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Section: New Results

Pragmasemantic with Effects and Handlers

Jiří Maršík and Maxime Amblard have explored the feasibility of theories of side effects of programming languages in the study of natural language semantics and pragmatics [23] . In the approach that we are developing, the denotations we assign to fragments natural language are effectful computations. To demonstrate on an example, if we was to treat dynamics, then instead of changing the type of sentence denotations from o to c -> o * c, where c is the type of discourse contexts and o is the type of propositions, we would treat sentence denotations as effectful computations of type o that study and modify the context using effectful operations. This explicit distinction between 'result' and 'effects' brings to mind Stalnaker's distinction between 'content' and 'context'.

The motivation for this approach is to make it easier to compose multiple pragmasemantic phenomena by being allowed to put their effects aside. So far, a small prototype handling dynamics, presuppositions and some of their interactions is under development.