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Words and Thoughts: Subsentences, Ellipsis, and the Philosophy of Language Subsentences, Ellipsis, and the Philosophy of Language (Hardcover)

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Words and Thoughts: Subsentences, Ellipsis, and the Philosophy of Language Stainton, Robert J. 1 of 1
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Learn more about Words and Thoughts: Subsentences, Ellipsis, and the Philosophy of Language:

Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0199250383
ISBN-13: 9780199250387
Sku: 203092651
Publish Date: 6/11/2013
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 9.25H x 6.5L x 0.75T
Pages:  272
Age Range:  NA
See more in Linguistics / General
 
It is a near truism of philosophy of language that sentences are prior to words--that they are the only things that fundamentally have meaning. Robert''s Stainton''s study interrogates this idea, drawing on a wide body of evidence to argue that speakers can and do use mere words, not sentences, to communicate complex thoughts.
From the Publisher:
It is a near truism of philosophy of language that sentences are prior to words. Sentences, it is said, are what we believe, assert, and argue for; uses of them constitute our evidence in semantics; only they stand in inferential relations, and are true or false. Sentences are, indeed, the only things that fundamentally have meaning.

Does this near truism really hold of human languages? Robert Stainton, drawing on a wide body of evidence, argues forcefully that speakers can and do use mere words, not sentences, to communicate complete thoughts. He then considers the implications of this empirical result for language-thought relations, various doctrines of sentence primacy, and the semantics-pragmatics boundary.

The book is important both for its philosophical and empirical claims, and for the methodology employed. Stainton illustrates how the methods and detailed results of the various cognitive sciences can bear on central issues in philosophy of language. At the same time, he applies philosophical distinctions with subtlety and care, to show that arguments which seemingly support the primacy of sentences do not really do so. The result is a paradigm example of The New Philosophy of Language: a rich melding of empirical work with traditional philosophy of language.

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Hardcover
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0272
Product attributePublisher:   Oxford University Press, USA
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