Semantic externalism, language variation, and sociolinguistic accommodation

Mind and Language 23 (5):607-633 (2008)
Abstract:   Chomsky (1986) has claimed that the prima facie incompatibility between descriptive linguistics and semantic externalism proves that an externalist semantics is impossible. Although it is true that a strong form of externalism does not cohere with descriptive linguistics, sociolinguistic theory can unify the two approaches. The resulting two-level theory reconciles descriptivism, mentalism, and externalism by construing community languages as a function of social identification. This approach allows a fresh look at names and definite descriptions while also responding to Chomsky's (1993, 1995) challenge to articulate an externalist theory of meaning that can be used in the scientific investigation of language.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2008.00355.x
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References found in this work BETA
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Harvard University Press.
Word and Object.W. V. Quine - 1960 - MIT Press.
Mind, Language, and Reality.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Russellians Can Have a No Proposition View of Empty Names.Thomas William Strickland Hodgson - forthcoming - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-22.
Methodology, Not Metaphysics: Against Semantic Externalism.John Collins - 2009 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):53-69.

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