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Language: A Biological Model - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Language: A Biological Model

Ruth Garrett Millikan


Guiding the work of most linguists and philosophers of language today is the assumption that language is governed by rules. This volume presents a different way of viewing the partial regularities that language displays, the way they express norms and conventions. It argues that the central norms applying to language are non-evaluative; they are more like those norms of function and behavior that account for the survival and proliferation of biological species. Specific linguistic forms survive and are reproduced together with cooperative hearer responses because some portion of the time these ... More

Keywords: language, meaning, conceptual analysis, language acquisition, pragmatics, illocutionary force, convention, linguistic rules, categories, semantics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780199284764
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006 DOI:10.1093/0199284768.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ruth Garrett Millikan, author
University of Connecticut
Author Webpage