This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
*Develops a cognitivist/mentalist theory of meaning *Examines the nature of hate speech *Explores the nature of ambiguity *Proposes a new solution to semantic paradoxes
According to truth-conditional semantics, to explain the meaning of a statement is to specify the conditions necessary and sufficient for its truth. This book develops a more radical mentalist semantics by shifting the object of semantic inquiry. Classical semantics analyzes an abstract sentence or utterance such as "Grass is green"; in attitudinal semantics the object of inquiry is a propositional attitude such as "Speaker so-and-so thinks grass is green".