Representational systems such as language, mind and perhaps even the brain
exhibit a structure that is often assumed to be compositional. That is, the
semantic value of a complex representation is determined by the semantic
value of their parts and the way they are put together. Dating back to the
late 19th century, the principle of compositionality has regained wide
attention recently. Since the principle has been dealt with very
differently across disciplines, the aim of the two volumes is to bring
together the diverging approaches. They assemble a collection of original
papers that cover the topic of compositionality from virtually all
perspectives of interest in the contemporary debate. The well-chosen
international list of authors includes psychologists, neuroscientists,
computer scientists, linguists, and philosophers.
The second volume is devoted to issues of compositionality that arise in
the sciences of language, the investigation of the mind, and the modeling
of representational brain functions. How could compositional languages
evolve? How many sentences are needed to learn a compositional language?
How does compositionality relate to the interpretation of texts, the
generation of idioms and metaphors, and the understanding of aberrant
expressions? What psychological mechanism underlies the combination of
complex concepts? And finally, what neuronal structure can possibly realize
a compositional system of mental representations?