On Meaning: Individuation and Identity-The Definition of a World View

On Meaning: Individuation and Identity-The Definition of a World View

by Maria Isabel Aldinhas Ferreira



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On Meaning: Individuation and Identity-The Definition of a World View by Maria Isabel Aldinhas Ferreira

Meaning, the complex phenomenon of individuation and the definition of identity are the core theme of this work. Grounded on a theoretical framework that gives particular emphasis to the semiotic process common to all forms of cognition, human cognition is conceived here as specific of organisms that, in the course of their interactions, produce symbolic forms, defining the specific physical, social and cultural environments in which they evolve. Individuation, inherent to that semiotic process, is complex and double-sided. It involves, on one hand, the definition of semantic identities and their acknowledgment as world objects - naming; on the other hand, it comprehends the specific lexical and morphosyntactic strategies different languages have found to designate particular entities - referring. The definition of world objects and its symbolic translation presents variations from language to language. In the second part of the book, we define what we have called a structure-motivated ontology to represent how this symbolic translation is accomplished in English and European Portuguese. Plus, we try to show how the nature of this symbolic translation affects structural realisation, namely the individuation of reference and the construal of one-off referring expressions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781443829250
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Publication date: 06/01/2011
Pages: 235
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Maria Isabel Aldinhas Ferreira is a linguist. She is a member and researcher of the Centre of Philosophy at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and presently also a researcher at the Institute of Systems and Robotics, Instituto Superior Tecnico-Lisbon. The fundamental questions of cognition and meaning have always been at the core of her research work.

Table of Contents

List of Figures ix

List of Tables xi

Acknowledgements xiii

Preface xv

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Nature of Human Cognition: Epistemological Assumptions 3

1.1 The dialectic relationship cognitive agent /environment and the semiotic process

1.2 Space and Time as structuring parameters

1.3 Constructing reality: the role of symbolic media

1.4 Assigning mental representations an identity

1.5 Building up a Lexical Conceptual Structure

1.6 Reality: the individual and collective symbolic construction

Chapter 2 Individuating Entities 99

2.1 Naming and Referring - the two sides of the phenomenon of individuation

2.2 World Objects: A structure-motivated ontology

2.3 Individualisers

2.4 The definition of physical objects and their numerical expression

2.5 The countable/uncountable distinction and the identification of subclasses of ontologically distinct entities

2.6 Referring to particulars: the construal of one-off referring expressions

Chapter 3 Representing Lexical Semantic Information: A Bird s Eye View 191

3.1 Methodological Issues

3.2 The Lexical Entry in the Generative Lexicon

3.3 Conclusions

Bibliography 201

Source of Illustrations 212

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