- Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics
- List of Abbreviations
- The Contributors
- Compositionality: Its Historic Context
- Composition A Lity In Montague Grammar
- The case for compositionality
- Compositionality Problems and how to Solve Them
- Direct Compositionality
- Semantic Monadicity with Conceptual Polyadicity
- Holism And Compositionality.
- Composition Ality, Flexibility, And Context Dependence
- Compositionality in Kaplan Style Semantics
- Formalizing the relationship between meaning and syntax
- Compositionality and The Context Principle
- Compositionality In Discourse From A Logical Perspective
- Lexical Decomposition In Grammar
- Lexical Decomposition in Modern Syntactic Theory
- Syntax in the Atom
- Co-composition Ality in Grammar
- Typicality and Composition a Lity: the Logic of Combining Vague Concepts
- Emergency!!!! Challenges to a Compositional Understanding of Noun–noun Combinations
- Can Prototype Representations Support Composition And Decomposition?
- Regaining Composure: A Defence Of Prototype Compositionality.
- Simple Heuristics For Concept Combination
- Compositionality and Beyond: Embodied Meaning in Language and Protolanguage
- Compositionality and Linguistic Evolution
- Communication And The complexity of semantics
- Prototypes and their Composition from an Evolutionary Point of View
- Connectionism, Dynamical Cognition, and Non-Classical Compositional Representation
- The Dual-Mechanism Debate
- Compositionality and Biologically Plausible Models
- Neuronal Assembly Models of Compositionality
- Non-Symbolic Compositional Representation and Its Neuronal Foundation: To wards An Emulative Semantics
- The Processing Consequences of Compositionality
Abstract and Keywords
The productivity of language is subserved by two structural properties: language is recursive, which allows the creation of an infinite number of utterances, and language is compositional, which makes the interpretation of novel utterances possible. A potential explanation for the linkage between the functional properties of compositionality and the compositional structure of language is that this fit arose through cultural, rather than biological, evolution. In order to argue that the compositional structure of language is a product of cultural evolution, it is assumed that language is compositional, socially learned, and therefore culturally transmitted. A well-established solution to the problem of linkage in biological systems is that of evolution by natural selection: adaptation. Compositionality can be explained as a cultural adaptation by language to the problem of transmission through a learning bottleneck.
Kenny Smith is a lecturer in the School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh, with interests in the evolution of communication, human language, and the human capacity for language.
Simon Kirby is Professor of Language Evolution at the University of Edinburgh and co‐founder of the Language Evolution and Computation Research Unit. He has pioneered the application of computational and mathematical modelling techniques to traditional issues in language acquisition, change, and evolution. In particular, he has developed an experimental and computational approach to cultural evolution called Iterated Learning, which treats language as a complex adaptive system operating on multiple interacting time‐scales.
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