David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
This article surveys the state of the art in the ﬁeld of semantic universals. We examine potential semantic universals in three areas: (i) the lexicon, (ii) semantic “glue” (functional morphemes and composition principles), and (iii) pragmatics. At the level of the lexicon, we ﬁnd remarkably few convincing semantic universals. At the level of functional morphemes and composition principles, we discuss a number of promising constraints, most of which require further empirical testing and/or reﬁnement. In the realm of pragmatics, we predict that Gricean mechanisms are universal, but suggest that the precise nature of presuppositions may be subject to cross-linguistic variation. Finally, we follow E.L. Keenan in concluding that the overarching universal of effability or translatability between languages cannot be upheld in its strongest form. A recurring theme throughout this survey is how much work still remains to be done in the relatively young ﬁeld of cross-linguistic formal semantics.
|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
Napoleon Katsos, Clara Andrés Roqueta, Rosa Ana Clemente Estevan & Chris Cummins (2011). Are Children with Specific Language Impairment Competent with the Pragmatics and Logic of Quantification? Cognition 119 (1):43-57.
Similar books and articles
R. W. Sharples (2005). Alexander of Aphrodisias on Universals: Two Problematic Texts. Phronesis 50 (1):43 - 55.
Dietmar Zaefferer (ed.) (1991). Semantic Universals and Universal Semantics. Foris Publications.
Charles Landesman (1971). The Problem of Universals. New York,Basic Books.
Javier Kalhat (2008). Structural Universals and the Principle of Uniqueness of Composition. Grazer Philosophische Studien 76 (1):57-77.
Jürgen Habermas (1970). Towards a Theory of Communicative Competence. Inquiry 13 (1-4):360-375.
Paweł Rojek (2008). Three Trope Theories. Axiomathes 18 (3):359-377.
Ruth M. Kempson (1977). Semantic Theory. Cambridge University Press.
Geoffrey Sampson (1976). An Empirical Hypothesis About Natural Semantics. Journal of Philosophical Logic 5 (2):209 - 236.
Anna Wierzbicka (1996). Semantics: Primes and Universals. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads23 ( #108,199 of 1,696,615 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #115,452 of 1,696,615 )
How can I increase my downloads?