Compositionality

In Ernest Lepore & Barry Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. 633--666 (2006)
Abstract
Nevertheless, any competent speaker will know what it means. What explains our ability to understand sentences we have never before encountered? One natural hypothesis is that those novel sentences are built up out of familiar parts, put together in familiar ways. This hypothesis requires the backing hypothesis that English has a compositional semantic theory.
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