of natural languages, with special emphasis on the interaction of syntax and semantics. She has been especially concerned with the hypothesis of "Direct Compositionality" which maintains a direct and transparent fit between the syntactic and semantic compositions without recourse to levels such as "Logical Form". She is president of Linguistics and Philosophy associates (the oversight board of the journal Linguistics and Philosophy (Springer), and former editor-in-chief of that journal. She has served on the NSF Linguistics Panel, the Fulbright Linguistics panel, and serves on a number of editorial boards. She teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses on a variety of topics in syntax and semantics, and undergraduate introductory linguistics courses.
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