Semantic components, meaning, and use in ethnosemantics

Philosophy of Science 43 (3):378-395 (1976)
The epistemological status of semantic components of ethnosemantics is investigated with reference to Wittgenstein's definition of the meaning of a word as its use in language. Semantic components, like the intension of words in logistic philosophy, constitute the conditions which must pertain to objects in order that they are denoted by particular words. "Componential meaning" is determined to be another form of "unitary meaning" and hence subject to the same critical arguments made by Wittgenstein against the latter's three fundamental types: (1) meanings are objects, (2) meanings are images, and (3) meanings are feelings and mental experiences. A rebuttal to D'Andrade's labeling rule objection to the usage theory of meaning is presented
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DOI 10.1086/288694
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