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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines how communicative intentions affect the way people use and understand both spoken and written language. It first provides an overview of the link between intention and meaning and looks at evidence on the use and understanding of intentional language. It then considers intentions in written language, some problems with the argument that intentions are entirely private mental states in the minds of individual people, and the self-organization of intentional meaning. It rejects the intentional perspective on linguistic communication and instead views intentional behaviors as emergent products of complex self-organization processes that characterize many physical and biological systems. It also analyzes how the empirical evidence on intentions in meaningful experiences of language can be reconciled with the alternative perspective of self-organizational theory.

Keywords: Intention, language, meaning, self-organization, mental states, linguistic communication, self-organizational theory

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