Tacit and accessible understanding of language

Synthese 156 (2):253 - 279 (2007)
The empirical nature of our understanding of language is explored. I first show that there are several important and different distinctions between tacit and accessible awareness. I then present empirical evidence concerning our understanding of language. The data suggests that our awareness of sentence-meanings is sometimes merely tacit according to one of these distinctions, but is accessible according to another. I present and defend an interpretation of this mixed view. The present project is shown to impact on several diverse areas, including inferential role semantics and holism, the nature of learning, and the role of linguistics in the law.
Keywords Cognitive science  Psychology  Linguistics  Tacit knowledge  Philosophy of language
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DOI 10.2307/27653517
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