David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (31):31-72 (2011)
In this paper, I argue for a modified version of what Devitt (2006) calls the Representational Thesis (RT). According to RT, syntactic rules or principles are psychologically real, in the sense that they are represented in the mind/brain of every linguistically competent speaker/hearer. I present a range of behavioral and neurophysiological evidence for the claim that the human sentence processing mechanism constructs mental representations of the syntactic properties of linguistic stimuli. I then survey a range of psychologically plausible computational models of comprehension and show that they are all committed to RT. I go on to sketch a framework for thinking about the nature of the representations involved in sentence processing. My claim is that these are best characterized not as propositional attitudes but, rather, as subpersonal states whose representational properties are determined by their functional role. Finally, I distinguish between explicit and implicit representations and argue that the latter can be drawn on as data by the algorithms that constitute our sentence processing routines. I conclude that skepticism concerning the psychological reality of grammars cannot be sustained.
|Keywords||Philosophy of Linguistics Philosophy of Cognitive Science Philosophy of Mind Philosophy of Language|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Robert J. Hartsuiker & Martin J. Pickering (2001). A Common Framework for Language Comprehension and Language Production? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):887-888.
Peter Slezak (2009). Linguistic Explanation and ‘Psychological Reality’. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):3-20.
Fritz J. McDonald (2009). Linguistics, Psychology, and the Ontology of Language. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (3):291-301.
Gergo Somodi (2009). Ignorance Radicalized. Studia Philosophica Estonica 2 (2):140-156.
Alex B. Fine & T. Florian Jaeger (2013). Evidence for Implicit Learning in Syntactic Comprehension. Cognitive Science 37 (3):578-591.
Daniel A. Weiskopf (2010). Embodied Cognition and Linguistic Comprehension. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):294-304.
M. J. Cain (2010). Linguistics, Psychology and the Scientific Study of Language. Dialectica 64 (3):385-404.
Eric Dietrich & A. Markman (2003). Discrete Thoughts: Why Cognition Must Use Discrete Representations. Mind and Language 18 (1):95-119.
Jakub Szymanik & Marcin Zajenkowski (2009). Comprehension of Simple Quantifiers. Empirical Evaluation of a Computational Model. Cognitive Science: A Multidisciplinary Journal 34 (3):521-532.
Jakub Szymanik & Marcin Zajenkowski (2009). Understanding Quantifiers in Language. In N. A. Taatgen & H. van Rijn (eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.
John T. Hale (2011). What a Rational Parser Would Do. Cognitive Science 35 (3):399-443.
Michael Devitt (2006). Ignorance of Language. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Added to index2011-10-12
Total downloads77 ( #16,407 of 1,096,548 )
Recent downloads (6 months)21 ( #5,524 of 1,096,548 )
How can I increase my downloads?