David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Formal semantics is an approach to SEMANTICS1, the study of meaning, with roots in logic, the philosophy of language, and linguistics, and since the 1980’s a core area of linguistic theory. Characteristics of formal semantics to be treated in this article include the following: Formal semanticists treat meaning as mind-independent (though abstract), contrasting with the view of meanings as concepts “in the head” (see I-LANGUAGE AND E-LANGUAGE and MEANING EXTERNALISM AND INTERNALISM); formal semanticists distinguish semantics from knowledge of semantics (Lewis 1975, Cresswell 1978), which has consequences for the notion of semantic COMPETENCE. A central part of the meaning of a sentence on this approach is its TRUTH CONDITIONS, and most although not all formal semantics is model-theoretic, relating linguistic expressions to model-theoretically constructed semantic values cast in terms of truth, REFERENCE, and possible worlds. This sets formal semantics apart from approaches which view semantics as relating a sentence just to a representation on another linguistic “level” (LOGICAL FORM) or a representation in an innate LANGUAGE OF THOUGHT. The formal semanticist could accept such representations as an aspect of semantics but would insist on asking what the model-theoretic semantic interpretation of the given representationlanguage is (Lewis 1970). Formal semantics is centrally concerned with COMPOSITIONALITY at the SYNTAX-SEMANTICS INTERFACE, how the meanings of larger constituents are built up from the meanings of their parts on the basis of their syntactic structure, and with the relation between compositional SENTENCE MEANING and meaning in discourse
|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
John F. Sowa (2006). Worlds, Models and Descriptions. Studia Logica 84 (2):323 - 360.
John F. Sowa (2006). Worlds, Models and Descriptions. Studia Logica 84 (2):323-360.
Similar books and articles
Laura Schroeter, Two-Dimensional Semantics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Chris Fox (2005). Foundations of Intensional Semantics. Blackwell Pub..
Juan Barba (2007). Formal Semantics in the Age of Pragmatics. Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (6):637-668.
Jaroslav Peregrin (2008). Brandom’s Incompatibility Semantics. Philosophical Topics 36 (2):99-121.
Emma Borg (2004). Minimal Semantics. Oxford University Press.
Emma Borg (2004). Formal Semantics and Intentional States. Analysis 64 (3):215–223.
Hans Kamp & Barbara Hall Partee (eds.) (2004). Context-Dependence in the Analysis of Linguistic Meaning. Elsevier.
Shalom Lappin (ed.) (1996). The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory. Blackwell Reference.
Zhaohui Luo (2012). Formal Semantics in Modern Type Theories with Coercive Subtyping. Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (6):491-513.
Marcus Kracht (2007). The Emergence of Syntactic Structure. Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (1):47 - 95.
William Frawley (1992). Linguistic Semantics. L. Erlbaum Associates.
Added to index2011-06-01
Total downloads244 ( #8,929 of 1,789,933 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #263,819 of 1,789,933 )
How can I increase my downloads?