David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In W. Hinzen, E. Machery & Werning (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Compositionality (forthcoming)
A celebrated argument for the claim that natural languages are compositional is the learnability argument. Briefly: for it to be possible to learn an entire natural language, which has infinitely many sentences, the language must have a compositional semantics. This argument has two main problems: One of them concerns the difference between compositionality and computability: if the argument is good at all, it only shows that the language must have a computable semantics, which allows speakers to compute the meanings of new sentences. But a semantics may be computable without being compositional (and vice versa). Why would we want the semantics to be compositional over and above being computable? The learnability argument doesn’t tell us.
|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
Peter Pagin (2010). Compositionality II: Arguments and Problems. Philosophy Compass 5 (3):265-282.
Peter Pagin (2010). Compositionality I: Definitions and Variants. Philosophy Compass 5 (3):250-264.
Similar books and articles
Christopher Kennedy & Jason Stanley (2009). On 'Average'. Mind 118 (471):583 - 646.
Dag Westerståhl (2004). On the Compositional Extension Problem. Journal of Philosophical Logic 33 (6):549-582.
Douglas Patterson (2005). Learnability and Compositionality. Mind and Language 20 (3):326–352.
Gilbert Harman (1975). Language, Thought, and Communication. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:270-298.
Uli Sauerland & Penka Stateva (eds.) (2007). Presupposition and Implicature in Compositional Semantics. Palgrave Macmillan.
Peter Pagin (1997). Is Compositionality Compatible with Holism? Mind and Language 12 (1):11-33.
Ora Matushansky (2008). On the Linguistic Complexity of Proper Names. Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (5):573-627.
Stephen R. Schiffer (1991). Does Mentalese Have a Compositional Semantics? In Barry M. Loewer & Georges Rey (eds.), Meaning in Mind: Fodor and His Critics. Blackwell.
Wlodek Zadrozny (1994). From Compositional to Systematic Semantics. Linguistics and Philosophy 17 (4):329 - 342.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads45 ( #44,040 of 1,410,123 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #46,237 of 1,410,123 )
How can I increase my downloads?