Chapter

Reference and Truth

Ray Jackendoff

in Foundations of Language

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780198270126
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191713255 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198270126.003.0010
 Reference and Truth

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The most difficult challenge to a mentalist semantics is the intuition that language refers to objects and events ‘in the world’. A direct connection between a language in the mind and objects in the world is severely problematic. It is argued that the proper formulation of reference is as a relation between linguistic expressions and the world as conceptualized by the language user. Such a formulation aligns with standard views in perceptual psychology, and permits a far richer ontology of entities for language. Some of the standard philosophical objections to this view are answered; at the same time, some of the standard puzzles of reference are shown to dissolve.

Keywords: language; objects; reference; consciousness

Chapter.  17259 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psycholinguistics

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