more from Ofra Magidor

Single Idea 18014

[catalogued under 19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 4. Compositionality]

Full Idea

The fact that speakers of natural languages have the capacity to understand indefinitely many new sentences suggests that meaning must be compositional.

Gist of Idea

Understanding unlimited numbers of sentences suggests that meaning is compositional


Ofra Magidor (Category Mistakes [2013], 3.2.1)

Book Reference

Magidor,Ofra: 'Category Mistakes' [OUP 2013], p.46

A Reaction

To some extent, the compositionality of meaning is so obvious as to hardly require pointing out. It is the precise nature of the claim, and the extent to which whole sentences can add to the compositional meaning, that is of interest.