1887
New Questions for the Next Decade
  • ISSN 1871-1340
  • E-ISSN: 1871-1375
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

There is a distinction in scientific explanation between the explanandum, statements describing the empirical phenomenon to be explained, and the explanans, statements describing the evidence that allow one to predict that phenomenon. To avoid tautology, these sets of statements must refer to distinct domains. A scientific explanation of semantics must be grounded in explanans that appeal to entities from non-semantic domains. I consider as examples eight candidate domains (including affect, lexical or sub-word co-occurrence, mental simulation, and associative learning) that could ground semantics. Following Wittgenstein (1954), I propose adjudicating between these different domains is difficult because of the reification of a word’s ‘meaning’ as an atomistic unit. If we abandon the idea of the meaning of a word as being an atomistic unit and instead think of word meaning as a set of dynamic and disparate embodied states unified by a shared label, many apparent problems associated with identifying a meaning’s ‘true’ explanans disappear. Semantics can be considered as sets of weighted constraints that are individually sufficient for specifying and labeling a subjectively-recognizable location in the high dimensional state space defined by our neural activity.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/ml.11.3.02wes
2016-12-16
2019-12-07
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Adelman, J.S. , & Estes, Z
    (2013) Emotion and memory: A recognition advantage for positive and negative words independent of arousal. Cognition, 129(3), 530–535. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2013.08.014
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2013.08.014 [Google Scholar]
  2. American Psychiatric Association
    (2013) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Andrews, M. , Vigliocco, G. , & Vinson, D
    (2009) Integrating experiential and distributional data to learn semantic representations. Psychological Review, 116, 463–498. doi: 10.1037/a0016261
    https://doi.org/10.1037/a0016261 [Google Scholar]
  4. Aziz-Zadeh, L. , Fiebach, C.J. , Naranayan, S. , Feldman, J. , Dodge, E. , & Ivry, R.B
    (2008) Modulation of the FFA and PPA by language related to faces and places. Social Neuroscience, 3(3–4), 229–238. doi: 10.1080/17470910701414604
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17470910701414604 [Google Scholar]
  5. Barsalou, L.W
    (2008) Grounded cognition. Annual Review of Psychology, 59(1), 617–645. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.59.103006.093639
    https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.59.103006.093639 [Google Scholar]
  6. Baayen, R.H. , Milin, P. , Filipović Đurđević, D. , Hendrix, P. , & Marelli, M
    (2011) An amorphous model for morphological processing in visual comprehension based on naive discriminative learning. Psychological Review, 118, 438–481. doi: 10.1037/a0023851
    https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023851 [Google Scholar]
  7. Baayen, R.H. , Shaoul, C. , Willits, J. , & Ramscar, M
    . (2016). Comprehension without segmentation: A proof of concept with naive discrimination learning. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31(1), 106–128.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Bateson, G
    (1972) Steps to an ecology of mind: Collected essays in anthropology, psychiatry, evolution, and epistemology. Chicago, Il.: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Bergen, B. , & Chang, N
    (2013) Embodied construction grammar. In T. Hoffmann & G. Trousdale (Eds.), Oxford handbook of construction grammar (pp.168–190). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Bloom, P
    (2000) How children learn the meanings of words. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Buchanan, L. , Westbury, C. , & Burgess, C
    (2001) Characterizing semantic space: Neighbourhood effects in word recognition. Psychonomic Bulletin And Review, 8(3), 531–544. doi: 10.3758/BF03196189
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03196189 [Google Scholar]
  12. Cronbach, L.J. , & Meehl, P.E
    (1955) Construct validity in psychological tests. Psychological Bulletin, 52(4), 281. doi: 10.1037/h0040957
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0040957 [Google Scholar]
  13. Dagleish, T
    (2004) The emotional brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 5, 582–589.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Dennett, Daniel
    (1991) Consciousness explained. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Desai, R.H. , Conant, L.L. , Binder, J.R. , Park, H. , & Seidenberg, M.S
    (2013) A piece of the action: Modulation of sensory-motor regions by action idioms and metaphors. Neuroimage, 83, 862–869. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.07.044
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.07.044 [Google Scholar]
  16. Dixon, R.W
    (1972) The Dyirbal language of North Queensland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139084987
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139084987 [Google Scholar]
  17. Durda, K. , & Buchanan, L
    (2008) Windsor: Windsor improved norms of distance and similarity of representations of semantics. Behavior Research Methods, 40(3), 705–712. doi: 10.3758/BRM.40.3.705
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BRM.40.3.705 [Google Scholar]
  18. Elman, J.L
    (2009) On the meaning of words and dinosaur bones: Lexical knowledge without a lexicon. Cognitive Science, 33(4), 547–582. doi: 10.1111/j.1551‑6709.2009.01023.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1551-6709.2009.01023.x [Google Scholar]
  19. Frege, G
    (1948) On sense and reference. The Philosophical Review, 57(3), 209–230. doi: 10.2307/2181485
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2181485 [Google Scholar]
  20. Freud, S
    (1891) On aphasia. Trans. by E. Stengel . New Southgate, NH: The Cheswick Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Fincher-Kiefer, R
    (2001) Perceptual components of situation models. Memory and Cognition29, 336–343. doi: 10.3758/BF03194928
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03194928 [Google Scholar]
  22. Gibson, J.J
    (1977) The Theory of Affordances. In R. Shaw & J. Bransford (Eds.), Perceiving, Acting, and Knowing: Toward an Ecological Psychology (pp.127–143). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Glenberg, A.M
    (1997) What memory is for. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 20, 1–55.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Glenberg, A.M. , & Kaschak, M.P
    (2002) Grounding language in action. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 9, 558–565. doi: 10.3758/BF03196313
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03196313 [Google Scholar]
  25. Greenberg, V.D
    (1997) Freud and his aphasia book: Language and the sources of psychoanalysis. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Harris, Z
    (1970) Papers on syntax. H. Hiz (Ed). Boston, MA: D. Reidel Publishing Company.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Hauk, O. , Johnsrude, I. , & Pulvermüller, Fx
    (2004) Somatotopic representation of action words in human motor and premotor cortex. Neuron, 41(2), 301–307. doi: 10.1016/S0896‑6273(03)00838‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0896-6273(03)00838-9 [Google Scholar]
  28. Hebb, D
    (1949) The organization of behavior. New York, NY: Wiley.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Hempel, C.G. , & Oppenheim, P
    (1948) Studies in the logic of explanation. Philosophy of Science, 15(2), 135–175. doi: 10.1086/286983
    https://doi.org/10.1086/286983 [Google Scholar]
  30. Hollis, G. , & Westbury, C
    . (In press). The principals of meaning: Extracting semantic dimensions from co-occurrence models of semantics. Accepted for publication in: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Hollis, G. , Westbury, C. , & Lefsrud, L
    . (In press). Extrapolating human judgments from skip-gram vector representations of word meaning. Accepted for publication in: The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. James, W
    (1890/1950) The principle of psychology (vol. 1 and 2). New York, NY: Dover Publications Inc.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Johnson, M
    (1987) The body in the mind: The bodily basis of meaning, imagination, and reason. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. (1991) Knowing through the body. Philosophical Psychology, 4, 3–18. doi: 10.1080/09515089108573009
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09515089108573009 [Google Scholar]
  35. Johns, B.T. , & Jones, M.N
    (2015) Generating structure from experience: A retrieval-based model of language processing. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(3), 233–251. doi: 10.1037/cep0000053
    https://doi.org/10.1037/cep0000053 [Google Scholar]
  36. Jones, M.N. , & Mewhort, D.J.K
    (2007) Representing word meaning and order information in a composite holographic lexicon. Psychological Review, 114, 1–37. doi: 10.1037/0033‑295X.114.1.1
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.114.1.1 [Google Scholar]
  37. Kousta, S.-T. , Vinson, D.P. , & Vigliocco, G
    (2009) Emotion words, regardless of polarity, have a processing advantage over neutral words. Cognition, 112, 473–481. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2009.06.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2009.06.007 [Google Scholar]
  38. Kugler, P.N. & Turvey, M.T
    (1987) Information, natural law, and the self-assembly of rhythmic movement. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Kussmaul, A
    (1877) Die störungen der sprache: Versuch einer pathologie der sprache. Leipsig, Germany: Vogel.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Lakoff, G
    (1987) Women, fire, and dangerous things: What categories reveal about the mind. Chicago, Il: The University of Chicago Press. doi: 10.7208/chicago/9780226471013.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226471013.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  41. Lakoff, G. , & Johnson, M
    (1980) Metaphors we live by. Chicago, Il: The University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Landauer, T.K. , & Dumais, S.T
    (1997) A solution to Plato’s problem: The latent semantic analysis theory of acquisition, induction, and representation of knowledge. Psychological Review, 104(2), 211–240. doi: 10.1037/0033‑295X.104.2.211
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.104.2.211 [Google Scholar]
  43. Lifchitz, A. , Jhean-Larose, S. , & Denhière, G
    (2009) Effect of tuned parameters on an LSA multiple choice questions answering model. Behavior Research Methods, 41, 1201–1209. doi: 10.3758/BRM.41.4.1201
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BRM.41.4.1201 [Google Scholar]
  44. Lund, K. , & Burgess, C
    (1996) Producing high-dimensional semantic spaces from lexical co-occurrence. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 28, 203–208. doi: 10.3758/BF03204766
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03204766 [Google Scholar]
  45. Maturana, H. & Varela, F
    (1980) Autopoiesis and cognition: The realization of the living. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978‑94‑009‑8947‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-8947-4 [Google Scholar]
  46. McKinley, M.J. , & Johnson, A.K
    (2004) The physiological regulation of thirst and fluid intake. News in Physiological Sciences, 19, 1–6.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Mikolov, T. , Chen, K. , Corrado, G. , & Dean, J
    (2013) Efficient estimation of word representations in vector space. Retrieved from arXiv: 1301.3781
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Mikolov, T. , Sutskever, I. , Chen, K. , Corrado, G.S. , & Dean, J
    (2013) Distributed representations of words and phrases and their compositionality. InAdvances in neural information processing systems26 (pp.3111–3119). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Mingers, J
    (1995) Self-Producing Systems: Implications and Applications of Autopoiesis. New York: Plenum Press. doi: 10.5962/bhl.title.111972
    https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.111972 [Google Scholar]
  50. Moliere
    (1673/2003) The Imaginary Invalid [La Malade Imaginaire]. DownloadedOctober1 2015 from: www.gutenberg.org/9/0/7/9070.
  51. Morris, C.W
    (1946) Signs, language, and behavior. New York, NY: Prentice Hall. doi: 10.1037/14607‑000
    https://doi.org/10.1037/14607-000 [Google Scholar]
  52. Osgood, C.E
    (1952) The nature and measurement of meaning. Psychological Bulletin, 49, 197–237. doi: 10.1037/h0055737
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0055737 [Google Scholar]
  53. Osgood, C.E. , Suci, G.J. , & Tannenbaum, P.H
    (1957).The measurement of meaning. Urbana, Il: University of Illinois Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Plaster, K. , & Polinsky, M
    (2007) Women are not dangerous things: Gender and categorization. Harvard Working Papers in Linguistics, 12. DownloadedSeptember 10, 2016from: scholar.harvard.edu/files/mpolinsky/files/Dyirbal.pdf.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Pulvermüller, F
    (1999) Words in the brain’s language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 253–336. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X9900182X
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X9900182X [Google Scholar]
  56. (2005) Brain mechanisms linking language and action. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 6, 576–582. doi: 10.1038/nrn1706
    https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn1706 [Google Scholar]
  57. Reilly, J. , Westbury, C. , Kean, J. , & Peele, J
    (2012) Arbitrary symbolism in natural language revisited: When word forms carry meaning. PLoS ONE, 7(8), e42286. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042286
    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0042286 [Google Scholar]
  58. Reilly, J. , Hung, J. , & Westbury, C
    . (In press). Non‐Arbitrariness in mapping word form to meaning: Cross‐linguistic formal markers of word concreteness. Accepted for publication in: Cognitive science.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Rescorla, R.A. , & Wagner, A.R
    (1972) A theory of Pavlovian conditioning: Variations in the effectiveness of reinforcement and nonreinforcement. In A.H. Black & W.F. Prokasy (Eds.), Classical conditioning II: Current theory and research (pp.64–99). New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Rescorla, R.A
    (1988) Pavlovian conditioning: It’s not what you think. American Psychologist, 43(3), 151–160. doi: 10.1037/0003‑066X.43.3.151
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.43.3.151 [Google Scholar]
  61. Roy, D.K. , & Pentland, A.P
    (2002) Learning words from sights and sounds: A computational model. Cognitive Science, 26, 113–146. doi: 10.1207/s15516709cog2601_4
    https://doi.org/10.1207/s15516709cog2601_4 [Google Scholar]
  62. Rumelhart, D.E
    (1979) Some problems with the notion of literal meanings. In A. Ortony (Ed.), Metaphor and thought (pp.71–82). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Shaoul, C. , & Westbury, C
    (2008) HiDEx: The high dimensional explorer. Edmonton, AB. Retrieved fromwww.psych.ualberta.ca/~westburylab/downloads.html.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. (2010) Exploring lexical co-occurrence space using HiDEx. Behavior Research Methods, 42(2), 393–413. doi: 10.3758/BRM.42.2.393
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BRM.42.2.393 [Google Scholar]
  65. (2011) HiDEx: The high dimensional explorer. In P. McCarthy & C. Boonthum (Eds.), Applied natural language processing and content analysis: Identification, investigation, and resolution (pp.230–246). IGI Global. doi: 10.4018/978‑1‑60960‑741‑8.ch013
    https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-60960-741-8.ch013 [Google Scholar]
  66. Smith, L.B. , Suanda, S.H. , & Yu, C
    (2014) The unrealized promise of infant statistical word-referent learning. Trends in Cognitive Science, 18(5), 251–258. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2014.02.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2014.02.007 [Google Scholar]
  67. Smith, L. & You, C
    (2008) Infants rapidly learn word-referent mappings via cross-situtaional statistics. Cognition, 106, 1558–1568. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2007.06.010
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2007.06.010 [Google Scholar]
  68. Speer, N.K. , Reynolds, J.R. , Swallow, K.M. , & Zacks, J.M
    (2009) Reading stories activates neural representations of visual and motor experiences. Psychological Science, 20(8), 989–999. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑9280.2009.02397.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02397.x [Google Scholar]
  69. Thelen, E. & Smith, L.B
    (1994) A dynamic systems approach to the development of cognition and action. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  70. Varela, F. , Thompson, E. , & Rosch, E
    (1993) The embodied mind: Cognitive science and human experience. Boston, MA: MIT Press
    [Google Scholar]
  71. Vigliocco, G. , Meteyard, L. , Andrews, M. , & Kousta, S
    (2009) Toward a theory of semantic representation. Language and Cognition, 1(2), 219–247. doi: 10.1515/LANGCOG.2009.011
    https://doi.org/10.1515/LANGCOG.2009.011 [Google Scholar]
  72. Westbury, C
    (2013) You can’t drink a word: Lexical and individual emotionality affect subjective familiarity judgments. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 43(5), 631–49. doi: 10.1007/s10936‑013‑9266‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10936-013-9266-2 [Google Scholar]
  73. Westbury, C. , Keith, J. , Briesemeister B.B. , Hofmann M.J. , & Jacobs A.M
    (2015) Avoid violence, rioting and outrage; Approach celebration, delight, and strength: Using large text corpora to compute valence, arousal, and the basic emotions. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68(8), 1599–1622. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2014.970204
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2014.970204 [Google Scholar]
  74. Westbury, C.F. , Shaoul, C. , Hollis, G. , Smithson, L. , Briesemeister, B.B. , Hofmann, M.J. , & Jacobs, A.M
    (2013) Now you see it, now you don’t: On emotion, context, & the algorithmic prediction of human imageability judgments. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(991). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00991.
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00991 [Google Scholar]
  75. Wittgenstein, L
    (1958) Philosophical investigations. New York, NY: McMillan Publishing Co.
    [Google Scholar]
  76. Yu, C. & Ballard, D.H
    (2007) A unified model of early word learning: Integrating statistical and social cues. Neurocomputing, 70, 2149–2165. doi: 10.1016/j.neucom.2006.01.034
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neucom.2006.01.034 [Google Scholar]
  77. Zwaan, R.A
    (2004) The immersed experiencer: Toward an embodied theory of language comprehension. In B.H. Ross (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 44, pp.35–62). New York: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/ml.11.3.02wes
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error