The Oxford Handbook of Compositionality

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Compositionality is a key concept in linguistics, the philosophy of mind and language, and throughout the cognitive sciences. Understanding how it works is a central element of syntactic and semantic analysis and a challenge for models of cognition. In this book leading scholars from every relevant field report on the state of the art in all aspects of the subject. They reveal the connections in different lines of research and highlight its most challenging problems and opportunities. The force and justification of compositionality have long been contentious. First proposed by Frege as the notion that the meaning of an expression is generally determined by the meaning and syntax of its parts, it has since been deployed as a constraint on the relation between theories of syntax and semantics, as a means of analysis, and more recently as underlying the structures of representational systems such as computer programs and neural architectures. The Oxford Handbook of Compositionality explores these and many other dimensions of one of the most exciting fields in the study of language and cognition. It will appeal to researchers and advanced students in linguistics and philosophy and to a broad range of cognitive scientists including those

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The editors should be commended for also having the vision to create a forward-looking volume that highlights both current debates in the field as well as speculative theoretical questions that will likely shape and direct future research endeavors in the years to come. The editors did an excellent job of bringing together academics with various, diverse specializations to contribute to a volume with such a broad scope of coverage...this volume and its contents will undoubtedly have a high impact in various fields of language science for years to come."—Linguist List
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199541072
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/7/2012
  • Series: Oxford Handbooks Series
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Markus Werning is Professor of Philosophy of Language and Cognition at the Ruhr University of Bochum. He is author of the book The Compositional Brain: Neuronal Foundations of Conceptual Representation (Mentis, 2010).

Wolfram Hinzen is Professor of Philosophy of Language at the University of Durham. His books include Mind Design and Minimal Syntax and An Essay on Names and Truth (OUP, 2006, 2007).

Edouard Machery is Associate Professor in the History and Philosophy of Science Department at the University of Pittsburgh. His book Doing without Concepts was published by OUP in 2009.

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Table of Contents

Introduction, Wolfram Hinzen, Edouard Machery, and Markus Werning
Part I: History and Overview
1. Compositionality: Its Historic Context, Theo Janssen
2. Compositionality in Montague Grammar, Marcus Kracht
3. The Case for Compositionality, Zoltan Szabo
4. Compositionality Problems and How to Solve Them, Ede Zimmermann
Part II: Compositionality in Language
5. Sub-Compositionality, Sebastian Lobner
6. Direct Compositionality, Pauline Jacobson
7. Holism and Compositionality, Jeff Pelletier
8. Compositionality, Flexibility, and Context-dependence, Francois Recanati
9. Compositionality in Kaplan Style Semantics, Dag Westerstahl
10. Semantic Monadicity with Conceptual Polyadicity, Paul Pietroski
Part III: Compositionality in Formal Semantics
11. Formalising the Relationship Between Meaning and Syntax, Wilfrid Hodges
12. Compositionality in Discourse From a Logical Perspective, Tim Fernando
13. Compositionality and the Context Principle, Gabriel Sandu
Part IV: Lexical Decomposition
14. Lexical Decomposition in Grammar, Dieter Wunderlich
15. Syntax in the Atom, Wolfram Hinzen
16. Lexical Decomposition in Modern Syntactic Theory, Heidi Harley
17. Co-compositionality, James Pustejovsky
Part V: The Compositionality of Mind
18. Can Prototype Representations Support Composition and Decomposition?, Lila Gleitman,Andrew Connolly, and Sharon L. Armstrong
19. Typicality and Compositionality: The Logic of Combining Vague Concepts, James Hampton and Martin Jonsson
20. Emergency!!! Challenges to a Compositional Understanding of Noun-noun Combinations, Edward Wisniewski and Jing Wu
21. Simple Heuristics for Concept Combination, Edouard Machery and Lisa Lederer
22. Regaining composure: A Defense of Prototype Compositionality, Jesse Prinz
Part VI: Evolutionary and Communicative Success of Compositional Structures
23. Prototypes and their Composition from an Evolutionary Point of View, Gerhard Schurz
24. Compositionality and Linguistic Evolution, Kenny Smith and Simon Kirby
25. Compositionality and Holophrasis: From Action and Perception Through Protolanguage to Languaeg, Michael Arbib
26. Communication and the Complexity of Semantics, Peter Pagin
Part VII: Neural Models fo Compositional Representation
27. Connectionism, Dynamical Cognition, and Non-Classical Compositional Representation, Terry Horgan
28. The Dual-Mechanism Debate, Martina Penke
29. Compositionality and Biologically Plausible Models, Terrence Steward and Chris Eliasmith
30. Neural Assemblies, the Binding Problem, and Neural Synchrony, Andreas K. Engel and Alexander Maye
31. The Neurosimulatory Theory of Compositional Representation, Markus Werning
32. The Processing Consequences fo compositionality, Giosue Baggio, Michiel van Lambalgen, and Peter Hagoort

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