11 found
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  1. Problems and mysteries of the many languages of thought.Eric Mandelbaum, Yarrow Dunham, Roman Feiman, Chaz Firestone, E. J. Green, Daniel Harris, Melissa M. Kibbe, Benedek Kurdi, Myrto Mylopoulos, Joshua Shepherd, Alexis Wellwood, Nicolas Porot & Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2022 - Cognitive Science 46 (12): e13225.
    “What is the structure of thought?” is as central a question as any in cognitive science. A classic answer to this question has appealed to a Language of Thought (LoT). We point to emerging research from disparate branches of the field that supports the LoT hypothesis, but also uncovers diversity in LoTs across cognitive systems, stages of development, and species. Our letter formulates open research questions for cognitive science concerning the varieties of rules and representations that underwrite various LoT-based systems (...)
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  2.  17
    The Meaning of More.Alexis Wellwood - 2019 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    This book reimagines the compositional semantics of comparative sentences using words such as more, as, too, and others. The book's central thesis entails a rejection of a fundamental assumption of degree semantic frameworks: that gradable adjectives like tall lexicalize functions from individuals to degrees, i.e., measure functions. I argue that comparative expressions in English themselves introduce “measure functions”; this is the case whether that morphology targets adjectives, as in *taller* or *more intelligent*; nouns, as in *more coffee*, *more coffees*; verbs, (...)
  3.  68
    On the semantics of comparison across categories.Alexis Wellwood - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (1):67-101.
    This paper explores the hypothesis that all comparative sentences— nominal, verbal, and adjectival—contain instances of a single morpheme that compositionally introduces degrees. This morpheme, sometimes pronounced much, semantically contributes a structure-preserving map from entities, events, or states, to their measures along various dimensions. A major goal of the paper is to argue that the differences in dimensionality observed across domains are a consequence of what is measured, as opposed to which expression introduces the measurement. The resulting theory has a number (...)
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  4. Confidence Reports.Fabrizio Cariani, Paolo Santorio & Alexis Wellwood - manuscript
    We advocate and develop a states-based semantics for both nominal and adjectival confidence reports, as in "Ann is confident/has confidence that it's raining", and their comparatives "Ann is more confident/has more confidence that it's raining than that it's snowing". Other examples of adjectives that can report confidence include "sure" and "certain". Our account adapts Wellwood's account of adjectival comparatives in which the adjectives denote properties of states, and measure functions are introduced compositionally. We further explore the prospects of applying these (...)
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  5. 'Being tall compared to' compared to 'being tall' and 'being taller'.Jaime Castillo-Gamboa, Alexis Wellwood & Deniz Rudin - 2021 - Proceedings of Elm 1:78-89.
    This paper investigates the semantics of implicit comparatives (Alice is tall compared to Bob) and its connections to the semantics of explicit comparatives (Alice is taller than Bob) and sentences with adjectives in plain positive form (Alice is tall). We consider evidence from two experiments that tested judgments about these three kinds of sentence, and provide a semantics for implicit comparatives from the perspective of degree semantics.
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  6.  23
    WHAT more IS.Alexis Wellwood - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):454-486.
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  7. Positive gradable adjective ascriptions without positive morphemes.Fabrizio Cariani, Paolo Santorio & Alexis Wellwood - forthcoming - Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 2023.
    A long-standing tension in semantic theory concerns the reconciliation of positive gradable adjective (GA) ascriptions and comparative GA ascriptions. Vagueness-based ap- proaches derive the comparative from the positive, and face non-trivial challenges with incommensurability and non-GA comparatives. Classic degree-based approaches effectively derive the positive from the comparative, out of sync with the direction of evidence from morphology, and create some difficulties in accounting for GA scale-mates with differing thresholds (e.g., cold ∼ warm ∼ hot). We propose a new reconciliation that (...)
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  8. Interpreting Degree Semantics.Alexis Wellwood - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
    Contemporary research in compositional, truth-conditional semantics often takes judgments of the relative unacceptability of certain phrasal combinations as evidence for lexical semantics. For example, observing that completely full sounds perfectly natural whereas completely tall does not has been used to motivate a distinction whereby the lexical entry for full but not for tall specifies a scalar endpoint. So far, such inferences seem unobjectionable. In general, however, applying this methodology can lead to dubious conclusions. For example, observing that slightly bent is (...)
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  9.  49
    On how verification tasks are related to verification procedures: a reply to Kotek et al.Tim Hunter, Jeffrey Lidz, Darko Odic & Alexis Wellwood - 2017 - Natural Language Semantics 25 (2):91-107.
    Kotek et al. argue on the basis of novel experimental evidence that sentences like ‘Most of the dots are blue’ are ambiguous, i.e. have two distinct truth conditions. Kotek et al. furthermore suggest that when their results are taken together with those of earlier work by Lidz et al., the overall picture that emerges casts doubt on the conclusions that Lidz et al. drew from their earlier results. We disagree with this characterization of the relationship between the two studies. Our (...)
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  10.  15
    Linguistic meanings in mind.Alexis Wellwood & Tim Hunter - 2023 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 46:e289.
    The target article focuses on evidence from nonlinguistic faculties to defend the claim that cognition generally traffics in language-of-thought (LoT)-type representations. This focus creates needed space to discuss the mounting accumulation of nonclassical evidence for LoT, but it also misses relevant work in linguistics that directly offers a perspective on specific hypotheses about candidate LoT representations.
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  11. Talking about causing events.C. A. Vogel, Alexis Wellwood, Rachel Dudley & J. Brendan Ritchie - 2014 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 9 (1).
    Questions about the nature of the relationship between language and extralinguistic cognition are old, but only recently has a new view emerged that allows for the systematic investigation of claims about linguistic structure, based on how it is understood or utilized outside of the language system. Our paper represents a case study for this interaction in the domain of event semantics. We adopt a transparency thesis about the relationship between linguistic structure and extralinguistic cognition, investigating whether different lexico-syntactic structures can (...)
     
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