California State University, Northridge WordmarkOviatt Library WordmarkOviatt Library Catalog Wordmark
Author Elbourne, Paul D.
Title Meaning : a slim guide to semantics / Paul Elbourne.
Published Boston, MA ; New York, NY : Oxford University Press, c2011.
Book Cover

 Floor4  P325 .E36 2011    IN LIBRARY
Description viii, 174 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Series Oxford linguistics
Oxford linguistics.
Contents Definitions -- What are word meanings? -- Semantic properties of words -- What are sentence meanings? -- Semantic properties of sentences -- Meaning and grammar -- Meaning and context -- Meaning and thought.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (p. 158-169) and index.
Summary Our outstanding ability to communicate is a distinguishing features of our species. To communicate is to convey meaning, but what is meaning? How do words combine to give us the meanings of sentences? And what makes a statement ambiguous or nonsensical? These questions and many others are addressed in Paul Elbourne's fascinating guide. He opens by asking what kinds of things the meanings of words and sentences could be: are they, for example, abstract objects or psychological entities? He then looks at how we understand a sequence of words we have never heard before; he considers to what extent the meaning of a sentence can be derived from the words it contains and how to account for the meanings that can't be; and he examines the roles played by time, place, and the shared and unshared assumptions of speakers and hearers. He looks at how language interacts with thought and the intriguing question of whether what language we speak affects the way we see the world. Meaning, as might be expected, is far from simple. Paul Elbourne explores its complex issues in crystal clear language. He draws on approaches developed in linguistics, philosophy, and psychology -- assuming a knowledge of none of them -- in a manner that will appeal to everyone interested in this essential element of human psychology and culture. -- Book Description.
Subject Semantics.
ISBN 9780199696628 (pbk.)
0199696624 (pbk.)
OCLC number 713186713