Minimal Semantics and Word Sense Disambiguation

Luca Gasparri 1
  • 1 Institut Jean Nicod – ENS Paris,

Abstract

Emma Borg has defined semantic minimalism as the thesis that the literal content of well-formed declarative sentences is truth-evaluable, fully determined by their lexico-syntactic features, and recoverable by language users with no need to access non-linguistic information. The task of this article is threefold. First, I shall raise a criticism to Borg’s minimalism based on how speakers disambiguate homonymy. Second, I will explore some ways Borg might respond to my argument and maintain that none of them offers a conclusive reply to my case. Third, I shall suggest that in order for Borg’s minimalism to best accommodate the problem discussed in this paper, it should allow for semantically incomplete content and be converted into a claim about linguistic competence.

Falls das inline PDF nicht korrekt dargestellt ist, können Sie das PDF hier herunterladen.

  • Agirre, Eneko, and Edmonds, Philip. Eds. 2006. Word Sense Disambiguation: Algorithms and Applications. Berlin: Springer.

  • Asher, Nicholas and Lascarides, Alex. 2003. Logics of Conversation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Bach, Kent. 2007. The Excluded Middle. Semantic Minimalism Without Minimal Propositions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53: 435-442.

  • Beaver, David. 2001. Presupposition and Assertion in Dynamic Semantics. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.

  • Beretta, Alan, Fiorentino, Robert and Poeppel, David. 2005. The Effects of Homonymy and Polysemy on Lexical Access: An MEG Study. Cognitive Brain Research 24: 57-65.

  • Bicknell, Klinton, Elman, Jeffrey L., Hare, Mary, McRae, Ken and Kutas, Marta. 2010. Effects of Event Knowledge in Processing Verbal Arguments. Journal of Memory & Language 63: 489-505.

  • Borg, Emma. 2004. Minimal Semantics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Borg, Emma. 2007. Minimalism versus Contextualism in Semantics. In Context-Sensitivity and Semantic Minimalism: New Essays on Semantics and Pragmatics. Edited by Gerhard Preyer and Georg Peter. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

  • Borg, Emma. 2009. Semantic Minimalism. In The Routledge Pragmatics Encyclopedia, edited by Louise Cummings. London: Routledge.

  • Borg, Emma. 2010. Minimalism and the Content of the Lexicon. In Meaning and Context. Edited by Luca Baptista and Erich Rach. Bern: Peter Lang.

  • Borg, Emma. 2012. Pursuing Meaning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Brown, Susan W. 2008. Polysemy in the Mental Lexicon. Colorado Research in Linguistics 21: 1-12.

  • Cappelen, Herman and Lepore, Ernest. 2005. Insensitive Semantics: A Defense of Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism. London: Wiley.

  • Chomsky, Noam. 2002. On Nature and Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Coltheart, Max. 1999. Modularity and Cognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 3: 115-120.

  • Cover, Thomas M. and Thomas, Joy A. 2006. Elements of Information Theory. 2nd edn. London: Wiley.

  • Davis, Wayne A. 2013. On Nonindexical Contextualism. Philosophical Studies 163: 561-574.

  • Devitt, Michael. 2013. Is There a Place for Truth-Conditional Pragmatics? Teorema XXXII/2: 85-102.

  • Evans, Vyvyan. 2009. How Words Mean: Lexical Concepts, Cognitive Models, and Meaning Construction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Fodor, Jerry A. 1983. The Modularity of Mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Folk, Jocelyn R. and Morris, Robin K. 2003. Effects of Syntactic Category Assignment on Lexical Ambiguity Resolution in Reading: An Eye Movement Analysis. Memory & Cognition 31: 87-99.

  • Frazier, Lyn and Rayner, Keith. 1990. Taking on Semantic Commitments: Processing Multiple Meanings vs. Multiple Senses. Journal of Memory and Language 29: 181-200.

  • Giora, Rachel. 2003. On Our Mind: Salience, Context, and Figurative Language. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

  • Giora, Rachel. 2012. The Psychology of Utterance Processing: Context vs Salience. In The Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics. Edited by Kasia M. Jaszczolt and Keith Allan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Harley, Trevor A. 2014. The Psychology of Language: From Data to Theory, 4th edn. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

  • Heim, Irene. 1983. On the Projection Problem for Presuppositions. In Second Annual West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. Edited by Dan Flickinger and Michael Westcoat. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Heim, Irene. 1988. The Semantics of Deinite and Indeinite Noun Phrases. New York, NY: Garland.

  • Jarema, Gonia and Libben, Gary. Eds. 2007. The Mental Lexicon: Core Perspectives. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

  • Jaszczolt, Kasia M. 2007. On Being Post-Gricean. In Interpreting Utterances: Pragmatics and Its Interfaces. Edited by Randi A. Nilsen, Nana A. A. Amfo and Kaja Borthen. Oslo: Novus.

  • Kamp, Hans and Reyle, Uwe. 1993. From Discourse to Logic. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

  • Kennedy, Christopher. 2007. Vagueness and Grammar: The Semantics of Relative and Absolute Gradable Adjectives. Linguistics and Philosophy 30: 1-45.

  • Kennedy, Christopher and McNally, Louise. 2010. Color, Context and Compositionality. Synthese 174: 79-98.

  • Klein, Devorah E. and Murphy, Gregory L. 2001. The Representation of Polysemous Words. Journal of Memory and Language 45: 259-282.

  • Klepousniotou, Ekaterini. 2002. The Processing of Lexical Ambiguity: Homonymy and Polysemy in the Mental Lexicon. Brain and Language 81: 205-223.

  • Korta, Kepa and Perry, John. 2006. Varieties of Minimalist Semantics. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73: 451-459.

  • Levinson, Stephen J. 2000. Presumptive Meanings: The Theory of Generalized Conversational Implicature. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • MacFarlane, John. 2007. Semantic Minimalism and Nonindexical Contextualism. In Context-Sensitivity and Semantic Minimalism: New Essays on Semantics and Pragmatics. Edited by Gerhard Preyer and Georg Peter. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

  • MacFarlane, John. 2009. Nonindexical Contextualism. Synthese 166: 231-250.

  • Manning, Christopher D. and Schütze, Hinrich. 1999. Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Mason, Robert A. and Just, Marcel A. 2007. Lexical Ambiguity in Sentence Comprehension. Brain Research 1146: 115-127.

  • Matsuki, Kazunaga, Chow, Tracy, Hare, Mary, Elman, Jeffrey L., Scheepers, Christoph and McRae, Ken. 2011. Event-based Plausibility Immediately Influences On-Line Language Comprehension. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition 37: 913-934.

  • Morris, Robin K. 2006. Lexical Processing and Sentence Context Effects. In Handbook of Psycholinguistics. Edited by Matthew J. Traxler and Morton. A. Gernsbacher, 2nd edn. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

  • Murphy, M. Lynne. 2010. Lexical Meaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pelczar, Michael. 2000. Wittgensteinian Semantics. Noûs 34: 483-516.

  • Piantadosi, Steven T., Tily, Harry and Gibson, Edward. 2012. The Communicative Function of Ambiguity in Language. Cognition 122: 280-291.

  • Pinker, Steven and Bloom, Paul. 1990. Natural Language and Natural Selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13: 707-784.

  • Recanati, François. 2004. Literal Meaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Searle, John. 1980. The Background of Meaning. In Speech Act Theory and Pragmatics. Edited by John Searle, Ferenc Kiefer and Manfred Bierwisch. Dordrecht: Reidel.

  • Seidenberg, Mark S., Tanenhaus, Michael K., Leiman, James M. and Bienkowski, Marie. 1982. Automatic Access of the Meanings of Ambiguous Words in Context: Some Limitations of Knowledge-Based Processing. Cognitive Psychology 14: 489-573.

  • Small, Steven, Cottrell, Garrison, and Tanenhaus, Michael K. Eds. 1988. Lexical Ambiguity Resolution: Perspectives from Psycholinguistics, Neuropsychology, and Artiicial Intelligence. San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufman.

  • Spivey, Michael, McRae, Ken, and Joanisse, Marc. Eds. 2012. The Cambridge Handbook of Psycholinguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Stojanovic, Isidora. 2008. The Scope and the Subtleties of the Contextualism/Literalism/Relativism Debate. Language and Linguistics Compass 2: 1171-1188.

  • Swinney, David A. 1979. Lexical Access During Sentence Comprehension: (Re) Consideration of Context Effects. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 18: 645-659.

  • Tanenhaus, Michael K., Leiman, James and Seidenberg, Mark. 1979. Evidence for Multiple Stages in the Processing of Ambiguous Words in Syntactic Contexts. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 18: 427-440.

  • Traxler, Matthew J. 2011. Introduction to Psycholinguistics: Understanding Language Science. London: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Van der Sandt, Rob. 1992. Presupposition Projection as Anaphora Resolution. Journal of Semantics 9: 333-377.

OPEN ACCESS

Zeitschrift + Hefte

Suche