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Book Information


Title: The Emergence of Meaning
Written By: Stephen Crain
Series Title: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics

Over the past forty years, scientists have developed models of human reasoning based on the principle that human languages and classical logic involve fundamentally different concepts and different methods of interpretation. In The Emergence of Meaning Stephen Crain challenges this view, arguing that a common logical nativism underpins human language and logical reasoning. The approach which Crain takes is twofold. Firstly, he uncovers the underlying meanings of logical expressions and logical principles that appear in typologically different languages – English and Mandarin Chinese – and he demonstrates that these meanings and principles directly correspond to the expressions and structures of classical logic. Secondly he reports the findings of new experimental studies which investigate how children acquire the logical concepts of these languages. A step-by-step introduction to logic and a comprehensive review of the literature on child language acquisition make this work accessible to those unfamiliar with either field. Table of Contents 1. Logic and human languages 2. Competing approaches to language and logic 3. The case for logical nativism 4. Scope parameters 5. How something can be both positive and negative 6. Two logical operators for the price of one

Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Cognitive Science
Subject Language(s): Chinese, Mandarin
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780521674881
Pages: 201
Prices: U.S. $ 39.99

ISBN-13: 9780521858090
Pages: 201
Prices: U.S. $ 105.00