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Semantic Perception – How the Illusion of a Common Language Arises and Persists - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Semantic Perception: How the Illusion of a Common Language Arises and Persists

Jody Azzouni


Human involuntarily experience certain physical items, products of human actions, and human actions themselves, as having meaning-properties: for example, as possessing meaning, as referring, or as having truth values. For example, a sign on a door “Drinks Inside,” involuntarily strikes native speakers of English as referring to liquids in the room behind the door. The sign has a truth value—if no drinks are found in the room, the sign is misleading. Someone’s pointing in a direction has the same effect: we experience her gesture as significant. The suggestion isn’t that, during conversations, ... More

Keywords: gricean approaches to language, semantic perception, meaning illusions, artificial languages, what is said, what is implicated but not said, strict meaning, type-token confusions, reference

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199967407
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199967407.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jody Azzouni, author
Tufts University