Informatics Report Series



Related Pages

Report (by Number) Index
Report (by Date) Index
Author Index
Institute Index

Title:Plans, Affordances, and Combinatory Grammar
Authors: Mark Steedman
Date: 2002
Publication Title:Linguistics and Philosophy
Publication Type:Journal Article Publication Status:Published
Volume No:25 Page Nos:723-753
The idea that natural language grammar and planned action are related systems has been implicit in psychological theory for more than acentury. However, formal theories in the two domains have tendedto look very different. This article argues that both faculties share the formal character of applicative systems based on operations corresponding to the same two combinatory operations, namely functional composition and type-raising. Viewing them in this way suggests simpler and more cognitively plausible accounts of both systems, and suggests that the language faculty evolved in the species and develops in children by a rather direct adaptation of a more primitive apparatus for planning purposive action in the world by composing affordances of objects or tools. The knowledge representation that underlies such planning is also reflected in the natural language semantics of tense, mood, and aspect, which the paper begins by arguing provides the key to understanding both systems.
Links To Paper
Personal web page
Bibtex format
author = { Mark Steedman },
title = {Plans, Affordances, and Combinatory Grammar},
journal = {Linguistics and Philosophy},
publisher = {Springer},
year = 2002,
volume = {25},
pages = {723-753},
doi = {10.1023/A:1020820000972},
url = {,13,19;journal,19,142;linkingpublicationresults,1:102955,1},

Home : Publications : Report 

Please mail <> with any changes or corrections.
Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all material is copyright The University of Edinburgh