In "Language and Equilibrium", Prashant Parikh offers a new account of
meaning for natural language. He argues that equilibrium, or balance among
multiple interacting forces, is a key attribute of language and meaning and
shows how to derive the meaning of an utterance from first principles by
modeling it as a system of interdependent games.
His account results in a novel view of semantics and pragmatics and describes
how both may be integrated with syntax. It considers many aspects of meaning-
-including literal meaning and implicature--and advances a detailed theory of
definite descriptions as an application of the framework.
"Language and Equilibrium" is intended for a wide readership in the cognitive
sciences, including philosophers, linguists, and artificial intelligence researchers
as well as neuroscientists, psychologists, and economists interested in
language and communication.