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The Architecture of the Faculty of Language: Semantic Operations and Complex Lexical Representations

Del Pinal, Guillermo Estuardo

The Faculty of Language (FL) enables us to learn languages that we can use to express and understand an unbounded number of thoughts. What is the basic structure of FL such that it can perform that task? This dissertation addresses this question by defending two claims about the computational architecture of FL. First, I argue that the operations which FL uses to compute the meaning of complex expressions are innately constrained to be strongly compositional. Secondly, I argue that FL uses lexical items which have a complex internal semantic structure, including a non-extension determining component. This two claims together allow us to provide fully compositional accounts of otherwise problematic types of complex expressions.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Philosophy
Thesis Advisors
Varzi, Achille C.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 7, 2015