Computing Semantics with Types, Frames and Related Structures

Workshop at ESSLLI 2021

July 26-27, 2021

Held virtually


The goal of this workshop is to bring together people interested in structured representations of semantic information, especially from a computational perspective. In recent years, there has been a growing body of research which aims to integrate structured entities into formal semantic accounts. Important developments in this direction are the introduction of rich type systems and the use of frame-based representations, among others. The workshop is open to both foundational issues of structured semantic representations and applications to specific linguistic phenomena.

A first edition of the workshop took place in Gothenburg as part of IWCS 2019.


Structured representations play a central role in the study of natural language semantics, especially in cognitively oriented approaches in the tradition of Fillmore, Jackendoff, and Langacker. Formal semantics in the Montague-tradition, on the other hand, is less concerned with the structure of representations but with logical expressions, truth conditions, and model-theoretic interpretations. In recent years, however, there has been a growing body of research which aims to integrate structured entities into formal semantic accounts. An important development in this field is the use of rich type systems as put forward, for instance, in the work of Ranta (1994). Numerous developments of this foundational work have been made, including the developments of the Montagovian generative Lexicon (Retoré 2013) and Type Theory with Records (Cooper 2012) as well as the exploitation of dependent types to model phenomena such as anaphora (Bekki 2014; Grudzińska and Zawadowski 2017). A recent volume edited by Chatzikyriakidis and Luo (2017) gives a panorama of type theoretical approaches to both compositional and lexical semantics. A related approach is the use of frame-based representations for semantic composition as proposed in Kallmeyer and Osswald (2013). A key feature of these approaches is that semantic representations can themselves be used to compute semantic content and have yielded a way of combining compositional and lexical semantics by providing a single representational system for different modalities.


Bekki, D. (2014). Representing anaphora with dependent types. In N. Asher and S. Soloviev (Eds.),Logical Aspects of Computational Linguistics, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 14–29. Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Chatzikyriakidis, S. and Z. Luo (Eds.) (2017). Modern Perspectives in Type Theoretical Semantics. Springer.

Cooper, R. (2012). Type Theory and Semantics in Flux. In R. Kempson, T. Fernando, and N. Asher (Eds.), Philosophy of Linguistics, Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, pp. 271–323. Elsevier.

Grudzińska, J. and M. Zawadowski (2017). Generalized quantifiers on dependent types: A system for anaphora. See Chatzikyriakidis and Luo (2017), pp. 95–134.

Kallmeyer, L. and R. Osswald (2013). Syntax-driven semantic frame composition in Lexicalized Tree Adjoining Grammars. Journal of Language Modelling 1(2), 267–330.

Osswald, R., C. Retoré and P. Sutton (Eds.) (2019). Proceedings of the IWCS 2019 Workshop on Computing Semantics with Types, Frames and Related Structures. ACL Anthology.

Ranta, A. (1994). Type-Theoretical Grammar. Oxford University Press.

Retoré, C. (2013). The Montagovian generative lexicon ΛTyn: A type theoretical framework for natural language semantics. In R. Matthes and A. Schubert (Eds.), 19th International Conference on Types for Proofs and Programs (TYPES 2013), pp. 202–229.