Language Grammar

Get An Essay on Names and Truths (Oxford Linguistics) PDF

By Wolfram Hinzen

ISBN-10: 0199226520

ISBN-13: 9780199226528

This pioneering e-book lays new foundations for the learn of reference and fact. It seeks to give an explanation for the origins and features of human methods of with regards to the realm through an figuring out of the inherent constructions of the brain. Wolfram Hinzen explores fact within the mild of Noam Chomsky's Minimalist software. fact, he argues, is a functionality of the human brain and, specifically, most likely presupposes the constitution of the human clause. Professor Hinzen starts by means of starting off the necessities of the Minimalist software and via contemplating the explanatory position performed by means of the interfaces of the linguistic process with different cognitive structures. He then units out an internalist reconstruction of which means. He argues that which means stems from strategies, originating now not from reference yet from intentional kin outfitted up in human acts of language during which such suggestions determine. How we refer, he indicates, is a functionality of the recommendations we own, instead of the opposite within which connection with the area provides us the suggestions to achieve it. He concludes with prolonged money owed of declarative sentences and names, the 2 facets of language which appear so much inimical to his approach.The booklet makes vital and radical contributions to idea and debate in linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive technology. the writer frames his argument in a manner that would be easily understandable to students and complex scholars in all 3 disciplines.

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Additional info for An Essay on Names and Truths (Oxford Linguistics)

Sample text

The general Humboldtian vision of language as the creative expression of human thought rather than an externally or functionally driven instrument of communication does not make this claim at all unlikely. 3 Child truth, animal truth What is it about certain structural forms in human language that deprives them of a certain semantic potential such as truth (recall (11))? More fundamentally: why does syntax matter to how we relate to the world in the Wrst place? Few philosophical books on intentionality even mention syntax as one explanatory factor.

Intentional aspects of thought and language are due to the intrinsic combinatorics of the mind, which have no equivalent or causes in the external world, but rather make that world an object of reference in a way it could not be otherwise. Human intentional reference is what it is because of the concepts that conWgure these acts of reference, and the structures that embed them. It is not, or so at least it appears, that the concepts are what they are because of what causal or physical relationship we take up to an environment.

If we move from the intentional properties of names to those of complex noun phrases (NPs), we notice that just as a Wctional name can be used to refer in an entirely standard way, even if it has no physical referent, and a sentential expression means what it does even if it is false, so a complex NP too means whatever it does, even if it picks out nothing in the real world. Thus, the phrase my dinner precisely means my dinner—this is what I am referring to—even if I don’t have one. If, for example, I ponder what my dinner would be like if I had somebody else cook it, the question of 26 An Essay on Names and Truth real-world reference of the phrase my dinner seems irrelevant to the question of what my dinner means.

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An Essay on Names and Truths (Oxford Linguistics) by Wolfram Hinzen


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