By Ray Jackendoff

ISBN-10: 019969320X

ISBN-13: 9780199693207

Hailed as a "masterpiece" (Nature) and as "the most crucial booklet within the sciences of language to have seemed in lots of years" (Steven Pinker), Ray Jackendoff's Foundations of Language was once broadly acclaimed as a landmark paintings of scholarship that substantially overturned our figuring out of the way language, the mind, and belief intermesh.

A User's consultant to suggestion and Meaning is Jackendoff's most crucial e-book because his groundbreaking Foundations of Language. Written with an informality that belies the originality of its insights, it provides an intensive new account of the relation among language, which means, rationality, belief, cognizance, and idea, and, terribly, does this in phrases a non-specialist will clutch comfortably. Jackendoff starts off out via taking a look at languages and what the meanings of phrases and sentences truly do. discovering meanings to be extra adaptive and intricate than they are mostly given credits for, he's resulted in a few uncomplicated questions: how will we understand and act on this planet? How can we discuss it? and the way can the gathering of neurons within the mind supply upward thrust to wide awake adventure? He exhibits that the association of language, inspiration, and notion doesn't glance very like the best way we event issues, and that just a small a part of what the mind does is unsleeping. He concludes that proposal and that means needs to be virtually thoroughly subconscious. What we adventure as rational wide awake thought--which we prize as environment us except the animals--in truth rides on a starting place of subconscious instinct. Rationality quantities to instinct greater by way of language.

Ray Jackendoff's profound and arresting account will attract every body drawn to the workings of the brain, in how language hyperlinks to the realm, and in what knowing those skill for how we event our lives.

popularity of Foundations of Language:

"A booklet that merits to be learn and reread by means of somebody heavily drawn to the state-of-the-art of analysis on language."
--American Scientist

"A wonderful blend of theory-building and genuine integration. the result's a compelling new view of language and its position within the usual world."
--Steven Pinker, writer of The Language of Instinct and Words and Rules

"A masterpiece. . . . The ebook merits to be the reference aspect for all destiny theorizing concerning the language school and its interconnections."
--Frederick J. Newmeyer, prior president of the Linguistic Society of America

"This publication has the aptitude to reorient linguistics extra decisively than any e-book on account that Syntactic Structures shook the self-discipline virtually part a century ago."
--Robbins Burling, Language in Society

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Extra resources for A User's Guide to Thought and Meaning

Example text

Impact use: X means Y for Z What the stock market decline means for us is that we can’t retire soon. What do the latest insights of brain imaging mean for music theory? ” This one talks about how much something means, and we can use the adjective meaningful. Emotional impact use: X means a lot/a little to Z; X is meaningful to Z Your thank-you note meant a great deal to my wife. The situation in Rwanda means very little to most Americans. Graduating from Tufts was very meaningful to Karen. If we try to force the interpretation and linkage uses into the grammatical frame for the emotional impact use, we get nonsensical sentences.

Smoke is a result of fire, and therefore is evidence that there may be a fire. Likewise, pain is a result of appendicitis, and therefore is evidence that you may have appendicitis. Similarly, Mailer is saying that bleeding is not evidence that you’re top dog. 2 2 This reversible relation of cause and effect is not unique to the word mean. It also shows up with the words reason and why. For instance, in these two sentences, the situation in the first clause is a result of the situation in the second clause.

For instance, to dust the house is to remove dust from it; to scale a fish is to remove its scales. But, there are other cases where the same meaning relation is conveyed by a different word with a related form: one de-claws a lobster and beheads a person. Treating polysemy as something special obscures (or at least deemphasizes) the fact that all four of these pairs exhibit the same meaning relation. So I’d prefer to think of cases like smoke, dust, and scale as separate words with related meanings and identical pronunciation.

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A User's Guide to Thought and Meaning by Ray Jackendoff

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