David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth. Oxford University Press. 303-348 (2005)
This paper contains a discussion of how the concept of compositionality is to be extended from context invariant to context dependent meaning, and of how the compositionality of natural language might conflict with context dependence. Several new distinctions are needed, including a distinction between a weaker (e-) and a stronger (ec-) concept of compositionality for context dependent meaning. The relations between the various notions are investigated. A claim by Jerry Fodor that there is a general conflict between context dependence and compositionality is considered. There is in fact a possible conflict betwee ec-compositionality and context dependence, but not of the kind Fodor suggests. It turns on the presence of so-called unarticulated constituents, in John Perry’s sense. Because of this phenomenon, on some semantic accounts there might be a variation in the meaning of a complex expression between contexts without any corresponding variation in any of the syntactic parts of that complex. The conflict can be resolved in several ways. One way is to make the unarticulated context dependence explicit only in the meta-language, which makes it into an unarticulated constituent account. A recent argument by Jason Stanley against such accounts is discussed. According to Stanley, certain readings of English sentences involving binding of contextual variables, are unavailable in these theories. After considering a reply to Stanley by François Recanati, I present an outline of a fully compositional theory, of the unarticulated constituent variety, which does deliver these readings. Concluding remarks on, inter alia, the semantics/pragmatics distinction.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Alison Hall (2008). Free Enrichment or Hidden Indexicals? Mind and Language 23 (4):426-456.
Peter Lasersohn (2012). Contextualism and Compositionality. Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (2):171-189.
Similar books and articles
Peter Pagin (2003). Communication and Strong Compositionality. Journal of Philosophical Logic 32 (3):287-322.
Francis Jeffry Pelletier (2003). Context Dependence and Compositionality. Mind and Language 18 (2):148–161.
R. M. Sainsbury (2001). Two Ways to Smoke a Cigarette. Ratio 14 (4):386–406.
Philip Robbins (2005). The Myth of Reverse Compositionality. Philosophical Studies 125 (2):251 - 275.
John Perry (1998). Indexicals, Contexts and Unarticulated Constituents. In Proceedings of the 1995 CSLI-Armsterdam Logic, Language and Computation Conference. CSLI Publications.
Paul Smolensky (1991). Connectionism, Constituency and the Language of Thought. In Barry M. Loewer & Georges Rey (eds.), Meaning in Mind: Fodor and His Critics. Blackwell.
Ernie Lepore (2004). Out of Context. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 78 (2):77 - 94.
Peter Pagin (2010). Compositionality I: Definitions and Variants. Philosophy Compass 5 (3):250-264.
Peter Pagin & Dag Westerståhl (2010). Pure Quotation and General Compositionality. Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (5):381-415.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads45 ( #36,815 of 1,101,156 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #177,254 of 1,101,156 )
How can I increase my downloads?