Inside-out constraints and Description Languages for HPSG
An important contrast between most current syntactic frameworks and Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar or Lexical Functional Grammar (hereafter HPSG and LFG respectively) is the common insistence of the latter two on the need to distinguish between the mathematical structures which model utterance types and the logical formulas which describe these structures (see Kaplan and Bresnan (1982), Pollard and Sag (1994), Kaplan (1995) inter alia). Grammars are viewed as sets of constraints expressed in a description language whose denotata serve as models of linguistic utterances. In such frameworks, it is possible to change the description language -- and the possible grammars which can be written within it -- without altering the modeling domain (the linguistic ontology). In this paper, I present a particular class of examples for which this distinction between the modeling domain and the formulas which describe it proves crucial. My goals are two-fold. Empirically, I wish to argue for the need to include a kind of constraints in our models of natural language only sparsely mentioned in previous literature. Methodologically, I want to illustrate the usefulness to linguistic theorizing of the aforementioned distinction by showing how modeling this new kind of constraints does not require an enrichment of our linguistic ontology, but a change in our descriptive metalanguage.