One of the major arenas for debate within generative grammar is the nature of paradigmatic relations among words. Intervening in key debates at the interface between syntax and semantics, this book examines the relation between structure and meaning, and analyses how it affects the internal properties of words and corresponding syntactic manifestations. Adapting notions from the Evo-Devo project in biology (the idea of 'co-linearity' between structural units and behavioural manifestations) Juan Uriagereka addresses a major puzzle: how words can be both (...) decomposable so as to be acquired by children, and atomic, so that they do not manifest themselves as modular to adults. (shrink)
This book considers how language can be appropriately theorized as both a natural and cultural phenomenon. In reaching his conclusion, Pateman draws on a wide range of work in linguistics, philosophy, and social theory, and argues in defense of Chomsky and against Wittgenstein, all within the framework of a realist philosophy of science and contemporary social theory.
This volume presents a selection of the most important writings in the debate on the nature of meaning and reference which started one hundred years ago with Frege's classic essay "On Sense and Reference." Contributors include Bertrand Russell, P.F. Strawson, W.V. Quine, Donald Davidson, John McDowell, Michael Dummett, Hilary Putnam, Saul Kripke, David Wiggins, and Gareth Evans. The aim of this series is to bring together important recent writings in major areas of philosophical inquiry, selected from a wide variety of (...) sources, mostly periodicals, which may not be conveniently available to the university student or the general reader. (shrink)
Split constructions are widespread in natural languages. The separation of the semantic restriction of a quantifier from that quantifier is a typical example of such a construction. This study addresses the problem that such discontinuous strings exhibit--namely, a number of locality constraints, including intervention effects. These are shown to follow from the interaction of a minimalist syntax with a semantics that directly assigns a model-theoretic interpretation to syntactic logical forms. The approach is shown to have wide empirical coverage and a (...) conceptual simplicity. The book will be of interest to scholars and advanced students of syntax and semantics. (shrink)
The Extent of the Literal develops a strikingly new approach to metaphor and polysemy in their relation to the conceptual structure. In a straightforward narrative style, the author argues for a reconsideration of standard assumptions concerning the notion of literal meaning and its relation to conceptual structure. She draws on neurophysiological and psychological experimental data in support of a view in which polysemy belongs to the level of words but not to the level of concepts, and thus challenges some seminal (...) work on metaphor and polysemy within cognitive linguistics, lexical semantics and analytical philosophy. (shrink)
The Analysis of Perception i Moore's most systematic attempt to handle the problems of in- tentionality occurs in connection with his analysis of perception in Some Main Problems of Philosophy . He begins the book with the following ...
Are propositions of law true or false? If so, what does it mean to say that propositions of law are true and false? This book takes up these questions in the context of the wider philosophical debate over realism and anti-realism. Despite surface differences, Patterson argues that the leading contemporary jurisprudential theories all embrace a flawed conception of the nature of truth in law. Instead of locating that in virtue of which propositions of law are true, Patterson argues that lawyers (...) use forms of argument to show the truth of propositions of law. Additionally, Patterson argues that the realism/anti-realism debate in jurisprudence is part of a larger argument over the role of postmodernism in jurisprudence. For this, Patterson offers an analytic account of postmodernism and charts its implications for legal theory. This book will be of interest to those in legal theory, philosophy, social and political theory, and ethics. (shrink)
Semantics is a bridge discipline between linguistics and philosophy; but linguistics student are rarely able to reach that bridge, let alone cross it to inspect and assess the activity on the other side. Professor Kempson's textbook seeks particularly to encourage such exchanges. She deals with the standard linguistic topics like componential analysis, semantic universals and the syntax-semantics controversy. But she also provides for students with no training in philosophy or logic an introduction to such central topics in the philosophy of (...) language as logical form, truth, speech acts, analyticity, entailment and presupposition. The exposition throughout is deliberately argumentative rather than descriptive, introducing the student step by step to the major problems in theoretical semantics. Special emphasis is placed on the need to consider individual arguments within the overall perspective of semantics as an integral part of general linguistic theory. Written primarily as a textbook for undergraduates and graduates in linguistics departments, this book will also be useful to undergraduates in philosophy and in psychology where linguistics is a part of their course. (shrink)
Telling Time takes up Heidegger's ideas of a "phenomenological chronology" in an attempt to pose the question of the possibility of a phenomenological language that would be given over to the "temporality of being" and the finitude of existence. The book combines a discussion of approaches to language in the philosophical tradition with readings of Husserl on temporality and the early and late texts of Heidegger's on logic, truth and the nature of language. As well as Heidegger's "deconstruction" of logic (...) and metaphysics Dastur's work is informed by Derrida's deconstruction of the metaphysics of presence and Nietzschean genealogy. Appealing as much to Humboldt's philosophy of language as to Hölderlin's poetic thought, the book illuminates the eminently dialectical structure of speech and its essential connection with mortality. (shrink)
Argues that rebuilding ethical communities will require a cultural reorientation from visually dominated to oral/aural experience and develops a speech-based conception of moral place that can set limits on the actions of individuals and communities.
The ability to produce and understand referring expressions is basic to human language use and human cognition. Reference comprises the ability to think of and represent objects (both real and imagined/fictional), to indicate to others which of these objects we are talking about, and to determine what others are talking about when they use a nominal expression. The articles in this volume are concerned with some of the central themes and challenges in research on reference within the cognitive sciences - (...) philosophy (including philosophy of language and mind, logic, and formal semantics), theoretical and computational linguistics, and cognitive psychology. The papers address four basic questions: What is reference? What is the appropriate analysis of different referring forms, such as definite descriptions? How is reference resolved? and How do speaker/writers select appropriate referring forms, such as pronouns vs. full noun phrases, demonstrative vs. personal pronouns, and overt vs. null/zero pronominal forms? Some of the papers assume and build on existing theories, such as Centering Theory and the Givenness Hierarchy framework; others propose their own models of reference understanding or production. The essays examine reference from a number of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, informed by different research traditions and employing different methodologies. While the contributors to the volume were primarily trained in one of the four represented disciplines-computer science, linguistics, philosophy and psychology, and use methodologies typical of that discipline, each of them bridges more than one discipline in their methodology and/or their approach. (shrink)
Linguistic Semantics: An Introduction is the successor to Sir John Lyons's important textbook Language, Meaning and Context (1981).While preserving the general structure of the earlier book, the author has substantially expanded its scope to introduce several topics that were not previously discussed, and to take account of new developments in linguistic semantics over the past decade. The resulting work is an invaluable guide to the subject, offering clarifications of its specialised terms and explaining its relationship to formal and philosophical semantics (...) and to contemporary pragmatics. With its clear and accessible style it will appeal to a wide student readership. Sir John Lyons is one of the most important and internationally renowned contributors to the study of linguistics. His many publications include Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics (1968) and Semantics (1977). (shrink)
Exponents and critics of semantic presupposition have almost invariably based their discussion on the ('Standard') definition of presupposition implied by Frege and Strawson. In this study Noel Burton-Roberts argues convincingly against this definition, that leads it to a three-valued semantics. He presents a very simple semantic definition which is weaker, more general and leads to a semantics more easily interpreted as two-valued with gaps. The author shows that a wide range of intuitive facts that eluded the Standard definition follow directly (...) from this ('Revised') definition itself: facts about the presuppositions of compound sentences and modal sentences, about presuppositional conflict and about differences in the logical status of simple sentences suffering from presupposition failure. The book includes a detailed argument that an ambiguity of natural language negation, generally assumed to be necessary to the defence of semantic presupposition, is neither possible nor necessary in a presuppositional semantics. Noel Burton-Roberts has made an authoritative contribution to a debate which has involved philosophers and linguists for many years. His command of the issues, his clarity of exposition and his theoretical insight may well serve to change the boundaries of that debate. (shrink)
Meaning seems to shift from context to context; how do we know when someone says "grab a chair" that an ottoman or orange crate will do, but when someone says "let's buy a chair," they won't? In Plastic Glasses and Church Fathers, Kronenfeld offers a theory that explains both the usefulness of language's variability of reference and the mechanisms which enable us to understand each other in spite of the variability. Kronenfeld's theory, rooted in the tradition of ethnoscience (or cognitive (...) anthropology), accomplishes three things. First, it distinguishes prototypic referents from extended referents. Second, it describes the various bases of semantic extensions. Finally it details how we use the situational context of usage, the linguistic context of opposition and inclusion, and the conceptual context of knowledge about the world to interpret communicative events. (shrink)
This book expounds and defends a new conception of the relation between truth and meaning. Atlas argues that the sense of a sense-general sentence radically underdetermines its truth-conditional content. He applies this linguistic analysis to illuminate old and new philosophical problems of meaning, truth, falsity, negation, existence, presupposition, and implicature. In particular, he demonstrates how the concept of ambiguity has been misused and confused with other concepts of meaning, and how the interface between semantics and pragmatics has been misunderstood. The (...) problems he tackles are common to philosophy, linguistics, cognitive psychology, and artificial intelligence, and his conclusions will be of interest to all those working in these fields. (shrink)
The nature of reference, or the relation of a word to the object to which it refers, has been perhaps the dominant concern of twentieth-century analytic philosophy. Extremely influential arguments by Gottlob Frege around the turn of the century convinced the large majority of philosophers that the meaning of a word must be distinguished from its referent, the former only providing some kind of direction for reaching the latter. In the last twenty years, this Fregean orthodoxy has been vigorously challenged (...) by those who argue that certain important kinds of words, at least, refer directly without need of an intermediate meaning or sense. The essays in this volume record how a long-term study of Frege has persuaded the author that Frege's pivotal distinction between sense and reference, and his attendant philosophical views about language and thought, are unsatisfactory. Frege's perspective, he argues, imposes a distinctive way of thinking about semantics, specifically about the centrality of cognitive significance puzzles for semantics. Freed from Frege's perspective, we will no longer find it natural to think about semantics in this way. (shrink)