About this topic
Summary The philosophy of linguistics deals with philosophical issues arising in connection with the discipline of linguistics. It covers a wide variety of topics, including: (a) ontological issues, such as the nature of languages and of related entities (e.g. sentences and words), as well the proper characterization of the subject matter of the discipline; (b) epistemological issues, such as the nature and scope of a speaker's knowledge of her language; (c) methodological issues concerning the goals of theorization and the nature of linguistic explanation, the appropriate roles of abstraction and idealization, the import of the competence/performance distinction, and the kinds of data that may justify linguistic hypotheses.
Key works

Chapter 1 of Chomsky 1965 contains a seminal discussion of methodological and epistemological issues, such as the competence-performance distinction, the connection between explanatory adequacy and language acquisition, the place of intuitions/judgments as a source of evidence and the nature and role of abstraction and idealization in theorization. 

Chomsky 1980  has Chomsky's replies to criticisms posed by philosophers (among others), including worries about innateness and about the "psychological reality" of the posits of linguistic theory.

  Chomsky 1986 is the locus classicus for the distinction between I-Language and E-Language, and it also presents a very influential (and controversial) characterization of linguistics as a "branch of cognitive psychology".

Katz 1980 is a sustained critique of the Chomskyan perspective, and offers an alternative, Platonic conception of linguistics as a non-empirical, formal discipline. Soames 1984  and Higginbotham 1983, respectively, seek to combine an empirical view of linguistic research with a Platonic ontology of its subject matter. 

  Katz 1985 is the first collection of papers to bear the title "Philosophy of Linguistics", and it features many of the early key works. Chomsky & George 1989 includes several influential papers dealing with the ontology and epistemology of linguistics—notably George 1989 and Peacocke 1989

 Devitt 2006 is an attack on several aspects of the Chomskyan conception, such as the "psychological" view of linguistics and what Devitt calls the "Cartesian view" of linguistic intuitions.

Ludlow 2011  is one of the most recent monograph-length treatments of the topics mentioned above, and also contains discussions of issues such as normativity and rule-following, simplicity and formalization, and the externalist-internalist debate in semantics and in syntax. 

Introductions Pelletier 2000, Ludlow 1998
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  1. Inquiries in Philosophical Pragmatics: Issues in Linguistics.Fabrizio Macagno & Alessandro Capone (eds.) - 2021 - Springer.
    Together with the first volume “Inquiries in philosophical pragmatics: Theoretical developments,” this book collects contributions that represent the state of the art on the interconnection between pragmatics and philosophy. While the first volume presents the philosophical dimension of pragmatics, showing the path from theoretical advances to practical uses and approaches, this second volume offers a specular view on this discipline. Instead of adopting the top-down view of the first volume, this collection of eleven chapters starts from the analysis of linguistic (...)
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  2. Inquiries in Philosophical Pragmatics. Theoretical Developments.Fabrizio Macagno & Alessandro Capone (eds.) - 2021 - Cham: Springer.
    Together with the volume “Inquiries in philosophical pragmatics: Linguistic and theoretical issues,” this book collects selected contributions to the conference Pragmasophia II held in Lisbon in 2018. This first volume intends to contribute to the dialogue between philosophers and linguists, trying to broaden the boundaries of this discipline defined by the crucial notions of context and verbal action. To this purpose, the contributions are collected in an order that reflects the core and the frontiers of pragmatics, the former constituted by (...)
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  3. Mixed Computation: Grammar Up and Down the Chomsky Hierarchy.Diego Gabriel Krivochen - 2021 - Evolutionary Linguistic Theory 2 (3):215-244.
    Proof-theoretic models of grammar are based on the view that an explicit characterization of a language comes in the form of the recursive enumeration of strings in that language. That recur-sive enumeration is carried out by a procedure which strongly generates a set of structural de-scriptions Σ and weakly generates a set of strings S; a grammar is thus a function that pairs an element of Σ with elements of S. Structural descriptions are obtained by means of Context-Free phrase structure (...)
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  4. Systematizität der Sprache und Systematizität des Denkens bei Destutt de Tracy.Lucia Oliveri - 2020 - In Kurt Bayertz und Nikola Anna Kompa und Niko Strobach (ed.), Das Projekt einer ‚Idéologie‘ Destutt de Tracys Ideenlehre als Wissenschaftsbewegung der Spätaufklärung. Amburgo, Germania: pp. 61-84.
    Destutt de Tracy zielt darauf ab, zu erklären, wie inter- und transsubjektive Prozesse auf das einzelne Individuum wirken und es gestalten. Dafür braucht er eine externalistische Sprachtheorie und eine sensualistische kognitive Architektur, nach der Denken Empfinden ist. Das Denken ist relational, aber wird nicht auf kognitiver Ebene durch sprachähnliche Strukturen – durch die Syntax und Semantik einer Mentalsprache – implementiert. Obwohl Externalismus und sensualistische Architektur in eine inkohärente Theorie zu münden scheinen, versucht Destutt de Tracy die Spannung durch seine Entwicklungsgeschichte (...)
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  5. Slurs, Neutral Counterparts, and What You Could Have Said.Arianna Falbo - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (4):359-375.
  6. Reimagining Illocutionary Force.Lucy McDonald - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Speech act theorists tend to hold that the illocutionary force of an utterance is determined by one interlocutor alone: either the speaker or the hearer. Yet experience tells us that the force of our utterances is not determined unilaterally. Rather, communication often feels collaborative. In this paper, I develop and defend a collaborative theory of illocutionary force, according to which the illocutionary force of an utterance is determined by an agreement reached by the speaker and the hearer. This theory, which (...)
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  7. (What) Can Deep Learning Contribute to Theoretical Linguistics?Gabe Dupre - 2021 - Minds and Machines 31 (4):617-635.
    Deep learning techniques have revolutionised artificial systems’ performance on myriad tasks, from playing Go to medical diagnosis. Recent developments have extended such successes to natural language processing, an area once deemed beyond such systems’ reach. Despite their different goals, these successes have suggested that such systems may be pertinent to theoretical linguistics. The competence/performance distinction presents a fundamental barrier to such inferences. While DL systems are trained on linguistic performance, linguistic theories are aimed at competence. Such a barrier has traditionally (...)
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  8. Intuitions About the Reference of Proper Names: a Meta-Analysis.Noah van Dongen, Matteo Colombo, Felipe Romero & Jan Sprenger - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (4):745-774.
    The finding that intuitions about the reference of proper names vary cross-culturally was one of the early milestones in experimental philosophy. Many follow-up studies investigated the scope and magnitude of such cross-cultural effects, but our paper provides the first systematic meta-analysis of studies replicating. In the light of our results, we assess the existence and significance of cross-cultural effects for intuitions about the reference of proper names.
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  9. A Short History of Linguistics.Robert Henry Robins - 1967 - London, England: Longmans.
    This complete revision and updating of Professor Robins' classic text offers a comprehensive account of the history of linguistic thought from its European origins some 2500 years ago to the present day. It examines the independent development of linguistic science in China and Medieval Islam, and especially in India, which was to have a profound effect on European and American linguistics from the end of the eighteenth century. The fourth edition of A Short History of Linguistics gives a greater prominence (...)
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  10. Interdisciplinary Works in Logic, Epistemology, Psychology and Linguistics: Dialogue, Rationality, and Formalism.Manuel Rebuschi, Gerhard Heinzmann Martine Batt, Michel Musiol Franck Lihoreau & Alain Trognon (eds.) - 2014 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
    This book presents comparisons of recent accounts in the formalization of natural language with informal conceptions of interaction that have been developed in both psychology and epistemology. There are four parts which explore: historical and systematic studies; the formalization of context in epistemology; the formalization of reasoning in interactive contexts in psychology; the formalization of pathological conversations. Part one discusses the Erlangen School, which proposed a logical analysis of science as well as an operational reconstruction of psychological concepts. These first (...)
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  11. Mathematical Methods in Linguistics.Barbara Partee, Alice ter Meulen & Robert Wall - 1987 - Boston, MA, USA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    Elementary set theory accustoms the students to mathematical abstraction, includes the standard constructions of relations, functions, and orderings, and leads to a discussion of the various orders of infinity. The material on logic covers not only the standard statement logic and first-order predicate logic but includes an introduction to formal systems, axiomatization, and model theory. The section on algebra is presented with an emphasis on lattices as well as Boolean and Heyting algebras. Background for recent research in natural language semantics (...)
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  12. New Horizons in Linguistics.John Lyons (ed.) - 1970 - Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books.
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  13. Foundations of the Formal Sciences Ii: Applications of Mathematical Logic in Philosophy and Linguistics, Papers of a Conference Held in Bonn, November 10–13, 2000. [REVIEW]Benedikt Löwe, Wolfgang Malzkom & Thoralf Räsch (eds.) - 2003 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    "Foundations of the Formal Sciences" is a series of interdisciplinary conferences in mathematics, philosophy, computer science and linguistics. The main goal is to reestablish the traditionally strong links between these areas of research that have been lost in the past decades. The second conference in the series had the subtitle "Applications of Mathematical Logic in Philosophy and Linguistics" and brought speakers from all parts of the Formal Sciences together to give a holistic view of how mathematical methods can improve our (...)
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  14. Investigations in Modal and Tense Logics with Applications to Problems in Philosophy and Linguistics.Dov M. Gabbay - 1976 - Dordrecht and Boston: Reidel.
    This book is intended to serve as an advanced text and reference work on modal logic, a subject of growing importance which has applications to philosophy and linguistics. Although it is based mainly on research which I carried out during the years 1969-1973, it also includes some related results obtained by other workers in the field. Parts 0, 1 and 2, can be used as the basis of a one year graduate course in modal logic. The material which they contain (...)
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  15. Studies in Linguistic Semantics: Papers Presented at a Conference Sponsored by the Dept. Of Linguistics, Ohio State University, April 14-15, 1969. [REVIEW]Charles J. Fillmore & D. Terence Langendoen (eds.) - 1971 - New York, NY, USA: Holt, Reinhart and Winston.
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  16. Basic Problems in Methodology and Linguistics.Robert E. Butts & Kaarlo Jaakko Juhani Hintikka (eds.) - 1977 - Dordrecht and Boston: Reidel.
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  17. Evolutionary Linguistics Can Help Refine (and Test) Hypotheses About How Music Might Have Evolved.Antonio Benítez-Burraco - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44.
    Both the music and social bonding hypothesis and the music as a credible signal hypothesis emerge as solid views of how human music and human musicality might have evolved. Nonetheless, both views could be improved with the consideration of the way in which human language might have evolved under the effects of our self-domestication.
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  18. Words, Species, and Kinds.J. T. M. Miller - 2021 - Metaphysics 4 (1):18–31.
    It has been widely argued that words are analogous to species such that words, like species, are natural kinds. In this paper, I consider the metaphysics of word-kinds. After arguing against an essentialist approach, I argue that word-kinds are homeostatic property clusters, in line with the dominant approach to other biological and psychological kinds.
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  19. Corpus Linguistics in Legal Discourse.Stanisław Goźdź-Roszkowski - 2021 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 34 (5):1515-1540.
    There are many different ways in which modern Corpus Linguistics can be used to enrich and broaden our understanding of legal discourse. Based on the central principle of co-occurrence and co-selection in language construction, this paper reviews current applications of Corpus Linguistics in the area of legal discourse focusing on issues ranging from phraseology, variation in legal discourse, legal translation, register and genre perspectives on legal discourse, legal discourse in forensic contexts to evaluative language in judicial settings. It revisits the (...)
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  20. Lexicon Grammaticorum: A Bio-Bibliographical Companion to the History of Linguistics.Harro Stammerjohann, Sylvain Auroux, Lois Grossman & Mark DeVoto (eds.) - 2009
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  21. Chomsky Vis-a-Vis the Methodology of Science.Thomas Johnston - manuscript
    (1) In the first part of this paper, I review Chomsky's meandering journey from the formalism/mentalism of Syntactic Structures, through several methodological positions, to the minimalist theory of his latest work. Infected with mentalism from first to last, each and every position vitiates Chomsky's repeated claims that his theories will provide useful guidance to later theories in such fields as cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. With the guidance of his insights, he claims, psychologists and neuroscientists will be able to avoid (...)
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  22. Linguistics and Deception Detection (DD): A Work in Progress.Thomas Wulstan Christiansen - 2021 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 66 (2):169-200.
    Linguistic Deception Detection DD is a well-established part of forensic linguistics and an area that continues to attract attention on the part of researchers, self-styled experts, and the public at large. In this article, the various approaches to DD within the general field of linguistics are examined. The basic method is to treat language as a form of behaviour and to equate marked linguistic behaviour with other marked forms of behaviour. Such a comparison has been identified in other fields such (...)
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  23. What Can Cognitive Linguistics Tell Us About Language-Image Relations? A Multidimensional Approach to Intersemiotic Convergence in Multimodal Texts.Javier Marmol Queralto & Christopher Hart - 2021 - Cognitive Linguistics 32 (4):529-562.
    In contrast to symbol-manipulation approaches, Cognitive Linguistics offers a modal rather than an amodal account of meaning in language. From this perspective, the meanings attached to linguistic expressions, in the form of conceptualisations, have various properties in common with visual forms of representation. This makes Cognitive Linguistics a potentially useful framework for identifying and analysing language-image relations in multimodal texts. In this paper, we investigate language-image relations with a specific focus on intersemiotic convergence. Analogous with research on gesture, we extend (...)
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  24. The Critique of Gender Linguistics From the Perspective of Feminist Linguistics.L. A. Ulianitckaia - 2021 - Дискурс 7 (2):135-155.
    Introduction. The paper reviews features and main problems of feminist linguistics. The novelty of the study is an unparalleled take on feminist linguistics in contradistinction to gender linguistics; the identification of their fundamental differences as well as emphasizing arguments in favour of both scholarly importance and practical value of feminist linguistic studies. The relevance of the study is conditioned by the lack of academic papers concerning the subject; the growing interest in studying the language as an anthropocentric sociocultural phenomenon; and (...)
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  25. Probabilistic Semantics for Epistemic Modals: Normality Assumptions, Conditional Epistemic Spaces, and the Strength of `Must' and `Might'.Guillermo Del Pinal - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-42.
    The epistemic modal auxiliaries 'must' and 'might' are vehicles for expressing the force with which a proposition follows from some body of evidence or information. Standard approaches model these operators using quantificational modal logic, but probabilistic approaches are becoming increasingly influential. According to a traditional view, 'must' is a maximally strong epistemic operator and 'might' is a bare possibility one. A competing account---popular amongst proponents of a probabilisitic turn---says that, given a body of evidence, 'must p' entails that Pr(p) is (...)
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  26. Pragmatics as a New Branch of Linguistics.Abdukarimov Valixon - unknown
    The following article focuses on the new branch of linguistics called Pragmatics. We used different sources and give different definitions to the term Pragmatics. The article gives information about what Pragmatics is and to make it easier to understand we used various examples of everyday English.
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  27. Doing Linguistics with a Corpus: Methodological Considerations for the Everyday User.[author unknown] - 2020
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  28. Book Review: Jesse Egbert, Tove Larsson and Douglas Biber, Doing Linguistics with a Corpus: Methodological Considerations for the Everyday User. [REVIEW]Mark McGlashan - 2021 - Discourse Studies 23 (4):560-562.
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  29. Ferrer Costa, Joan, Feliu, Francesc y Fullana, Olga (Eds.), The Biblical Book of Daniel: The Catalan Translation by the French Hebraist Maties Delcor. IVITRA Research in Linguistics and Literature: Studies, Editions and Translations, 19.Javier Del Barco del Barco - 2021 - 'Ilu. Revista de Ciencias de Las Religiones 24:156-158.
    En este artículo se trata sobre la controvertida cuestión del origen de la amidá, principal oración del servicio religioso judío, en el contexto de creación de la liturgia rabínica tras la destrucción del Templo de Jerusalén en el año 70 d. C. Para ello se analiza primero su estructura formal y literaria, ofreciendo a continuación un análisis crítico sobre su origen que se hace eco del debate académico acerca de la cuestión. En apéndice se ofrece una traducción anotada de esta (...)
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  30. Book Review: The Routledge Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics. [REVIEW]Yang Yao & Qiujun Su - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
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  31. Is Linguistics a Branch of Psychology?Stephen Laurence - 2003 - In Alex Barber (ed.), Epistemology of Language. Clarendon Press.
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  32. What Are Abstract Concepts? On Lexical Ambiguity and Concreteness Ratings.Guido Löhr - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-18.
    In psycholinguistics, concepts are considered abstract if they do not apply to physical objects that we can touch, see, feel, hear, smell or taste. Psychologists usually distinguish concrete from abstract concepts by means of so-called concreteness ratings. In concreteness rating studies, laypeople are asked to rate the concreteness of words based on the above criterion. The wide use of concreteness ratings motivates an assessment of them. I point out two problems: First, most current concreteness ratings test the intuited concreteness of (...)
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  33. The Temperature Paradox and Meaning Postulates.Casper Storm Hansen - 2016 - Linguistic Inquiry 47:695-705.
    Lasersohn has argued that the use of Russell's analysis of the definite determiner in Montague Grammar, which is responsible for giving the correct prediction in the case of the Temperature Paradox, is also responsible for giving the wrong prediction in the case of the Gupta Syllogism. In this paper I argue against Lasersohn, and show that the problem of the Gupta Syllogism can be solved by making a minor addition to Intensional Montague Grammar. This solution is one that Lasersohn discusses (...)
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  34. Against Epistemic Absolutism.Changsheng Lai - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3945-3967.
    Epistemic absolutism is an orthodox view that propositional knowledge is an ungradable concept. Absolutism is primarily grounded in our ungradable uses of “knows” in ordinary language. This paper advances a thorough objection to the linguistic argument for absolutism. My objection consists of two parts. Firstly, arguments for absolutism provided by Jason Stanley and Julien Dutant will be refuted respectively. After that, two more general refutation-strategies will be proposed: counterevidence against absolutism can be found in both English and non-English languages; the (...)
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  35. Schnittstellen: Linguistik. Die Frage nach der Struktur der Sprache.Louise Röska-Hardy - 2015 - In Nikola Kompa (ed.), Handbuch Sprachphilosophie. Stuttgart, Germany: pp. 383-393.
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  36. Wundt and Bühler on Gestural Expression: From Psycho-Physical Mirroring to the Diacrisis.Basil Vassilicos - 2020 - In Arnaud Dewalque, Sébastien Richard & Charlotte Gauvry (eds.), Philosophy of Language in the Brentano School. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 279-297.
    This paper explores how Wundt’s and Bühler’s respective conceptions of gestural expression have implications for how each conceives of what, in broad terms, may be understood as a ‘grammar of gestures’: that is, the rules for the formation and performance of gestures with and without speech. Unlike previous scholarship that has looked at the relationship of Wundt and Bühler, the aim here will be to give particular attention to the relevance of their respective accounts for current philosophical and linguistic research (...)
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  37. The Cognitive Sciences: A Comment on 6 Reviews of The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences.Robert A. Wilson - 2001 - Artificial Intelligence 130 (2):223-229.
    As the pluralization in the title of MITECS suggests, and as many reviewers have noted, the stance that we adopted as general editors for this project was ecumenical. We were particularly concerned to generate a volume whose range of topics and perspectives indicated that “cognitive science” was different things to different groups of researchers, and that many even fundamental questions remain open after at least four decades of various interdisciplinary ventures. Implicit in this view is a wariness of any putative (...)
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  38. De nieuwe taalwetenschappen.Nathalie Gontier & Katrien Mondt - 2006 - In Nathalie Gontier & Katrien Mondt (eds.), Dynamisch Inter(-en trans)disciplinair Taal Onderzoek: De nieuwe taalwetenschappen. pp. 3-20.
  39. Evolutie van taal.Nathalie Gontier - 2006 - In I. Tallon (ed.), Evolutie vandaag: hoe de dingen ontstaan en waarom ze veranderen. pp. 239-263.
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  40. An Epistemological Inquiry Into the ‘What is Language’ Question and the ‘What Did Language Evolve for’ Question.Nathalie Gontier - 2006 - In A. Cangelosi (ed.), The evolution of language: proceedings of the 6th international conference (EVOLANG 6). pp. 107-114.
  41. On the Different Applications of Haeckel’s Biogenetic Law In Language Origin and Evolution Studies.Nathalie Gontier - 2008 - In S. Kern (ed.), Emergence of Language abilities. pp. 12-29.
  42. The Origin of the Social Approach in Language and Cognitive Research Exemplified by Studies Into the Origin of Language.Nathalie Gontier - 2009 - In H. Pishwa (ed.), Language and Social Cognition: Expressions of the social mind. pp. 25-46.
  43. On Constructing a Research Model for Historical Cognitive Linguistics (HCL): Some Theoretical Considerations.Nathalie Gontier - 2010 - In M. E. Winters (ed.), Historical Cognitive Linguistics. pp. 31-69.
  44. How to Identify the Units, Levels and Mechanisms of Language Evolution.Nathalie Gontier - 2010 - In A. D. M. Smith (ed.), The evolution of language: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference (EVOLANG 8). pp. 176-183.
  45. What Are the Levels and Mechanisms/Processes of Language Evolution?Nathalie Gontier - 2017 - Language Sciences 1 (63):12-43.
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  46. Pattern Similarity in Biological, Linguistic, and Sociocultural Evolution.Nathalie Gontier - 2018 - In In Cuskley, C., Flaherty, M., Little, H., McCrohon, L., Ravignani, A. & Verhoef, T. (Eds.): The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference (EVOLANGXII).
  47. Review of Sharifian & Palmer (2007): Applied Cultural Linguistics: Implications for Second Language Learning and Intercultural Communication. [REVIEW]Jyh Wee Sew - 2008 - Pragmatics and Cognition 16 (1):197-202.
  48. Review of Sharifian & Palmer (2007): Applied Cultural Linguistics: Implications for Second Language Learning and Intercultural Communication. [REVIEW]Jyh Wee Sew - 2008 - Pragmatics and Cognition 16 (1):197-202.
  49. Semantic Prime HAPPEN in Mandarin Chinese.Adrian Tien - 2009 - Pragmatics and Cognition 17 (2):356-382.
    HAPPEN is a member of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) inventory of primes (cf. Goddard and Wierzbicka (eds) 1994, 2002). Its English exponent ‘happen’ has been popularly expounded as fa1sheng1 in Mandarin Chinese (e.g. Chappell 2002). This article argues that fa1sheng1 is not the correct exponent of HAPPEN as it is marked for ‘adversity’ as well as what I call ‘serious mention’ or ‘noteworthiness’ of the event, i.e., that an event is sufficiently serious or noteworthy to fare a mention. This (...)
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  50. Review of Kess & Miyamoto (1994): Japanese Psycholinguistics: A Classified and Annotated Research Bibliography. [REVIEW]Paul Osamu Takahara - 1995 - Pragmatics and Cognition 3 (2):400-404.
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