David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Joanna Odrowąż-Sypniewska (ed.), Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science at Warsaw University 4. Semper (2008)
In this paper I consider the idea of external language and examine the role it plays in our understanding of human linguistic practice. Following Michael Devitt, I assume that the subject matter of a linguistic theory is not a psychologically real computational module, but a semiotic system of physical entities equipped with linguistic properties. 2 What are the physical items that count as linguistic tokens and in virtue of what do they possess phonetic, syntactic and semantic properties? According to Devitt, the entities in question are particular bursts of sound or bits of ink that count as standard linguistic entities3 — that is, strings of phonemes, sequences of words and sentences — in virtue of the conventional rules that constitute the structure of the linguistic reality. In my view, however, the bearers of linguistic properties should rather be understood as complex physical states of affairs — that I call, following Ruth G. Millikan, complete linguistic signs4 — within which one can single out their narrow and wide components, that is, (0 sounds or inscriptions produced by the speaker and (if) salient aspects of the context of their production. Moreover, I do not share Devitt's view on the nature of linguistic properties. Even though I maintain the general idea of convention-based semantics — according to which semantic properties of linguistic tokens are essentially conventional — I reject the Lewisian robust account of conventionality. Following Millikan, I assume that language conventions involve neither regular conformity nor mutual understanding.
|Keywords||contextualism literalism semantics/pragmatics interface meaning|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Robyn Carston (2008). Linguistic Communication and the Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction. Synthese 165 (3):321-345.
Corinne Iten (2005). Linguistic Meaning, Truth Conditions and Relevance: The Case of Concessives. Palgrave-Macmillan.
Gergo Somodi (2009). Ignorance Radicalized. Studia Philosophica Estonica 2 (2):140-156.
Georges Rey (2006). Conventions, Intuitions and Linguistic Inexistents. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (3):549-569.
Brian Epstein (2008). The Internal and the External in Linguistic Explanation. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 8 (22):77-111.
Jean-Louis Hudry (2011). Aristotle on Meaning. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 93 (3):253-280.
Prof A. V. Kravchenko (2003). The Ontology of Signs as Linguistic and Non-Linguistic Entities: A Cognitive Perspective. In Kravchenko, Prof. A.V. (2003) the Ontology of Signs as Linguistic and Non-Linguistic Entities: A Cognitive Perspective. [Book Chapter].
Sebastian Löbner (2002). Understanding Semantics. Oxford University Press.
Maciej Witek (2009). Niedookreślenie językowe z punktu widzenia teorii zwrotnych warunków prawdziwości. Filozofia Nauki 3.
Igorʹ A. Melʹčuk (2012). Semantics: From Meaning to Text. John Benjamins.
Added to index2011-06-17
Total downloads257 ( #11,517 of 1,925,521 )
Recent downloads (6 months)83 ( #2,781 of 1,925,521 )
How can I increase my downloads?