By Wolfram Hinzen
This pioneering ebook 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 in terms of the realm via an knowing 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 way of starting off the necessities of the Minimalist application and by means of contemplating the explanatory position performed by way of the interfaces of the linguistic method with different cognitive structures. He then units out an internalist reconstruction of that means. He argues that that means stems from techniques, originating no longer from reference yet from intentional family members equipped up in human acts of language during which such innovations determine. How we refer, he indicates, is a functionality of the ideas we own, instead of the opposite during which connection with the realm offers us the thoughts to gain it. He concludes with prolonged money owed of declarative sentences and names, the 2 features of language which look so much inimical to his approach.The ebook makes vital and radical contributions to idea and debate in linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive technology. the writer frames his argument in a manner that might be without difficulty understandable to students and complex scholars in all 3 disciplines.
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Extra info for An Essay on Names and Truths
To cite Potts and Roeper: The general trend [in acquisition] is toward a one-to-one mapping from structures into meanings. The more structures one has at one’s disposal, the closer one can come to this ideal. Thus, increased syntactic sophistication correlates with decreased semantic ambiguity. (Potts and Roeper 2006: 193) But it seems an unwarranted aspect of this view that the meanings to be expressed are assumed to be simply available independently of the structures that express them. Taking their view literally, the acquisition is like a march to one grand expressive ‘ideal’: full propositional competence.
However, its logical properties cannot in this way vary from world to world. This is not to say that we are necessarily right in the speciWc syntactic format that we use to describe the logicality of natural language expressions. After all, LF-syntax is an empirical account 32 An Essay on Names and Truth of the logical properties of expressions. But it is to say that the properties themselves that we target in our theory of LF could not be diVerent from what they are. The claim is: we have no conception of a thought that lacked them but was the same thought.
The existence of these might lend more credibility to the claim that alethic competence grows as sentential structures do. Thus, at the bottom of a hierarchy of pre-propositional forms of thought we might have the simplest type of self-standing utterances, exclamatives, as in (22): (22) a. Fire! (22) b. Idiot! Slightly more sophisticated are complex expressions that juxtapose two predicates in a pseudo- or pre-clausal fashion that Potts and Roeper (2006) call Expressive Small Clauses (ESCs). These have a characteristic intonation pattern and crucially have an expressive content (as opposed to a declarative and truth-evaluable one).