`Λ_T`

,
which is the smallest set such that
* each type `t` has an infinite set of distinct variables, x`λ a M`

has type σ -> τ.
The definitions of types and of typed terms should be highly familiar
to semanticists, except that instead of writing σ -> τ,
linguists write <σ, τ>. We will use the arrow notation,
since it is more iconic.
Some examples (assume that `x` has type `o`):
x o
\x.x o -> o
((\x.x) x) o
Excercise: write down terms that have the following types:
o -> o -> o
(o -> o) -> o -> o
(o -> o -> o) -> o
#A first glipse of the connection between types and logic
In the simply-typed lambda calculus, we write types like ```
σ
-> τ
```

. This looks like logical implication. We'll take
that resemblance seriously when we discuss the Curry-Howard
correspondence. In the meantime, note that types respect modus
ponens:
Expression Type Implication ----------------------------------- fn α -> β α ⊃ β arg α α ------ ------ -------- (fn arg) β βThe implication in the right-hand column is modus ponens, of course. #Associativity of types versus terms# As we have seen many times, in the lambda calculus, function application is left associative, so that `f x y z == (((f x) y) z)`. Types, *THEREFORE*, are right associative: if `x`, `y`, and `z` have types `a`, `b`, and `c`, respectively, then `f` has type `a -> b -> c -> d == (a -> (b -> (c -> d)))`, where `d` is the type of the complete term. It is a serious faux pas to associate to the left for types. You may as well use your salad fork to stir your tea. #The simply-typed lambda calculus is strongly normalizing# If `M` is a term with type τ in Λ_T, then `M` has a normal form. The proof is not particularly complex, but we will not present it here; see Berendregt or Hankin. Since Ω does not have a normal form, it follows that Ω cannot have a type in Λ_T. We can easily see why:

`Ω = (\x.xx)(\x.xx)`

Assume Ω has type τ, and `\x.xx` has type σ. Then
because `\x.xx` takes an argument of type σ and returns
something of type τ, `\x.xx` must also have type σ ->
τ. By repeating this reasoning, `\x.xx` must also have type
(σ -> τ) -> τ; and so on. Since variables have
finite types, there is no way to choose a type for the variable `x`
that can satisfy all of the requirements imposed on it.
In fact, we can't even type the parts of Ω, that is, `ω
\equiv \x.xx`. In general, there is no way for a function to have a
type that can take itself for an argument.
It follows that there is no way to define the identity function in
such a way that it can take itself as an argument. Instead, there
must be many different identity functions, one for each type. Some of
those types can be functions, and some of those functions can be
(type-restricted) identity functions; but a simply-types identity
function can never apply to itself.
#Typing numerals#
The Church numerals are well behaved with respect to types.
To see this, consider the first three Church numerals (starting with zero):
\s z . z
\s z . s z
\s z . s (s z)
Given the internal structure of the term we are using to represent
zero, its type must have the form ρ -> σ -> σ for
some ρ and σ. This type is consistent with term for one,
but the structure of the definition of one is more restrictive:
because the first argument (`s`) must apply to the second argument
(`z`), the type of the first argument must describe a function from
expressions of type σ to some result type. So we can refine
ρ by replacing it with the more specific type σ -> τ.
At this point, the overall type is (σ -> τ) -> σ ->
σ. Note that this refined type remains compatible with the
definition of zero. Finally, by examinining the definition of two, we
see that expressions of type τ must be suitable to serve as
arguments to functions of type σ -> τ, since the result of
applying `s` to `z` serves as the argument of `s`. The most general
way for that to be true is if τ ≡ σ. So at this
point, we have the overall type of (σ -> σ) -> σ
-> σ.
## Predecessor and lists are not representable in simply typed lambda-calculus ##
This is not because there is any difficulty typing what the functions
involved do "from the outside": for instance, the predecessor function
is a function from numbers to numbers, or τ -> τ, where τ
is our type for Church numbers (i.e., (σ -> σ) -> σ
-> σ). (Though this type will only be correct if we decide that
the predecessor of zero should be a number, perhaps zero.)
Rather, the problem is that the definition of the function requires
subterms that can't be simply-typed. We'll illustrate with our
implementation of the predecessor function, based on the discussion in
Pierce 2002:547:
let zero = \s z. z in
let fst = \x y. x in
let snd = \x y. y in
let pair = \x y . \f . f x y in
let succ = \n s z. s (n s z) in
let shift = \p. pair (succ (p fst)) (p fst) in
let pred = \n. n shift (pair zero zero) snd in
Note that `shift` takes a pair `p` as argument, but makes use of only
the first element of the pair. Why does it do that? In order to
understand what this code is doing, it is helpful to go through a
sample computation, the predecessor of 3:
pred 3
3 shift (pair zero zero) snd
(\s z.s(s(s z))) shift (pair zero zero) snd
shift (shift (shift (\f.f 0 0))) snd
shift (shift (pair (succ ((\f.f 0 0) fst)) ((\f.f 0 0) fst))) snd
shift (shift (\f.f 1 0)) snd
shift (\f. f 2 1) snd
(\f. f 3 2) snd
snd 3 2
2
At each stage, `shift` sees an ordered pair that contains two numbers
related by the successor function. It can safely discard the second
element without losing any information. The reason we carry around
the second element at all is that when it comes time to complete the
computation---that is, when we finally apply the top-level ordered
pair to `snd`---it's the second element of the pair that will serve as
the final result.
Let's see how far we can get typing these terms. `zero` is the Church
encoding of zero. Using `N` as the type for Church numbers (i.e.,
`N ≡ (σ -> σ) -> σ -> σ`

for
some σ, `zero` has type `N`. `snd` takes two numbers, and
returns the second, so `snd` has type `N -> N -> N`. Then the type of
`pair` is `N -> N -> (type(snd)) -> N`, that is, `N -> N -> (N -> N ->
N) -> N`. Likewise, `succ` has type `N -> N`, and `shift` has type
`pair -> pair`, where `pair` is the type of an ordered pair of
numbers, namely, `pair ≡ (N -> N -> N) -> N`

. So far
so good.
The problem is the way in which `pred` puts these parts together. In
particular, `pred` applies its argument, the number `n`, to the
`shift` function. Since `n` is a number, its type is ```
(σ
-> σ) -> σ -> σ
```

. This means that the type of
`shift` has to match `σ -> σ`

. But we
concluded above that the type of `shift` also had to be `pair ->
pair`. Putting these constraints together, it appears that
`σ`

must be the type of a pair of numbers. But we
already decided that the type of a pair of numbers is `(N -> N -> N)
-> N`. Here's the difficulty: `N` is shorthand for a type involving
`σ`

. If `σ`

turns out to depend on
`N`, and `N` depends in turn on `σ`

, then
`σ`

is a proper subtype of itself, which is not
allowed in the simply-typed lambda calculus.
The way we got here is that the `pred` function relies on the built-in
right-fold structure of the Church numbers to recursively walk down
the spine of its argument. In order to do that, the argument had to
apply to the `shift` operation. And since `shift` had to be the
sort of operation that manipulates numbers, the infinite regress is
established.
Now, of course, this is only one of myriad possible implementations of
the predecessor function in the lambda calculus. Could one of them
possibly be simply-typeable? It turns out that this can't be done.
See Oleg Kiselyov's discussion and works cited there for details:
[[predecessor and lists can't be represented in the simply-typed
lambda
calculus|http://okmij.org/ftp/Computation/lambda-calc.html#predecessor]].
Because lists are (in effect) a generalization of the Church numbers,
computing the tail of a list is likewise beyond the reach of the
simply-typed lambda calculus.
This result is not obvious, to say the least. It illustrates how
recursion is built into the structure of the Church numbers (and
lists). Most importantly for the discussion of the simply-typed
lambda calculus, it demonstrates that even fairly basic recursive
computations are beyond the reach of a simply-typed system.
## Montague grammar is based on a simply-typed lambda calculus
Systems based on the simply-typed lambda calculus are the bread and
butter of current linguistic semantic analysis. One of the most
influential modern semantic formalisms---Montague's PTQ
fragment---included a simply-typed version of the Predicate Calculus
with lambda abstraction.
Montague called the semantic part of his PTQ fragment *Intensional
Logic*. Without getting too fussy about details, we'll present the
popular Ty2 version of the PTQ types, roughly as proposed by Gallin
(1975). [See Zimmermann, Ede. 1989. Intensional logic and two-sorted
type theory. *Journal of Symbolic Logic* ***54.1***: 65--77 for a
precise characterization of the correspondence between IL and
two-sorted Ty2.]
We'll need three base types: `e`, for individuals, `t`, for truth
values, and `s` for evaluation indicies (world-time pairs). The set
of types is defined recursively:
the base types e, t, and s are types
if a and b are types, is a type
So `

.
When we talk about monads, we will consider Montague's treatment of
intensionality in some detail. In the meantime, Montague's PTQ is
responsible for making the simply-typed lambda calculus the baseline
semantic analysis for linguistics.
## Wordsworth on types
Wordsworth wrote the following sonnet about the constraints of the
sonnet form in 1806, but he could have been writing about
strictly-typed programming languages.
### Nuns Fret Not at Their Convent's Narrow Room
Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room
And hermits are contented with their cells;
And students with their pensive citadels;
Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom,
Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom,
High as the highest Peak of Furness-fells,
Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells:
In truth the prison, into which we doom
Ourselves, no prison is: and hence for me,
In sundry moods, 'twas pastime to be bound
Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground;
Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must be)
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
Should find brief solace there, as I have found.
This sonnet has an octave (the first eight lines, with rhyme scheme
abbaabba) followed by a sestet (cddccd). But the words apply to types
as well as to sonnets. "The prison into which we doom / Ourselves, no
prison is": as long as we get to choose the types of our expressions,
we can accomplish whatever we need to. Let anyone who wants to code
in the free 'verse of the untyped lambda calculus---but those of us
"who have felt the weight of too much liberty" will find solace in a
strictly typed language.