(1) This is Part 2 of the semantic theory I call TM. In Part 1, I developed TM as a theory in the analytic philosophy of language, in lexical semantics, and in the sociology of relating occasions of statement production and comprehension to formal and informal lexicographic conclusions about statements and lexical items – roughly, as showing how synchronic semantics is a sociological derivative of diachronic, person-relative acts of linguistic behavior. I included descriptions of new cognitive psychology experimental paradigms which (...) would allow us to precisely measure the two constituents of semantics – meaning and reference – both at the level of individual speech acts and at the level of societal convergences, i.e. at both the token and type levels. -/- (2) In the Introduction, I recapitulate the arguments of Part 1. The Introduction also develops some analytic philosophical and lexical semantics themes not discussed in Part 1. -/- (3) After the Introduction, I present neural TM (nTM) as a theory of the neural mechanisms and processes which give rise to these person/occasion-relative acts of linguistic behavior. I develop nTM at three levels, the first two of which describe linguistic/semantic functions independently of their cortical locations. At the first level, I describe individual word-to-word and word-to-object connections. At the second level, I describe the corresponding structuralist networks of which they are the individual components. At this level, I introduce some key linguistic concepts of TM – its graded meaning, reference, and generalization sets, and the types of statements which express various levels of word-to-word and word-to-object relationships among lexical items which, because of the constraints they impose on the use of those lexical items in statements we produce and comprehend, are concepts. This constitutes the second structural level of nTM. -/- (4) At the third level, I associate the non-localized structures of the previous levels with cortically located neural structures and with the fasciculi that connect them. I distinguish neural areas in which primary (phonetic) and secondary (orthographic) lexicons are stored in long-term memory. I also describe the embodied concepts which co-exist in the anterior temporal lobes with the images they lexicalize. These concepts are often said to name physical objects and their features, although what they in fact name are kinds of physical objects and features. I describe how conceptual constraints and referential constraints interact to channel our intentions to say how things are into statements which are semantically well-formed, and which consequently successfully communicate information. -/- (5) Following this presentation of nTM, I examine five prominent neural semantic theories. I point out what is wrong with each of them as far as their explanations of semantics are concerned, and I also indicate how nTM can replace the “semantic cores” of those theories. -/- (6) The two basic mistakes made by neuroscience semantic theories, as I will explain, are (i) that all but one of them regard semantics as a matter of the association of words with perceptual images, and of generalizations from those associations; and (ii) that they all rely on an unspecified set of neural structures which purportedly encode the meaning of concepts in abstraction from their phonological and orthographic forms. nTM maintains, in contrast, that there are no abstract neural representations of semantic content. Neural constraints on our linguistic behavior, especially on our ascriptive and co-ascriptive use of words, express the semantic constraints on those words which make them concepts. That is the semantic content of words. -/- (7) I next consider several results from neuroscience experimental data which have been given one interpretation by one or another of the standard neurosemantic theories, but to which nTM gives a different interpretation. I include several predictions which I have found neither confirmed nor disconfirmed in the experimental neuroscience literature. -/- (8) After a concluding section in which I summarize the major changes to neurosemantic theory introduced by TM, and the analytic philosophy of language and lexical semantics contexts within which TM is situated, there follows an appendix in which I discuss neural net AI, and make some recommendations for implementing nTM in silicon. (shrink)
A long-standing tension in semantic theory concerns the reconciliation of positive gradable adjective (GA) ascriptions and comparative GA ascriptions. Vagueness-based ap- proaches derive the comparative from the positive, and face non-trivial challenges with incommensurability and non-GA comparatives. Classic degree-based approaches effectively derive the positive from the comparative, out of sync with the direction of evidence from morphology, and create some difficulties in accounting for GA scale-mates with differing thresholds (e.g., cold ∼ warm ∼ hot). We propose a new reconciliation that (...) capitalizes on recent proposals analyzing GAs as predicates of states. On our account, GAs lexically involve both a threshold property and a background state structure. Positive occurrences of GAs make use of the threshold property, while comparative occurrences make use of degrees representing elements of the background structure. Our approach preserves the virtues of classic degree-based approaches while offering a natural account of scale-mates, and without appeal to covert morphemes like POS or related devices. As we show, it is possible to inject our solution back into the classic degree-based approach, but we find reasons to prefer our states-based account. (shrink)
The main goal of this paper is to show that there are many phenomena that pertain to the construction of truth-conditional compounds that follow characteristic patterns, and whose explanation requires appealing to knowledge structures organized in specific ways. We review a number of phenomena, ranging from non-homogenous modification and privative modification to polysemy and co-predication that indicate that knowledge structures do play a role in obtaining truth-conditions. After that, we show that several extant accounts that invoke rich lexical meanings to (...) explain such phenomena face problems related to inflexibility and lack of predictive power. We review different ways in which one might react to such problems as regards lexical meanings: go richer, go moderately richer, go thinner, and go moderately thinner. On the face of it, it looks like moderate positions are unstable, given the apparent lack of a clear cutoff point between the semantic and the conceptual, but also that a very thin view and a very rich view may turn out to be indistinguishable in the long run. As far as we can see, the most pressing open questions concern this last issue: can there be a principled semantic/world knowledge distinction? Where could it be drawn: at some upper level (e.g. enriched qualia structures) or at some basic level (e.g. constraints)? How do parsimony considerations affect these two different approaches? A thin meanings approach postulates intermediate representations whose role is not clear in the interpretive process, while a rich meanings approach to lexical meaning seems to duplicate representations: the same representations that are stored in the lexicon would form part of conceptual representations. Both types of parsimony problems would be solved by assuming a direct relation between word forms and (parts of) conceptual or world knowledge, leading to a view that has been attributed to Chomsky (e.g. by Katz 1980) in which there is just syntax and encyclopedic knowledge. (shrink)
An Introduction to Lexical Semantics provides a comprehensive theoretical overview of lexical semantics, analysing the major lexical categories in English: verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions. The book illustrates step-by-step how to use formal semantic tools.
This paper discusses knowledge of opposites. In particular, attention is given to the linguistic notion of antonymy and how it represents oppositional relations that are commonly found in perception. The paper draws upon the long history of work on the formalisation of antonymy in linguistics and formal semantics, and also upon work on the perception of opposites in psychology, and an assessment is made of the main approaches. Treatments of these phenomena in linguistics and psychology posit that the principles of (...) minimal difference and invariance are centrally important. It will be suggested that the standard approach employing meaning postulates fails to capture the relevant notion of antonymy, in part because it is not informed by these principles, and in part due to a number of other problems with this kind of approach, many of which may be overcome by building in the central principles from the beginning. The paper also discusses the issue of whether we can know that opposites necessarily exclude each other and, if so, how. This issue is intertwined with what is known as the colour incompatibility problem that Wittgenstein wrangled with at various times during his life. The paper assesses various solutions to these problems including an approach that was first put forward by Jerrold J. Katz. The relation between this approach and the theory of determinables and determinates is also examined. A further development upon this approach is proposed and then applied to the case of the formalisation of antonymy. It is argued that this approach avoids the problems suffered by the main approaches discussed earlier in the paper. (shrink)
We present in this paper a novel ontological theory of events whose central tenet is the Aristotelian distinction between the object that changes and the actual subject of change, which is what we call an individual quality. While in the Kimian tradition events are individuated by a triple ⟨ o, P, t ⟩, where o is an object, P a property, and t an interval of time, for us the simplest events are qualitative changes, individuated by a triple ⟨ o, (...) q, t ⟩, where q is an individual quality inhering in o or in one of its parts. Detaching the individuation of events from the property they exemplify results in a fine-grained theory that keeps metaphysics and semantics clearly separate, and lies between the multiplicative and the unitarian approaches. We discuss then the way language refers to events, observing that, in most cases, event descriptions refer to complex, cognitively relevant clusters of co-occurring qualitative changes, which exhibit a synchronic structure depending on the way they are described. Contra Bennett, who famously argued that the semantics of event names ultimately depends on “local context and unprincipled intuitions”, we show how the lexicon provides systematic principles for individuating such clusters and classifying them into kinds. Finally, we address some open challenges in the semantics of locative and manner modifiers. (shrink)
Psychological essentialism is the hypothesis that humans represent some categories as having an underlying essence that unifies members of a category and is causally responsible for their typical attributes and behaviors. Throughout the past several decades, psychological essentialism has emerged as an extremely active area of research in cognitive science. More recently, it has also attracted attention from philosophers, who put the empirical results to use in many different philosophical areas, ranging from philosophy of mind and cognitive science to social (...) philosophy. This article aims to give philosophers who are new to the topic an overview of the key empirical findings surrounding psychological essentialism, and some of the ways the hypothesis and its related findings have been discussed, extended, and applied in philosophical research. (shrink)
ABSTRACT In this paper, I present data involving the use of the Romanian slur ‘țigan’, consideration of which leads to the postulation of a sui-generis, irreducible type of use of slurs. This type of use is potentially problematic for extant theories of slurs. In addition, together with other well-established uses, it shows that there is more variation in the use of slurs than previously acknowledged. I explain this variation by construing slurs as polysemous. To implement this idea, I appeal to (...) a rich-lexicon account of polysemy. I show how such a theory can be applied to slurs and discuss several important issues that arise. (shrink)
Jerrold J. Katz often explained his semantic theory by way of an analogy with physical atomism and an attendant analogy with chemistry. In this chapter, I track the origin and uses of these analogies by Katz, both in explaining and defending his decompositional semantic theory, through the various phases of his work throughout his career.
Rawls’ realistic utopia has been subject to much criticism. The Realist claims Rawls’ realistic utopia to be too utopian. The Cosmopolitan, on the other hand, claims Rawls’ realistic utopia to be insufficiently utopian. In this essay, I argue that the criticism can be circumvented by means of clarifying an ambiguity in the concept of utopia. I argue that the Realist is not criticizing Rawls for being utopian, but unrealistic, impractical and idealistic (quixotic). The Cosmopolitan might be right in criticizing Rawls (...) for not being utopian enough. The orthodox understanding of utopia, adopted by the Cosmopolitan is, however, in itself quixotic. Drawing on Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, I propose a novel understanding of how utopia ought to be understood. Once the Rawlsian adopts this conception of utopia, it alleviates the objections raised by the Realist and the Cosmopolitan. (shrink)
The paper examines the theoretical merit of “semantic molecules” in Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM). Although semantic molecules are said to trace semantic dependence and necessity, compress complexity, and to account for what I call its productivity, that doesn't appear to be the case. This can be illustrated on the basis of a comparison of two explications for the same complex meaning—one containing a molecule and the other its decomposed elements. Counterfactual considerations suggest that the latter is not semantically dependent on (...) the lexicalized molecule and that it is, in turn, not necessary. The other side of the comparison cements the point. This leaves the issue of compression, complexity, and productivity—none of which are helped by semantic molecules, as they appear to do little more than conceal complexity. Meanwhile, they are not required to account for productivity. It seems that molecules may need to be rethought. (shrink)
The method of linguistic palaeontology has a controversial status within archaeology. According to its defenders, it promises the ability to see into the social and material cultures of prehistoric societies and uncover facts about peoples beyond the reach of archaeology. Its critics see it as essentially flawed and unscientific. Using a particular case-study, the Indo-European homeland problem, this paper attempts to discern the kinds of inference which proponents of linguistic palaeontology make and whether they can be warranted. I conclude that, (...) while the case for linguistic palaeontology has often been overstated, so has the case against it. (shrink)
Contemporary research in compositional, truth-conditional semantics often takes judgments of the relative unacceptability of certain phrasal combinations as evidence for lexical semantics. For example, observing that completely full sounds perfectly natural whereas completely tall does not has been used to motivate a distinction whereby the lexical entry for full but not for tall specifies a scalar endpoint. So far, such inferences seem unobjectionable. In general, however, applying this methodology can lead to dubious conclusions. For example, observing that slightly bent is (...) natural but slightly cheap is not (that is, not without a “too cheap” interpretation) leads researchers to suggest that the interpretation of bent involves a scalar minimum but cheap does not, contra intuition—after all, one would think that what is minimally cheap is (just) free. Such claims, found in sufficient abundance, raise the question of how we can support semantic theories that posit properties of entities that those entities appear to lack. This paper argues, using theories of adjectival scale structure as a test case, that the (un)acceptability data recruited in semantic explanations reveals properties of a two-stage system of semantic interpretation that can support divergences between our semantic and metaphysical intuitions. (shrink)
Lexical Semantics for Terminology: An introduction explores the interconnections between lexical semantics and terminology. More specifically, it shows how principles borrowed from lexico-semantic frameworks and methodologies derived from them can help understand terms and describe them in resources. It also explains how lexical analysis complements perspectives entirely focused on knowledge. Issues such as term identification, meaning, polysemy, relations between terms, and equivalence are discussed thoroughly and illustrated with various examples taken from different fields of knowledge. This book is intended for (...) readers who are interested in words and need to handle specialized terms as part of their activities, i.e. terminologists, translators, lexicographers, corpus linguists. A background in terminology or lexical semantics is not required since all notions are defined and explained. This book should complement other textbooks on terminology that do not focus on lexical semantics per se. (shrink)
In this paper, I develop an essentialist model of the semantics of slurs. I defend the view that slurs are a species of kind terms: Slur concepts encode mini-theories which represent an essence-like element that is causally connected to a set of negatively-valenced stereotypical features of a social group. The truth-conditional contribution of slur nouns can then be captured by the following schema: For a given slur S of a social group G and a person P, S is true of (...) P iff P bears the “essence” of G—whatever this essence is—which is causally responsible for stereotypical negative features associated with G and predicted of P. Since there is no essence that is causally responsible for stereotypical negative features of a social group, slurs have null-extension, and consequently, many sentences containing them are either meaningless or false. After giving a detailed outline of my theory, I show that it receives strong linguistic support. In particular, it can account for a wide range of linguistic cases that are regarded as challenging, central data for any theory of slurs. Finally, I show that my theory also receives convergent support from cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics. (shrink)
This book reimagines the compositional semantics of comparative sentences using words such as more, as, too, and others. The book's central thesis entails a rejection of a fundamental assumption of degree semantic frameworks: that gradable adjectives like tall lexicalize functions from individuals to degrees, i.e., measure functions. I argue that comparative expressions in English themselves introduce “measure functions”; this is the case whether that morphology targets adjectives, as in *taller* or *more intelligent*; nouns, as in *more coffee*, *more coffees*; verbs, (...) such as *run more*, *jump more*; or expressions of other categories. Furthermore, she suggests that expressions that comfortably and meaningfully appear in the comparative form should be distinguished from those that do not in terms of a general notion of "measurability": a measurable predicate has a domain of application with non-trivial structure. This notion unifies the independently motivated distinctions between, for example, gradable and non-gradable adjectives, mass and count nouns, singular and plural noun phrases, and telic and atelic verb phrases. Based on careful examination of the distribution of dimensions for comparison within the class of measurable predicates, I tie the selection of measure functions to the specific nature and structure of the domain entities targeted for measurement. The book ultimately explores how, precisely, we should understand semantic theories that invoke the "nature" of domain entities: does the theory depend for its explanation on features of metaphysical reality, or something else? Such questions are especially pertinent in light of a growing body of research in cognitive science exploring the understanding and acquisition of comparative sentences. (shrink)
Resumo: Esse estudo exploratório do Dicionário Priberam de Língua Portuguesa (DPLP), na sua formulação digital, parte da questão: como tal dicionário afeta a divisão política da língua a partir de sua digitalização e circulação na Internet? Trata-se de um material propício para mostrar a atualização do processo de gramatização do português no início do século XXI e para observar as singularidades do trabalho lexicográfico no espaço digital e a produção de saberes sobre a língua nesse momento histórico. O corpus é (...) composto por recortes de formulações dos anos de 2012, 2013 e 2014, período de exploração do material de análise. Os procedimentos de descrição levaram ao trabalho intradiscursivo com os efeitos do visual, ou seja, a própria formulação visual como elemento importante para a compreensão do funcionamento da discursividade lexicográfica em Priberam. Abstract: This exploratory study of the Dicionário Priberam de Língua Portuguesa (DPLP), in its digital formulation, parts from the question: how does this dictionary affect the political division of the language considering its digitization and circulation on the Internet? It is an auspicious material to demonstrate the updating of the Portuguese grammatization process at the beginning of the 21st century and to observe the singularities of the lexicographic work over digital space and the production of knowledge about the language at this historical moment. The corpus consists of formulations cutouts from the years of 2012, 2013 and 2014, period over which the material of analysis was investigated. The description procedures led to the intradiscursive work with the effects of the visual, that is, the visual formulation itself as an important element for the understanding of the functioning of the lexicographic discursiveness in Priberam. (shrink)
The meanings of words are not permanent but change over time. Some changes of meaning are quick, such as when a pronoun changes its reference; some are slower, as when two speakers find out that they are using the same word in different senses; and some are very slow, such as when the meaning of a word changes over historical time. A theory of semantics should account for these different time scales. In order to describe these different types of meaning (...) changes, I present an analysis of three levels of communication: instruction, coordination of common ground and coordination of meaning. My first aim is to show that these levels must be considered when discussing lexical semantics. A second aim is to use the levels to identify the communicative roles of some of the main word classes, in particular nouns, adjectives, verbs, indexicals and quantifiers. I argue that the existence of word classes can, to a large extent, be explained by the communicative needs that arise on the different levels. (shrink)
У статті з’ясовано специфіку морфологічного вираження суб’єктної синтаксеми в пасивних конструкціях сучасного адміністративно-канцелярського мовлення. Проаналізовано асинкретизм (суб’єкт дії) та синкретизм (суб’єкт-інструмент, суб’єкт-інструмент-час, суб’єктінструмент-об’єкт, суб’єкт-простір) семантики орудного відмінка субстантива та прийменниково-іменникового словосполучення. Матеріалом для дослідження слугували навчальні посібники та довідники з офіційно-ділового мовлення, датовані першими десятиліттями ХХІ ст.
In the history of formal semantics, the successful joining of linguistic and philosophical work brought with it some difficult foundational questions concerning the nature of meaning and the nature of knowledge of language in the domain of semantics: questions in part about “what’s in the head” of a competent language-user. This paper, part of a project on the history of formal semantics, revisits the central issues of (Partee, 1979) in a historical context, as a clash between two traditions, Fregean and (...) Chomskyan, a clash that accompanied early work combining Montague’s semantics with Chomskyan syntax. Recent advances in philosophy of mind (from, e.g., Stalnaker and Burge) go a long way towards changing the framework of arguments about “psychological reality” and “competence”, challenging the suppositions on which the original dichotomy rested, thus largely defusing the tension. (shrink)
The meaning that expressions take on particular occasions often depends on the context in ways which seem to transcend its direct effect on context-sensitive parameters. ‘Truth-conditional pragmatics’ is the project of trying to model such semantic flexibility within a compositional truth-conditional framework. Most proposals proceed by radically ‘freeing up’ the compositional operations of language. I argue, however, that the resulting theories are too unconstrained, and predict flexibility in cases where it is not observed. These accounts fall into this position because (...) they rarely, if ever, take advantage of the rich information made available by lexical items. I hold, instead, that lexical items encode both extension and non-extension determining information. Under certain conditions, the non-extension determining information of an expression e can enter into the compositional processes that determine the meaning of more complex expressions which contain e. This paper presents and motivates a set of type-driven compositional operations that can access non-extension determining information and introduce bits of it into the meaning of complex expressions. The resulting multidimensional semantics has the tools to deal with key cases of semantic flexibility in appropriately constrained ways, making it a promising framework to pursue the project of truth-conditional pragmatics. (shrink)
У статті розглянуто семантичні процеси в економічній лексиці української мови, що відбуваються під впливом важливих подій у житті суспільства кінця XX – початку XXI ст. Здійснено порівняльний аналіз словникових статей лексем економічної сфери в українських лексикографічних працях тлумачного типу радянського та пострадянського періодів, які фіксують зміни в їхній семантиці. З’ясовано, що слова позбуваються ідеологічної конотації, набутої в умовах функціонування в радянському тоталітарному дискурсі.
A provocative view has it that word meanings are underdetermined and dynamic, frustrating traditional approaches to theorizing about meaning. Peter Ludlow’s Living Words provides some of the philosophical reasons and motivations for accepting one such view, develops some of its details, and explores some of its ramifications. We critically examine some of the arguments in Living Words, paying particular attention to some of Ludlow’s views about the meanings of predicates, preservation of bivalence and the T-schema, and methods of modulating meaning.
There is an ongoing debate about the meaning of lexical words, i.e., words that contribute with content to the meaning of sentences. This debate has coincided with a renewal in the study of polysemy, which has taken place in the psycholinguistics camp mainly. There is already a fruitful interbreeding between two lines of research: the theoretical study of lexical word meaning, on the one hand, and the models of polysemy psycholinguists present, on the other. In this paper I aim at (...) deepening on this ongoing interbreeding, examine what is said about polysemy, particularly in the psycholinguistics literature, and then show how what we seem to know about the representation and storage of polysemous senses affects the models that we have about lexical word meaning. (shrink)
Розглянуто закономірності реалізації моно- і полілінгвоперсони в дискурсивних практиках, зокрема у фольклорній та художньо-белетристичній, схарактеризовано основні мовленнєво-поведінкові зразки з урахуванням мети, ситуації й потреб моно- і полілінгвоперсони, простежено закономірності актуалізації комунікативних намірів монолінгвоперсонеми, встановлено окремі значущі компоненти аксіогенних ситуацій, що постають мовленнєво- поведінковими маркерами.
У статті проаналізовано лексемний і семний склад мікрополя «повага», а також його системну організацію в українській мові. Компоненти значення, що функціонують у мікрополі, відбиваають семантику поваги, пошани щодо об’єкта почуття, яким для лексико-семантичного поля «патріотизм» виступають Батьківщина, власний народ, його закони, традиції, історія тощо.
У статті розглянуто проблемні питання дериваційних відношень, напрямів морфонологічних трансформацій, складні процеси, пов’язані з використанням варіантних формантів та з утвердженням національної ідентичності в словотвірній морфонології девербативів і відповідність їх словотвірним нормам української літературної мови, окреслено концептуальні засади морфонологічного аналізу девербативів, проаналізовано ефективні й специфічні методи й прийоми дослідження віддієслівних іменників у словотвірно-морфонологічному аспекті та визначено найбільш дієві методики аналізу морфонологічних явищ.
У статті висвітлено граматичні особливості й сферу реалізації одного з різновидів подвійного синтаксичного зв’язку, а саме предикативно-кореляційного. Доведено подвійну природу синтаксичного зв’язку в реченнях із займенниковими іменниками другої особи в позиції підмета та звертаннями, аргументовано його предикативно-кореляційний характер, описано механізми його встановлення. З’ясовано роль вокатива в семантико-синтаксичній і формально-граматичній організації таких речень.
У статті з’ясовано статус конструкцій із предикативними формами на но, то в парадигмі пасиву, їхні структурні особливості, специфіку функціонування та співвідношення з іншими типами пасивних конструкцій в адміністративно-канцелярському підстилі сучасної української мови.
У статті досліджено частково фразеологізовані речення з семантикою зумовленості, описано засоби зв’язку між їхніми частинами. Схарактеризовано семантико-структурні різновиди двох підтипів частково фразеологізованих речень із відношеннями зумовленості. Простежено специфіку вираження дії в пре- і постпозитивних частинах цих речень, описано специфіку додаткової семантики, що нашаровується на основне значення.
У статті проаналізовано місце паронімічної атракції в словотворчій практиці І. Павлюка. Наголошено на стилістичних особливостях функціювання новотворів-атрактантів. На основі лексико-стилістичного аналізу засвідчено розширення меж сполучуваності неологізмів-атрактантів та узуальних слів до паронімічних гнізд. Із застосуванням методу компонентного аналізу описано семантику складних слів, утворених за допомогою компонентів-атрактантів.
Статтю присвячено висвітленню особливостей деідеологізації лексем на позначення мистецьких напрямів і течій у сучасних українських словниках тлумачного типу, що відбувається під впливом змін у житті українського суспільства наприкінці XX – на початку XXI ст. Дослідження здійснено на основі порівняльного аналізу тлумачень слів у лексикографічних працях радянського і пострадянського періодів. Виявлено приклади неповної деідеологізації лексичних одиниць зазначеної тематичної групи.
For many years, it has been common-ground in semantics and in philosophy of language that semantics is in the business of providing a full explanation about how propositional meanings are obtained. This orthodox picture seems to be in trouble these days, as an increasing number of authors now hold that semantics does not deal with thought-contents. Some of these authors have embraced a “thin meanings” view, according to which lexical meanings are too schematic to enter propositional contents. I will suggest (...) that it is plausible to adopt thin semantics for a class of words. However, I’ll also hold that some classes of words, like kind terms, plausibly have richer lexical meanings, and so that an adequate theory of word meaning may have to combine thin and rich semantics. (shrink)
У статті проаналізовано семантико-прагматичні варіанти значення першої особи, що виникають унаслідок взаємодії категорій персональності та числа. Виокремлено ми авторське, царське, скромне, родинне, батьківське (опікунське), корпоративне, ми соціальної вагомості, ідеологічне, універсальне (філософське), ми привілейованої групи.
The renewed interest in concepts and their role in psychological theorizing is partially motivated by Machery’s claim that concepts are so heterogeneous that they have no explanatory role. Against this, pluralism argues that there is multiplicity of different concepts for any given category, while hybridism argues that a concept is constituted by a rich common representation. This article aims to advance the understanding of the hybrid view of concepts. First, we examine the main arguments against hybrid concepts and conclude that, (...) even if not successful, they challenge hybridism to find a robust criterion for concept individuation and to show an explanatory advantage for hybrid concepts. Then we propose such a criterion of individuation, which we will call ‘functional stable coactivation’. Finally, we examine the prospects of hybridism to understand what is involved in recent approaches to categorization and meaning extraction. 1 The Heterogeneity of Conceptual Representations2 Two Challenges for Hybrid Concepts: Individuation and Explanation2.1 The coordination criterion2.2 Concepts as constituents of thoughts3 Individuating Hybrids: Functional Stable Coactivation4 The Explanatory Power of Hybrid Concepts4.1 Categorization4.2 Meaning extraction4.2.1 Linguistic comprehension and rich lexical entries4.2.2 Polysemy and hybrid concepts5 Conclusion. (shrink)
Welcome to this special issue of Language Sciences on slurs. The collection in this issue consists of 21 original research articles from seasoned scholars and exceptional students across the humanities and social sciences. These scholars come from backgrounds in linguistics, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, and sociology, and here they investigate the use of slurs in a variety of natural languages, including English, Croatian, Hebrew, Korean, and Portuguese. -/- The topic of focus for this special issue has not only remained controversial and (...) relatively unexplored in academic publications, but has also largely been discussed in published work by privileged groups that lack practical experience of the variety of ways that slurs are actually used in contemporary life. This has resulted in mostly unseasoned speculations and one-sided discussions about slurs that do not offer genuine insight into the various ways that they are actually used and that does not help advance further research on the topic. Peer-review and citation practices in philosophy have been especially poor, leaving many minority groups without voice or proper credit for their original work. So with an opportunity to edit this special issue on slurs I felt it important to include contributions from a wide variety of demographics and disciplinary perspectives, and that each article be carefully peer-reviewed by an average of three anonymous reviewers. Scholars from different disciplines were encouraged to read widely, become familiar with each other’s work, and cite appropriately. This required an incredible effort and much patience from all involved, including authors, reviewers, and editors. But as a result this special issue provides a uniquely rigorous and interdisciplinary collection of articles from a wide variety of perspectives on a timely issue that has for far too long been neglected. -/- The aim for this special issue is not only to enrich our understanding of the meaning and use of slurs in natural language more specifically, but to further broaden our understanding of the meaning and use of natural language more generally by carefully considering, for instance, how language can carry such affective force, involve stereotypes of typical targets, and be used derogatorily or non-derogatorily depending upon the context and agents involved. The articles included in this collection explore these issues and much more, presenting new empirical findings and critical discussion that is sure to advance further fruitful work in the field. -/- I am honored to have the opportunity to provide a high quality and inclusive forum for discussion on slurs that will be of interest to lay readers, students, and seasoned scholars alike, and sincerely thank everyone involved for their thoughtful contributions to this special issue. (shrink)
Meaning defines language because it is the internal function of language. At the same time, meaning does not exist unless in language and because of language. From the point of view of the speaking subject meaning is contents of conscience. From the point of view of a language, meaning is the objectification of knowledge in linguistic signs. And from the point of view of the individual speaking subject, meaning is the expressive intentional purpose to say something.
The semantics of idioms has traditionally treated the idiomatic phrase as a lexical item to which an idiomatic meaning is assigned, and in which remains inert the ordinary literal meaning of the phrase's constitutive words. I draw a distinction between metaphysical lexicalism and methodological lexicalism, and show how criticisms lodged against one kind of lexicalism leave the other intact. Once it is clarified that it is methodological lexicalism that is of interest, and what kind of evidence counts against methodological lexicalism (...) and semantic inertness, I criticize the traditional semantic approach to idioms. (shrink)
In “The Semantics of Racial Slurs,” an article recently published in Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, Hedger draws upon Kaplan’s distinction between descriptive and expressive content to argue that slurs are expressions with purely expressive content. Here I review the key considerations presented by Hedger in support of his purely expressive account of slurs and provide clear reasons for why it must ultimately be rejected. After reviewing the key cases Hedger offers for consideration in support of his view that slurs are (...) expressions with purely expressive content, this article provides a critical evaluation of these cases, pointing out at least 13 ways in which his purely expressive analysis of slurs fails. In considering the 13 ways in which the purely expressive analysis of slurs remains inadequate, this article concludes with the suggestion that an adequate account of slurs will ultimately involve not only an expressive aspect but a descriptive aspect also. (shrink)
In several recent contributions to the growing literature on slurs, Hedger draws upon Kaplan’s distinction between descriptive and expressive content to argue that slurs are expressions with purely expressive content. The distinction between descriptive and expressive content and the view that slurs are expressions with purely expressive content has been widely acknowledged in prior work, and Hedger aims to contribute to this tradition of scholarship by offering novel arguments in support of his ‘‘pure expressivist’’ account of slurs. But the account (...) that PE offers is explanatorily inadequate, resting on suspect a priori intuitions which also commit one to denying many basic facts about slurs, such as that slurs largely display systematic differential application and that slurs can be used non-offensively between in-group speakers. In this article I provide clear reasons for rejecting PE, arguing particularly against Hedger as one of PE’s most explicit and recent proponents. In showing that PE is inadequate in at least 11 ways, I argue in favor of a mixed or hybrid approach. (shrink)
In a series of cross-cultural investigations of word meaning, Cliff Goddard and Anna Wierzbicka examine key expressions from different domains of the lexicon - concrete, abstract, physical, sensory, emotional, and social. They focus on complex and culturally important words in a range of languages that includes English, Russian, Polish, French, Warlpiri and Malay."--Publishers website.
(English then french abstract) -/- This article, which can be read by non-psychoanalysts, intends to browse in four stages through the issue offered to our thinking : two (odd-numbered) stages analyzing the argument that provides its context, and two (even-numbered) of propositions presenting our views on what could be the content of the analytic discourse in the coming years. After this introduction, a first reading will point by point but informally review the argument of J.-P. Journet by showing that each (...) of its clauses may generate a “bifurcated” comment able to serve or go against the analytic discourse. Hence the interest of the “differential diagnosis” mentioned in our title, which makes glimpse the traps that the homonymy may set to this speech. Then, to prepare a second scan which sticks neither to the analytical doxa, nor to the even authoritative opinions of our tenors and seniors, it will be proposed two attempts at redefinitions (“apophatic” and “recursive”) of what psychoanalysis is, as well as methodological tools operating downstream from these redefinitions to thwart the obstacles of “external” and “internal” homonymy (starting from a syllogism which can make consensus).The third stage will precisely be made of our second scan of the issue, whose elements will be reviewed and analyzed more methodically :“external differential diagnosis” between the analytic discourse and psychology, philosophy, sociology, and modern science, and “internal differential diagnosis” on the entanglement between theoretical advances of psychoanalysts and the repeated survival of fantasmatic elements...Finally, a fourth part will present propositions and perspectives resulting from these analysis (principle of economy as to the source of psychoanalytical theorizations; dialogue with the other fields, but without compromising; specific relations with the discourse of science), all this leading to an invitation, beyond disputes, to renew the content of the analytic discourse on some points... -/- --------------------------------------------------------------------- -/- Cet article, qui se veut lisible aux non-analystes, se propose de parcourir en quatre temps la problématique offerte à notre réflexion : deux temps (de rang impair) d'analyse de l'argument qui en fournit le contexte, et deux (de rang pair) de propositions présentant nos vues sur ce que pourrait être la teneur du discours analytique dans les prochaines années. Après cette introduction, un premier parcours réexaminera point par point mais informellement l'argument de J.-P. Journet en montrant que chacune de ses propositions peut donner lieu à un commentaire “bifide” à même de servir ou de desservir le discours analytique. D'où l'intérêt du “diagnostic différentiel” évoqué dans notre titre, qui fait entrevoir les pièges que l'homonymie peut tendre à ce discours.Puis, pour préparer un second balayage qui ne s'en tienne ni à la doxa analytique, ni aux opinions même autorisées de nos ténors et seniors, il sera proposé deux tentatives de redéfinitions (“apophatique” et “récursive”) de ce qu'est l'analyse, ainsi que des outils méthodologiques fonctionnant en aval de ces redéfinitions pour déjouer les embûches de l'homonymie “externe” et “interne” (à partir d'un syllogisme pouvant faire consensus). Le troisième temps sera fait justement de ce second balayage de la problématique, dont les éléments seront reconsidérés et analysés plus méthodiquement : “diagnostic différentiel externe” entre le discours analytique et les discours psychologique, philosophique, sociologique et celui de la science moderne ; et “diagnostic différentiel interne” portant sur l'intrication entre avancées théoriques des analystes et survivance à répétition d'éléments fantasmatiques...Enfin une quatrième partie exposera propositions et perspectives résultant de ces analyses (principe d'économie quant à la source des théorisations analytiques ; dialogue avec les autres champs, mais sans compromissions ; relations spécifiques avec le discours de la science), l'ensemble débouchant sur une invitation, au delà des différends, à renouveler sur certains points la teneur du discours analytique... (shrink)
It is largely acknowledged that natural languages emerge not just from human brains but also from rich communities of interacting human brains (Senghas, ). Yet the precise role of such communities and such interaction in the emergence of core properties of language has largely gone uninvestigated in naturally emerging systems, leaving the few existing computational investigations of this issue at an artificial setting. Here, we take a step toward investigating the precise role of community structure in the emergence of linguistic (...) conventions with both naturalistic empirical data and computational modeling. We first show conventionalization of lexicons in two different classes of naturally emerging signed systems: (a) protolinguistic “homesigns” invented by linguistically isolated Deaf individuals, and (b) a natural sign language emerging in a recently formed rich Deaf community. We find that the latter conventionalized faster than the former. Second, we model conventionalization as a population of interacting individuals who adjust their probability of sign use in response to other individuals' actual sign use, following an independently motivated model of language learning (Yang, , ). Simulations suggest that a richer social network, like that of natural (signed) languages, conventionalizes faster than a sparser social network, like that of homesign systems. We discuss our behavioral and computational results in light of other work on language emergence, and other work of behavior on complex networks. (shrink)
Since at least 2008 linguists and philosophers of language have started paying more serious attention to issues concerning the meaning or use of racial epithets and slurs. In an influential article published in The Journal of Philosophy, for instance, Christopher Hom (2008) offered a semantic account of racial epithets called Combinatorial Externalism (CE) that advanced a novel argument for the exclusion of certain epithets from freedom of speech protection under the First Amendment (p. 435). Also in more recent work, “The (...) Expressive Meaning of Racial Epithets: Towards A Non-Unitary Account of Expressive Meaning,” Diane Blakemore (2013) offered an alternative pragmatic account of racial epithets rooted in Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson’s (1986) relevance theory. Adam Croom (2008) has also discussed epithets before in prior work, through a consideration of a paradigmatic racial epithet directed towards Native Americans, but then moved on in subsequent work to focus on developing a more nuanced account of paradigmatic slurring terms instead (Croom 2010; Croom 2011; Croom 2012; Croom 2013; Croom 2014a; Croom 2014b; Croom under review). So the purpose of this article is to return to and extend the previous account of racial epithets provided by Croom (2008) through a consideration of another paradigmatic racial epithet, but this time one directed towards Asian Americans instead of Native Americans. Here I also offer a novel suggestion for how to differentiate between epithets and slurs, offering new insight into how epithets and slurs are both similar and different. A sample list of over 100 other racial epithets that can be accounted for by the kind of analysis presented here is provided in Croom (2008, p. 44-45). (shrink)
This chapter gives a truthmaker-based account of the semantics of 'reifying' quantifiers like 'something' when they act as complements of intensional transitive verbs ('need', 'look for'). It argues that such quantifiers range over 'variable satisfiers' of the attitudinal object described by the verb (e.g. the need or the search).