Gabriel Gaudreault

Academic Bio
I am a master's student at Concordia University, Montreal, focusing on formal methods in linguistics. Here are some of the projects I have worked on in the last year:

Term-Calculus for Semantics in Pregroup Grammar (Thesis work)
The focus of this work is the addition of a semantic layer to pregroup grammars that extracts the meaning of a string of words in parallel to doing the usual pregroup grammaticality check derivation. The structure of this layer is inspired by the lambda-calculus, although there are major differences, the main one being the beta-reduction rules which account for the compositional nature of pregroup contractions. For this to be done, the structure of pregroup types had to be changed and some traditional types dropped in order to make the system more logical and suitable for semantics. TOM 8 Poster

The Substance-free Search-and-Copy Algorithm
Reiss & Mailhot [2007] came up with a formal template for the specification of phonological rules that was aiming at a better treatment of long-distance dependencies such as those found in harmony processes. This algorithm had the advantage of being easily implementable. What I worked on was to find the limitations of this template and see what kind of phenomena it couldn't model. What I found was that the algorithm does not generally work with, for instance, languages where a blocking segment does not form a natural class with a trigger segment, as the search would have to look for a disjunction of sets of features, something not allowed in this kind of system. NAPhC8 Poster

Binding in Pregroup Grammars
Although lots of syntactic processes can be treated within pregroup grammars, it doesn't seem like the framework is strong enough to correctly model binding phenomena. My goal in this project was to create a second layer to our types that takes care of matching the referents occurring in a sentence. This referent layer can be encoded as free pregroup types, but also as two-dimensional functional terms similar to those I work with to do semantics (see above). NASSLLI 2014 Poster

Deductive Minimalism
Although Minimalism is one of the mainstream syntactic system nowadays, there is still debate as to what kind of technical processes actually take place in those derivations and how those derivations actually look like formally. What I am working on is to make the whole process of deriving syntactic objects from selection to spell-out more formal. It is work in progress and very drafty.

This past summer, I worked on the LingSync linguistics database project as a software developper.

Prior to my arrival at Concordia, I did a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Computer Science at McGill University. My main interests during those years was formal logic and its different forms and uses in fields such as mathematics, computer science, linguistics, and philosophy. 

Academic interests
Formal Linguistics, Categorial Grammars, Formal Logic, Type Theory

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