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Philosophy of Linguistics - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780444517470, 9780080930879

Philosophy of Linguistics

1st Edition

Series Editors: Dov M. Gabbay Paul Thagard John Woods
Series Volume Editors: Ruth Kempson Tim Fernando Nicholas Asher
Hardcover ISBN: 9780444517470
Paperback ISBN: 9781493302321
eBook ISBN: 9780080930879
Imprint: North Holland
Published Date: 14th January 2012
Page Count: 598
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Table of Contents

General Preface


Editorial Preface

Linguistics and Philosophy

1 The Interaction Between Linguistics & Philosophy

2 Linguistic Conceptions of the Nature of Language

3 Philosophical Conceptions of the Nature of Language

4 Key Concepts

5 Methodological Issues

6 Prospects



1 Introduction

2 The Chomsky Hierarchy

3 Conclusions



Logical Grammar

1 Formal Grammar

2 Logical Tools

3 Formal Syntax and Formal Semantics

4 Grammatical Frameworks

5 Why Might Grammar and Processing be Logical?




1 Minimalism as a Mode of Inquiry

Computational Linguistics

1 Defining Computational Linguistics

2 Narratives of Progress

3 Semantics in CL

4 Bayes's Rule

5 Syntactic Structure In CL

The Metaphysics of Natural Language(s)

1 Introduction

2 History

3 Basic Model Structure

4 Ontological Choices

5 From Natural Language Metaphysics to Real Metaphysics

Meaning and Use

1 Introduction

2 Meaning and Reference

3 Meaning and Use

Context in Content Composition

1 Introduction

2 Tools for the Lexicon from Dynamic Semantics

3 From Type Presupposition to Coercion

4 More on Types

5 A Sketch of a Formal Theory of Lexical Meaning

6 Modality, Aspect and the Verbal Complex

7 Discourse Intrusions Revisited

8 Conclusion

Type Theory and Semantics in Flux

5.2 Word meaning in flux

Language, Linguistics and Cognition

1 Introduction

2 Linguistics And Cognitive Data

3 Planning, Reasoning, Meaning

4 The Binding Problem for Semantics


Representationalism and Linguistic Knowledge

1 Positing Representations

2 Representationalism in Linguistic Theory

3 Syntactic and Semantic Representations

4 Representations in Semantics?

5 A Dynamic Solution: From Representation to Construction

6 Implications for Dynamic Perspectives

The Philosophy of Phonology

Introduction: The Nature of Phonological Knowledge

1 The Phonetics/Phonology Distinction

2 Phonology, Groundedness and The Interpretation of ‘The Linguistic Sign’

3 The Acquisition of Phonological Knowledge

4 Normativity, Unconscious Knowledge and Implicit Learning

5 Competence/Performance, Usage-Based Phonology and Frequency Effects

6 Phonology, Internalism and Externalism

7 Concluding Remarks


Computational Learning Theory and Language Acquisition

1 Introduction

2 Linguistic Nativism and Formal Models of Learning

3 Gold's Identification in the Limit Framework

4 Probabilistic Models and Realistic Assumptions about Human Learning

5 Computational Complexity and Efficiency in Language Acquisition

6 Efficient Learning

7 Machine Learning and Grammar Induction: Some Empirical Results

8 Conclusions and Future Research


Linguistics From an Evolutionary Point of View

1 Linguistics and Evolution

2 Semantics From an Evolutionary Point of View

3 Pragmatics From an Evolutionary Point of View

4 Phonetics From an Evolutionary Point of View

5 Phonology From an Evolutionary Point of View

6 Syntax From an Evolutionary Point of View

Linguistics and Gender Studies


1 Indexing Identities

2 Social Meaning

3 Content Meanings (and Their ‘Baggage’) Matter

4 Discourse

5 Conclusion


Linguistics and Anthropology

Linguistic Anthropology in America-Early Roots

1920–1950-Sapir, Whorf and Malinowski

1950–1970-A Period of Transition

Post-Chomskian Anthropological Linguistics

Linguistic Communication as Behavior

Theoretical Models of Communication

Animal Communication vs. Human Communication

1970–1985-Sociolinguistics and the Ethnography of Communication

1985-Present-Discourse and Expressive Communication


Gesture and Non-Verbal Communication

Anthropology and Linguistics in Years to Come



Philosophy of Linguistics investigates the foundational concepts and methods of linguistics, the scientific study of human language. This groundbreaking collection, the most thorough treatment of the philosophy of linguistics ever published, brings together philosophers, scientists and historians to map out both the foundational assumptions set during the second half of the last century and the unfolding shifts in perspective in which more functionalist perspectives are explored. The opening chapter lays out the philosophical background in preparation for the papers that follow, which demonstrate the shift in the perspective of linguistics study through discussions of syntax, semantics, phonology and cognitive science more generally. The volume serves as a detailed introduction for those new to the field as well as a rich source of new insights and potential research agendas for those already engaged with the philosophy of linguistics.

Part of the Handbook of the Philosophy of Science series edited by:

Dov M. Gabbay, King's College, London, UK;
Paul Thagard, University of Waterloo, Canada; and
John Woods, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Key Features

  • Provides a bridge between philosophy and current scientific findings
  • Encourages multi-disciplinary dialogue
  • Covers theory and applications


Researchers, graduate students and senior undergraduates in all branches of the philosophy of science, as well as chemists and their students who are interested in methodological issues that arise in their discipline


No. of pages:
© North Holland 2012
14th January 2012
North Holland
Hardcover ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

Ratings and Reviews

About the Series Editors

Dov M. Gabbay

Dov M. Gabbay is Augustus De Morgan Professor Emeritus of Logic at the Group of Logic, Language and Computation, Department of Computer Science, King's College London. He has authored over four hundred and fifty research papers and over thirty research monographs. He is editor of several international Journals, and many reference works and Handbooks of Logic.

Affiliations and Expertise

King's College London, UK

Paul Thagard

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Waterloo, Canada

John Woods

Affiliations and Expertise

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

About the Series Volume Editors

Ruth Kempson

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Philosophy, King's College London

Tim Fernando

Affiliations and Expertise

Computer Science Dept, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Nicholas Asher

Affiliations and Expertise

Computational Linguistics Lab, University of Texas at Austin, USA