Structure and conventions [Book Review]

Philosophical Studies 137 (3):399 - 408 (2008)
Wayne Davis’s Meaning, Expression and Thought argues that linguistic meaning is conventional use to express ideas. An obvious problem with this proposal is that complex expressions that have never been used are nonetheless meaningful. In response to this concern, Davis associates conventions of use not only with linguistic expressions but also with the modes in which such expressions can combine into larger expressions. I argue that such constructive conventions are in conflict with the principle of compositionality (as it is usually understood) and that (at least in the cases Davis considers) they are unnecessary for semantic explanations.
Keywords Ambiguity  Grice  Meaning  Compositionality  Convention  Productivity  Semantics  Speaker meaning  Syntactic structure  Truth-condition
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,201
External links
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
Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2008). Compositionality. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

52 ( #91,817 of 1,940,945 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #149,625 of 1,940,945 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.