What I Know When I Know a Language

Barry C. Smith

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552238
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

What I Know When I Know a Language


Every speaker of a language knows a bewildering variety of linguistic facts, and will come to know many more. It is nowledge that connects sound and meaning. Questions about the nature of this knowledge cannot be separated from fundamental questions about the nature of language. The conception of language we should adopt depends on the part it plays in explaining our knowledge of language. This article explores options in accounting for language, and our knowledge of language, and defends the view that individuals' languages are constituted by the standing knowledge they carry from one speech situation to another.

Keywords: linguistic facts; sound and meaning; nature of language; conception of language; knowledge of language; speech situation

Article.  21784 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »