Nothing is Hidden: Contextualism and the Grammar‐Meaning Interface

Mind and Language 30 (3):259-291 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


A defining assumption in the debate on contextual influences on truth-conditional content is that such content is often incompletely determined by what is specified in linguistic form. The debate then turns on whether this is evidence for positing a more richly articulated logical form or else a pragmatic process of free enrichment that posits truly unarticulated constituents that are unspecified in linguistic form. Questioning this focus on semantics and pragmatics, this article focuses on the independent grammatical dimensions of the problem. Against the background of a principled account of the different ways in which the lexicon and the grammar, respectively, determine aspects of propositional meaning, and an uncontentious notion of content, nothing turns out to be ‘missing’ in grammatical expressions in order for them to encode complete propositional thoughts. As this predicts, when putatively hidden constituents are made overt or are otherwise added, propositions result that are systematically different from the thoughts originally expressed. Context, while potentially affecting lexically specified aspects of meaning, never affects grammar-determined ones, suggesting a specific role for grammar in the normal cognitive mode



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,685

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Free enrichment or hidden indexicals?Alison Hall - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (4):426-456.
Lambda Grammars and the Syntax-Semantics Interface.Reinhard Muskens - 2001 - In Robert Van Rooij & Martin Stokhof (eds.), Proceedings of the Thirteenth Amsterdam Colloquium. Amsterdam: ILLC. pp. 150-155.
D. Z. Phillips on the Grammar of "God".Anselm K. Min - 2008 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 63 (1-3):131 - 146.
Grammar, Ontology, and the Unity of Meaning.Ulrich Reichard - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Durham
Truth-Conditional Pragmatics.François Recanati - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Contextualism and compositionality.Peter Lasersohn - 2012 - Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (2):171-189.
Contextualism.Claudia Bianchi - 2010 - Handbook of Pragmatics Online.
Narrow syntax and the language of thought.Wolfram Hinzen - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (1):1-23.
A large view of linguistic content.Nicholas Asher - 2007 - Pragmatics and Cognition 15 (1):17-39.


Added to PP

57 (#248,718)

6 months
2 (#648,997)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Wolfram Hinzen
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

References found in this work

Literal Meaning.François Récanati - 2002 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The nature and structure of content.Jeffrey C. King - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 30 references / Add more references