In this book leading scholars from every relevant field report on all aspects of
compositionality, the notion that the meaning of an expression can be derived
from its parts. Understanding how compositionality works is a central element
of syntactic and semantic analysis and a challenge for models of cognition. It
is a key concept in linguistics and philosophy and in the cognitive sciences
more generally, and is without question one of the most exciting fields in the
study of language and mind. The authors of this book report critically on lines
of research in different disciplines, revealing the connections between them
and highlighting current problems and opportunities.
The force and justification of compositionality have long been contentious.
First proposed by Frege as the notion that the meaning of an expression is
generally determined by the meaning and syntax of its components, it has
since been deployed as a constraint on the relation between theories of
syntax and semantics, as a means of analysis, and more recently as
underlying the structures of representational systems, such as computer
programs and neural architectures. The Oxford Handbook of Compositionality
explores these and many other dimensions of this challenging field. It will
appeal to researchers and advanced students in linguistics and philosophy
and to everyone concerned with the study of language and cognition including
those working in neuroscience, computational science, and bio-informatics.