This volume addresses the intriguing issue of indirect reports from an interdisciplinary perspective. The contributors include philosophers, theoretical linguists, socio-pragmaticians, and cognitive scientists. The book is divided into four sections following the provenance of the authors. Combining the voices from leading and emerging authors in the field, it offers a detailed picture of indirect reports in the world’s languages and their significance for theoretical linguistics. Building on the previous book on indirect reports in this series, this volume adds an empirical (...) and cross-linguistic approach that covers an impressive range of languages, such as Cantonese, Japanese, Hebrew, Persian, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan, Armenian, Italian, English, Hungarian, German, Rumanian, and Basque. (shrink)
Everett's main claim is that language is a “cultural tool“, created by hominids for communication and social cohesion. I examine the meaning of the expression “cultural tool“ in terms of the influence of language on culture (i.e. the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis) or of the influence of culture on language (Everett's hypothesis). I show that these hypotheses are not well-supported by evidence and that language and languages, rather than being “cultural tools“ as wholes are rather collections of tools used in different language (...) games, some cultural or social, some cognitive. I conclude that the coincidence between language and culture is due to the fact that both originate from human nature. (shrink)
The most remarkable about the continuity in Chomsky's thought about language is that it takes place against a theoretical landscape in constant flux, the landscape of generative grammar. Chomsky introduced a central distinction between E‐languages and I‐language, the internalized knowledge of language that each speaker has and which is the result of the interaction between his or her language faculty and the (limited) experience that he or she had of his or her mother tongue during language acquisition. The Faculty of (...) Language narrowly understood corresponds to “the abstract linguistic computational system alone, independent of the other systems with which it interacts”. This chapter aims to follow the trail of Chomsky's strongly reiterated claim throughout the years that language is not primarily a tool for communication, but rather, a tool for thought. (shrink)
Everett’s main claim is that language is a “cultural tool”, created by hominids for communication and social cohesion. I examine the meaning of the expression “cultural tool” in terms of the influence of language on culture or of the influence of culture on language. I show that these hypotheses are not well-supported by evidence and that language and languages, rather than being “cultural tools” as wholes are rather collections of tools used in different language games, some cultural or social, some (...) cognitive. I conclude that the coincidence between language and culture is due to the fact that both originate from human nature. (shrink)
The Gricean distinction between natural meaning and non-natural meaning has generally been taken to apply to communication in general. However, there is some doubts that the distinction exhaustively accounts for all instances of communication. Notably, some animal communication seems to be voluntary, though not implying double-barrelled intentions, i.e., falling neither under natural nor under non-natural meaning. Another worry is how the audience can distinguish between that kind of 1st order voluntary communication and non-natural meaning. The paper shows that the Gricean (...) distinction is not exhaustive and that the second intention characteristic of non-natural meaning is presupposed on the basis of the cost of interpretation in linguistic communication given its semantic underdetermination. (shrink)
In Why We Cooperate, Tomasello addresses the problem of human uniqueness, which has become the focus for a lot of recent research at the frontier between the Humanities and the Life Sciences. Being both a developmental psychologist and a primatologist, Tomasello is especially well suited to tackle the subject, and the present book is the most recent one in a series of books and papers by himself and his colleagues. Tomasello’s basic position is squarely a dual-inheritance account, in which human (...) uniqueness is explained both through genetics and through culture. The main idea is that the phylogenetic specificity of humankind rests in its species-specific adaptation for sociability. The account offered by Tomasello contrasts human cooperation and altruism with nonhuman primate competition, and proposes that human altruism leads to shared intentionality. The evolutionary explanation Tomasello offers is that human ancestors were led through some kind of selection pressure to common foraging leading to collaboration and sharing. After outlining Tomasello’s position as it is described in the book, as well as the comments by Dweck, Spelke, Silk, and Skyrms which follow, I discuss Tomasello’s thesis, noting a few problems with his approach. These criticisms are based on his own work and on a number of his own other books and papers, as well as on other relevant work in the domain. (shrink)
While most evolutionary scenarios for language see it as a communication system with consequences on the language-ready brain, there are major difficulties for such a view. First, language has a core combination of features—semanticity, discrete infinity, decoupling—that makes it unique among communication systems and that raise deep problems for the view that it evolved for communication. Second, extant models of communication systems—the code model of communication (see Millikan 2005) and the ostensive model of communication (see Scott-Phillips 2015) cannot account for (...) language evolution. I propose an alternative view, according to which language first evolved as a cognitive tool, following Fodor’s (1975, 2008) Language of Thought Hypothesis, and was then expiated (externalized) for communication. On this view, a language-ready brain is a brain profoundly reorganized in terms of connectivity, allowing the human conceptual system to emerge, triggering the emergence of syntax. Language as used in communication inherited its core combination of features from the Language of Thought. (shrink)
In Why We Cooperate, Tomasello addresses the problem of human uniqueness, which has become the focus for a lot of recent research at the frontier between the Humanities and the Life Sciences. Being both a developmental psychologist and a primatologist, Tomasello is especially well suited to tackle the subject, and the present book is the most recent one in a series of books and papers by himself and his colleagues. Tomasello's basic position is squarely a dual-inheritance account, in which human (...) uniqueness is explained both through genetics and through culture. The main idea is that the phylogenetic specificity of humankind rests in its species-specific adaptation for sociability. The account offered by Tomasello contrasts human cooperation and altruism with nonhuman primate competition, and proposes that human altruism leads to shared intentionality. The evolutionary explanation Tomasello offers is that human ancestors were led through some kind of selection pressure to common foraging leading to collaboration and sharing. After outlining Tomasello's position as it is described in the book, as well as the comments by Dweck, Spelke, Silk, and Skyrms which follow, I discuss Tomasello's thesis, noting a few problems with his approach. These criticisms are based on his own work and on a number of his own other books and papers, as well as on other relevant work in the domain. (shrink)
Discovering the meaning of novel communicative cues is challenging and amounts to navigating an unbounded hypothesis space. Several theories posit that this problem can be simplified by relying on positive expectations about the cognitive utility of communicated information. These theories imply that learners should assume that novel communicative cues tend to have low processing costs and high cognitive benefits. We tested this hypothesis in three studies in which toddlers (N = 90) searched for a reward hidden in one of several (...) containers. In all studies, an adult communicated the reward's location with an unfamiliar and ambiguous cue. We manipulated the processing costs (operationalized as inferential chain length) and cognitive benefits (operationalized as informativeness) of the possible interpretations of the cues. Toddlers processing of novel communicative cues were guided by expectations of low processing costs (Study 1) and high cognitive benefits (Studies 2 and 3). More specifically, toddlers treated novel cues as if they were easy to process, informative, and accurate, even when provided with repeated evidence to the contrary. These results indicate that, from toddlerhood onward, expectations of cognitive utility shape the processing of novel communicative cues. These data also reveal that toddlers, who are in the process of learning the language and communicative conventions of people around them, exert a pressure favoring cognitive efficiency in communicative systems. (shrink)
This book addresses five main topics of metaphysics in its first section: formal objects and truth-makers; tropes; properties and predicates; varieties of relations; and the notion of explanation in metaphysics. The second part of this volume focuses on the history of philosophy with an emphasis on Austrian philosophy: the ideas of Bolzano, Wittgenstein, Locke and Bergson, amongst others, are explored in the papers presented here. This is the first volume in a two-volume set that originates from papers presented to Professor (...) Kevin Mulligan, covering the subjects that he contributed to during his career including ontology, mind and value, history and philosophy of mind and philosophy of language. This volume contains thirty two chapters, written by researchers from across Europe, North America and North Africa. These papers cover topics in metaphysics ranging from Lehrer and Tolliver’s discussion of truth and tropes, to Johansson’s defence of the distinction between thick and thin relations and Persson and Sahlin’s presentation of the difficulties inherent in applying the concept of explanation in metaphysics. Papers on the history of philosophy include a look at Bolzano’s formative years and his conception of mathematics. De Libera examines Brentano’s adverbial theory of judgment and Fisette traces the history of the Philosophical Society of the University of Vienna in the late 19th and early 20th century. Marion contests the trendy pragmatist accounts that lump Wittgenstein and Heidegger together and there are analyses of Locke and Bergson’s work, amongst the many papers presented here. This volume contains three chapters in French and one in Spanish. The second volume of this set looks at ethics, values and emotions, epistemology, perception and consciousness, as well as philosophy of mind and philosophy of language. (shrink)
There are three themed parts to this book: values, ethics and emotions in the first part, epistemology, perception and consciousness in the second part and philosophy of mind and philosophy of language in the third part. Papers in this volume provide links between emotions and values and explore dependency between language, meanings and concepts and topics such as the liar’s paradox, reference and metaphor are examined. This book is the second of a two-volume set that originates in papers presented to (...) Professor Kevin Mulligan, covering the subjects that he contributed to during his career. This volume opens with a paper by Moya, who proposes that there is an asymmetrical relation between the possibility of choice and moral responsibility. The first part of this volume ends with a description of foolishness as insensitivity to the values of knowledge, by Engel. Marconi’s article makes three negative claims about relative truth and Sundholm notes shortcomings of the English language for epistemology, amongst other papers. This section ends with a discussion of the term ‘subjective character’ by Nida-Rümelin, who finds it misleading. The third part of this volume contains papers exploring topics such as the mind-body problem, whether theory of mind is based on simulation or theory and Künne shows that the most common analyses of the so-called 'Liar' paradox are wanting. At the end of this section, Rizzi introduces syntactic cartography and illustrates its use in scope-discourse semantics. This second volume contains twenty nine chapters, written by both high profile and upcoming researchers from across Europe, North America and North Africa. The first volume of this set has two main themes: metaphysics, especially truth-making and the notion of explanation and the second theme is the history of philosophy with an emphasis on Austrian philosophy. (shrink)
An accessible and thorough introduction to implicatures, a key topic in all frameworks of pragmatics. Starting with a definition of the various types of implicatures in Gricean, neo-Gricean and post-Gricean pragmatics, the book covers many important questions for current pragmatic theories, namely: the distinction between explicit and implicit forms of pragmatic enrichment, the criteria for drawing a line between semantic and pragmatic meaning, the relations between the structure of language and its use, the social and cognitive factors underlying the use (...) of implicatures by native speakers, and the factors influencing their acquisition for children and second language learners. Written in non-technical language, Implicatures will appeal to students and teachers in linguistics, applied linguistics, psychology and sociology, who are interested in how language is used for communication, and how children and learners develop pragmatic skills. (shrink)
One of the most experimentally studied scales in the literature on scalar implicatures is the quantifier scale. While the truth of some is entailed by the truth of all, some is felicitous only when all is false. This opens the possibility that some would be felicitous if, e.g., 99% of the objects in the domain of quantification fall under it, a conclusion that clashes with native speakers’ intuitions. In Experiment 1 we report a questionnaire study on the perception of quantifier (...) meanings in English, French, Slovenian and German which points to a cross-linguistic variation with respect to the perception of numerical bounds of the existential quantifier. In Experiment 2, using a picture choice task, we further examine whether the numerical bound differences correlate with differences in pragmatic interpretations of the quantifier some in English and quelques in French and interpret the results as supporting our hypothesis that some and its cross-linguistic counterparts are subjected to different processes of pragmatic enrichment. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with vagueness in language, its relation to logico-philosophical questions on the one hand, and to so-called syncategorematic terms and their linguistic use on the other hand. It attempts to show that it is not language itself which is vague but rather the way we use it.
Grice proposed an implicature-based account of irony, according to which ironical utterances give rise to an antiphrasis implicature. This view, which followed the classical rhetorical account of irony, merely transported it from the semantic to the pragmatic domain, which is clearly not enough to answer the questions which the antiphrasis account triggers, i.e., the explanation of how the hearer recovers the antiphrasis interpretation, or of why the speaker should say something when she means exactly the reverse. A final, and devastating, (...) criticism is, quite simply, that not all ironical utterances are assertions and, hence, that the antiphrasis account does not easily apply to them. What is more, some ironical utterances, perhaps most of them, do not at all trigger an antiphrasis. Contemporary accounts of irony, such as those proposed by Sperber and Wilson — the echoic account — or by Currie — the pretence account —, do not meet with the same difficulties. They are generally presented as being able to account for “central” examples of irony and as incompatible..In the present paper, I will show that the echoic and the pretence accounts, far from being incompatible, seem to be applicable to exactly the same set of examples, and that, in fact, some of the strictures levelled by Currie against the echoic account are not in fact valid criticism. Additionally, there are quite a lot of examples of ironical utterances which are not susceptible of an account in terms of echo or pretence. Thus, it seems that neither account can serve as a general account of irony. I finally propose an account in terms of ironical utterancesshowing(rather thansaying) an unreasonable behaviour, belief or reasoning on the part of the target of the irony and plead for a Gricean account, based not on an antiphrasis implicature, but on meaningNN and the recognition of the double-barrelled intention of the speaker. This, clearly, is compatible with the echoic or pretence accounts, though more general than either. (shrink)
Immunity to Error through Misidentification and Experience Reports.Denis Delfitto, Anne Reboul & Gaetano Fiorin - 2018 - In Alessandro Capone, Una Stojnic, Ernie Lepore, Denis Delfitto, Anne Reboul, Gaetano Fiorin, Kenneth A. Taylor, Jonathan Berg, Herbert L. Colston, Sanford C. Goldberg, Edoardo Lombardi Vallauri, Cliff Goddard, Anna Wierzbicka, Magdalena Sztencel, Sarah E. Duffy, Alessandra Falzone, Paola Pennisi, Péter Furkó, András Kertész, Ágnes Abuczki, Alessandra Giorgi, Sona Haroutyunian, Marina Folescu, Hiroko Itakura, John C. Wakefield, Hung Yuk Lee, Sumiyo Nishiguchi, Brian E. Butler, Douglas Robinson, Kobie van Krieken, José Sanders, Grazia Basile, Antonino Bucca, Edoardo Lombardi Vallauri & Kobie van Krieken (eds.), Indirect Reports and Pragmatics in the World Languages. Springer Verlag. pp. 39-59.details
In this contribution, we address the issues concerning the semantic value of Wittgenstein’s subject “I”, as in “I have a toothache”, resulting from the use of predicates that involve first-person knowledge of the mental states to which they refer. As is well-known, these contexts give rise to the phenomenon of ‘immunity to error through misidentification’ : the utterer of cannot be mistaken as to whether he is the person having a toothache. We provide a series of arguments in favor of (...) a principled distinction between a de facto IEM, grounded in perceptual and proprioceptive judgments, and a de iure IEM, grounded in experience reports whereby the experience wears the experiencer on its sleeve. From this perspective, the no-referent account of subject “I” advocated by Wittgenstein/Anscombe is correct. In fact, we show how this analysis can be made compatible with a Kaplanian account of first-person indexicals, by identifying the speaker in the context of utterance with the person who has access to the reported private experience. (shrink)
Glüer and Pagin (2003) have claimed that autistic speakers are a counterexample to HOT theories of meaning and communication. Through analysis of their argument and a re-examination of the literature, I show that autistic speakers are not a counterexample to HOT theories, but, conversely, that such theories are necessary to account for their communicative peculiarities.
Glüer and Pagin (2003) have claimed that autistic speakers are a counterexample to HOT theories of meaning and communication. Through analysis of their argument and a re‐examination of the literature, I show that autistic speakers are not a counterexample to HOT theories, but, conversely, that such theories are necessary to account for their communicative peculiarities.