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This article is concerned with the principle of compositionality, i.e. the principle that the meaning of a complex expression is a function of the meanings of its parts and its mode of composition. After a brief historical background, a formal algebraic framework for syntax and semantics is presented. In this framework, both syntactic operations and semantic functions are partial. Using 20 the framework, the basic idea of compositionality is given a precise statement, and several variants, both weaker and stronger, as (...) 

This article focuses on the relevance of computational complexity for cognition. The syntactic items may be expressions that are surface strings. But in general, strings are syntactically ambiguous in that they can be generated in more than one way from atomic expressions and operations. The semantic function must take disambiguated items as arguments. When expressions are ambiguous, expressions cannot be the arguments. Instead, it is common to take the arguments to be terms, whose surface syntax reflects the derivation of the (...) 

The goal of inquiry in this essay is to ascertain to what extent the Principle of Compositionality – the thesis that the meaning of a complex expression is determined by the meaning of its parts and its mode of composition – can be justifiably imposed as a constraint on semantic theories, and thereby provide information about what meanings are. Apart from the introduction and the concluding chapter the thesis is divided into five chapters addressing different questions pertaining to the overarching (...) 



Sandu and Pietarinen [Partiality and Games: Propositional Logic. Logic J. IGPL 9 (2001) 101] study independence friendly propositional logics. That is, traditional propositional logic extended by means of syntax that allow connectives to be independent of each other, although the one may be subordinate to the other. Sandu and Pietarinen observe that the IF propositional logics have exotic properties, like functional completeness for threevalued functions. In this paper we focus on one of their IF propositional logics and study its properties, (...) 

Markus Werning attempts to refute Quine’s thesis that meaning is indeterminate. To this purpose he employs Hodges’ theorem about extensions of cofinal meaning functions. But the theorem does neither suffice to solve Quine’s problem nor the problem Werning mistakenly identifies with Quine’s. Nevertheless it makes sense to employ the methods used in Werning’s paper with regard to Quine’s thesis, only that they tell in favour of the thesis instead of against it. 

The paper briefly surveys the sentential prooftheoretic semantics for fragment of English. Then, appealing to a version of Frege’s contextprinciple (specified to fit typelogical grammar), a method is presented for deriving prooftheoretic meanings for subsentential phrases, down to lexical units (words). The sentential meaning is decomposed according to the functionargument structure as determined by the typelogical grammar. In doing so, the paper presents a novel prooftheoretic interpretation of simple type, replacing Montague’s modeltheoretic type interpretation (in arbitrary Henkin models). The domains (...) 

Starting from the familiar observation that no straightforward treatment of pure quotation can be compositional in the standard (homomorphism) sense, we introduce general compositionality, which can be described as compositionality that takes linguistic context into account. A formal notion of linguistic context type is developed, allowing the context type of a complex expression to be distinct from those of its constituents. We formulate natural conditions under which an ordinary meaning assignment can be nontrivially extended to one that is sensitive to (...) 

There are two principles which bear the name Frege''sprinciple: the principle of compositionality, and the contextprinciple. The aim of this contribution is to investigate whether thisis justified: did Frege accept both principles at the same time, did hehold the one principle but not the other, or did he, at some moment,change his opinion? The conclusion is as follows. There is a developmentin Frege''s position. In the period of Grundlagen he followed to a strict form of contextuality. He repeatedcontextuality in later (...) 

A semantics may be compositional and yet partial, in the sense that not all wellformed expressions are assigned meanings by it. Examples come from both natural and formal languages. When can such a semantics be extended to a total one, preserving compositionality? This sort of extension problem was formulated by Hodges, and solved there in a particular case, in which the total extension respects a precise version of the fregean dictum that the meaning of an expression is the contribution it (...) 

Werning applies a theorem by Hodges in order to put forward an argument against Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation and in favour of what Werning calls 'semantic realism'. We show that the argument rests on two critical premises both of which are false. The reasons for these failures are explained and the actual place of this application of Hodges' theorem within Quine's philosophy of language is outlined. 

Ordinary semantic compositionality (meaning of whole determined from meanings of parts plus composition) can serve to explain how a hearer manages to assign an appropriate meaning to a new sentence. But it does not serve to explain how the speaker manages to find an appropriate sentence for expressing a new thought. For this we would need a principle of inverse compositionality, by which the expression of a complex content is determined by the expressions of it parts and the mode of (...) 

I argue that compositionality (in the sense of homomorphic interpretation) is compatible with radical and pervasive contextual effects on interpretation. Apparent problems with this claim lose their force if we are careful in distinguishing the question of how a grammar assigns interpretations from the question of how people figure out which interpretations the grammar assigns. I demonstrate, using a simple example, that this latter task must sometimes be done not by computing a derivation defined directly by the grammar, but through (...) 

The doctrine that meanings are entitieswith a determinate and independent reality is often believed tohave been undermined by Quine's thought experiment of radicaltranslation, which results in an argument for the indeterminacy oftranslation. This paper argues to the contrary. Starting fromQuine's assumption that the meanings of observation sentences arestimulus meanings, i.e., settheoretical constructions of neuronalstates uniquely determined by intersubjectively observable facts,the paper shows that this meaning assignment, up to isomorphism,is uniquely extendable to all expressions that occur inobservation sentences. To do so, (...) 

The paper argues that cognitive states of biological systems are inherently temporal. Three adequacy conditions for neuronal models of representation are vindicated: the compositionality of meaning, the compositionality of content, and the covariation with content. Classicist and connectionist approaches are discussed and rejected. Based on recent neurobiological data, oscillatory networks are introduced as a third alternative. A mathematical description in a Hilbert space framework is developed. The states of this structure can be regarded as conceptual representations satisfying the three conditions. 

Partee (2009) conjectures a formal semantics for natural language (hereafter, singletype semantics) that interprets CPs and referential DPs in the same semantic type: properties of situations. Partee’s semantics contrasts with Montague semantics and its recent contenders (dubbed dual or multitype semantics) which assume distinct basic types for the semantic values of referential DPs (i.e. individuals) and CPs (i.e. propositions, truthvalues, or sets of assignment functions). Partee’s conjecture is motivated by results in event semantics and discourse representation theory, which support the (...) 

In this paper, we defend a traditional approach to semantics, that holds that the outputs of compositional semantics are propositional, i.e. truth conditions (or anything else appropriate to be the objects of assertions or the contents of attitudes). Though traditional, this view has been challenged on a number of fronts over the years. Since classic work of Lewis, arguments have been offered which purport to show that semantic composition requires values that are relativized, e.g. to times, or other parameters that (...) 

This is the first part of a twopart article on semantic compositionality, that is, the principle that the meaning of a complex expression is determined by the meanings of its parts and the way they are put together. Here we provide a brief historical background, a formal framework for syntax and semantics, precise definitions, and a survey of variants of compositionality. Stronger and weaker forms are distinguished, as well as generalized forms that cover extralinguistic context dependence as well as linguistic (...) 

The problem analysed in this paper is whether we can gain knowledge by using valid inferences, and how we can explain this process from a modeltheoretic perspective. According to the paradox of inference (Cohen & Nagel 1936/1998, 173), it is logically impossible for an inference to be both valid and its conclusion to possess novelty with respect to the premises. I argue in this paper that valid inference has an epistemic significance, i.e., it can be used by an agent to (...) 

In the recent debate on the semantic/pragmatic divide, Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore (2005) on the one hand, and Fran¸cois Recanati (2004) on the other, occupy almost diametrically opposed positions as regards the role of semantics for communication, while largely agreeing on important features of pragmatics. According to Cappelen and Lepore (CL), semantic context sensitivity of natural language sentences is restricted to what is determined by a particular minimal set of canonically context sensitive expressions. If you try to go beyond (...) 

The paper concentrates on the problem of adequate reflection of fragments of reality via expressions of language and intersubjective knowledge about these fragments, called here, in brief, language adequacy. This problem is formulated in several aspects, the most being: the compatibility of language syntax with its bilevel semantics: intensional and extensional. In this paper, various aspects of language adequacy find their logical explication on the ground of the formallogical theory T of any categorial language L generated by the socalled classical (...) 



The processing of sequences of (English) sentences is analyzed compositionally through transitions that merge sentences, rather than decomposing them. Transitions that are in a precise sense inertial are related to disjunctive and nondeterministic approaches to ambiguity. Modal interpretations are investigated, inducing various equivalences on sequences. 

with the meaning function [[·]] appearing on both sides. (1) is commonly construed as a prescription for computing the meaning of a based on the parts of a and their mode of combination. As equality is symmetric, however, we can also read (1) from right to left, as a constraint on the meaning [[b]] of a term b that brings in the wider context where b may occur, in accordance with what Dag Westerst˚ahl has recently described as “one version of (...) 

This article deals with the relationship between language and thought, focusing on the question of whether language can be a vehicle of thought, as, for example, Peter Carruthers has claimed. We develop and examine a powerful argument—the "argument from explicitness"—against this cognitive role of language. The premises of the argument are just two: (1) the vehicle of thought has to be explicit, and (2) natural languages are not explicit. We explain what these simple premises mean and why we should believe (...) 

From a general semantic point of view, Thomas Bricot and John Mair are proponents of the solution to semantic paradoxes based on appreciation of the contextuality of truth, who differ in their approach to the relations of logical consequence and contradiction. The core of the study is the analysis of Mair's criticism of Bricot presented in the sixth quaestio of his Tractatus insolubilium where the consequences of noncompositional semantics for the concepts of synonymy and logical form are addressed. The polemic (...) 

There have been, I am afraid, almost as many answers to the question what is logic? as there have been logicians. However, if logic is not to be an obscure "science of everything", we must assume that the majority of the various answers share a common core which does offer a reasonable delimitation of the subject matter of logic. To probe this core, let us start from the answer given by Gottlob Frege (1918/9), the person probably most responsible for modern (...) 

A remarkable thing about natural language is that we can use it to share our beliefs and thoughts about the world with other speakers of our language. In cases of successful communication, beliefs seem to be transferred from speakers to hearers by means of the hearer recovering the contents of the speaker’s utterances. This is so natural to us that we take it for granted in our everyday life, and rarely stop to think about how it's is possible. Nevertheless, it's (...) 

My modest aim in this paper is to prove certain relations between some type of hyperintensional operators, namely context shifting operators, and compositionality in natural languages. Various authors (e.g. von Fintel & Matthewson 2008; Stalnaker 2014) have argued that contextshifting operators are incompatible with compositionality. In fact, some of them understand Kaplan’s (1989) famous ban on contextshifting operators as a constraint on compositionality. Others, (e.g. Rabern 2013) take contextshifting operators to be compatible with compositionality but, unfortunately, do not provide a (...) 

The paper proposes a semantic value for the logical constants (connectives and quantifiers) within the framework of prooftheoretic semantics, basic meaning on the introduction rules of a meaning conferring natural deduction proof system. The semantic value is defined based on Fregecontributions” to sentential meanings as determined by the functionargument structure as induced by a typelogical grammar. In doing so, the paper proposes a novel prooftheoretic interpretation of the semantic types, traditionally interpreted in Henkin models. The compositionality of the resulting attribution (...) 



1 Logic in philosophy The century that was Logic has played an important role in modern philosophy, especially, in alliances with philosophical schools such as the Vienna Circle, neopositivism, or formal language variants of analytical philosophy. The original impact was via the work of Frege, Russell, and other pioneers, backed up by the prestige of research into the foundations of mathematics, which was fast bringing to light those amazing insights that still impress us today. The Golden Age of the 1930s (...) 

What has the self to be like such that introspective awareness of it is possible? The paper asks if Descartes’s idea of an inner self can be upheld and discusses this issue by invoking two principles: the phenomenal transparency of experience and the semantic compositionality of conceptual content. It is assumed that selfawareness is a secondorder state either in the domain of experience or in the domain of thought. In the former case selfawareness turns out empty if experience is transparent. (...) 

Tarski's modeltheoretic truth definition of the 1950s differs from his 1930s truth definition by allowing the language to have a set of parameters that are interpreted by means of structures. The paper traces how the modeltheoretic theorems that Tarski and others were proving in the period between these two truth definitions became increasingly difficult to fit into the framework of the earlier truth definition, making the later one more or less inevitable. The paper also maintains that neither recursiveness nor satisfaction (...) 

Colloquially, episodic memory is described as “the memory of personally experienced events”. Even though episodic memory has been studied in psychology and neuroscience for about six decades, there is still great uncertainty as to what episodic memory is. Here we ask how episodic memory should be characterized in order to be validated as a natural kind. We propose to conceive of episodic memory as a knowledgelike state that is identified with an experientially based mnemonic representation of an episode that allows (...) 

Independence Friendly Logic, introduced by Hintikka, is a logic in which a quantifier can be marked for being independent of other quantifiers. Dependence logic, introduced by Väänänen, is a logic with the complementary approach: for a quantifier it can be indicated on which quantifiers it depends. These logics are claimed to be useful for many phenomena, for instance natural language semantics. In this contribution we will compare these two logics by investigating their application in a compositional analysis of the de (...) 