EVERY speaker of a language knows a bewildering variety of linguistic facts, and will
come to know many more. It is knowledge that connects sound and meaning. Questions
about the nature of this knowledge cannot be separated from fundamental
questions about the nature of language. The conception of language we should adopt
depends on the part it plays in explaining our knowledge of language. This chapter
explores options in accounting for language, and our knowledge of language, and
defends the view that individuals’ languages are constituted by the standing knowledge
they carry from one speech situation to another.