Synthese 190 (12):2165-2193 (2013)

Peter Gärdenfors
Lund University
We present an account of semantics that is not construed as a mapping of language to the world but rather as a mapping between individual meaning spaces. The meanings of linguistic entities are established via a “meeting of minds.” The concepts in the minds of communicating individuals are modeled as convex regions in conceptual spaces. We outline a mathematical framework, based on fixpoints in continuous mappings between conceptual spaces, that can be used to model such a semantics. If concepts are convex, it will in general be possible for interactors to agree on joint meaning even if they start out from different representational spaces. Language is discrete, while mental representations tend to be continuous—posing a seeming paradox. We show that the convexity assumption allows us to address this problem. Using examples, we further show that our approach helps explain the semantic processes involved in the composition of expressions
Keywords Conceptual spaces  Fixpoint semantics  Meeting of minds  Compositionality  Cognitive semantics
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-011-9963-z
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References found in this work BETA

Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Kellogg Lewis - 1969 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - University of Chicago Press.
The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.

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Citations of this work BETA

Putting Prototypes in Place.Igor Douven - 2019 - Cognition 193:104007.
Intentional Vagueness.Andreas Blume & Oliver Board - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S4):1-45.

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