more from Ofra Magidor

Single Idea 18012

[catalogued under 2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 8. Category Mistake / b. Category mistake as syntactic]

Full Idea

A syntactic theory of category mistakes would require not only general syntactic features such as must-be-human, but also highly particular ones such as must-be-a-grape.

Gist of Idea

Category mistakes as syntactic needs a huge number of fine-grained rules


Ofra Magidor (Category Mistakes [2013], 2.3)

Book Reference

Magidor,Ofra: 'Category Mistakes' [OUP 2013], p.36

A Reaction

Her grape example comes from Hebrew, but an English example might be the verb 'to hull', which is largely exclusive to strawberries. The 'must-be' form is one of Chomsky's 'selectional features'.