Philosophy of Linguistics

Philosophy of Linguistics

1st Edition - January 14, 2012

Write a review

  • Editors: Dov M. Gabbay, Paul Thagard, John Woods
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080930879
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444517470

Purchase options

Purchase options
DRM-free (Mobi, EPub, PDF)
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out

Institutional Subscription

Free Global Shipping
No minimum order


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

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


Product details

  • No. of pages: 598
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © North Holland 2012
  • Published: January 14, 2012
  • Imprint: North Holland
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080930879
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444517470

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

Augustus De Morgan Professor Emeritus of Logic at the Group of Logic, Language and Computation, Department of Computer Science, King's College London.

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

Ratings and Reviews

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for "Philosophy of Linguistics"