Events And Semantic Architecture

Paperback | July 20, 2006

byPaul M. Pietroski

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This book explores how grammatical structure is related to meaning. The meaning of a phrase clearly depends on its constituent words and how they are combined. But how does structure contribute to meaning in natural language? Does combining adjectives with nouns (as in 'brown dog') differsemantically from combining verbs with adverbs (as in 'barked loudly')? What is the significance of combining verbs with names and quantificational expressions (as in 'Fido chased every cat')? In addressing such questions, Paul Pietroski develops a novel conception of linguistic meaning according towhich the semantic contribution of combining expressions is simple and uniform across constructions. Drawing on work at the heart of contemporary debates in linguistics and philosophy, the author argues that Donald Davidson's treatment of action sentences as event descriptions should be viewed as an instructive special case of a more general semantic theory. The unified theory covers a wide rangeof examples, including sentences that involve quantification, plurality, descriptions of complex causal processes, and verbs that take sentential complements. Professor Pietroski also provides fresh ways of thinking about much-discussed semantic generalizations that seem to reflect innatelydetermined aspects of human languages. Designed to be accessible to anyone with a basic knowledge of logic, Events and Semantic Architecture will interest advanced students of linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science at graduate level and above.

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This book explores how grammatical structure is related to meaning. The meaning of a phrase clearly depends on its constituent words and how they are combined. But how does structure contribute to meaning in natural language? Does combining adjectives with nouns (as in 'brown dog') differsemantically from combining verbs with adverbs (...

Paul M. Pietroski is Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Linguistics at the University of Maryland. He is the author of Causing Actions (OUP 2000; paperback edition 2002) and many articles concerning the semantics of natural language.

other books by Paul M. Pietroski

Causing Actions
Causing Actions

Paperback|Jun 15 2002

$78.95

Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.64 inPublished:July 20, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199244316

ISBN - 13:9780199244317

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Elementary Cases2. Quantification and Plurality3. Causal Verbs and Sentential ComplementsTentative Conclusions and Promissory NotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Conjunctivism is an attractive and interesting view -- a solid understanding of it will surely be mandatory for anyone interested in the rigorous study of meaning in human languages. Pietroski addresses head on some of the really difficult issues.'Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews