Philosophy of Language - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 30 pages of information about Philosophy of Language.
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Philosophy of Language

What, if anything, can philosophy teach us about language? It is a feature of English that its adjectives come before its nouns, as in green table. This syntactic fact distinguishes English from French. In English there is a difference in sound between words that begin with a b and ones that begin with a p. This phonological fact distinguishes English from other languages. Some Arabic languages, for example, have trill sounds. This phonetic feature distinguishes these Arabic languages from English. Are any of these linguistic features philosophically interesting?

It is doubtful whether any philosopher seriously believes that, qua philosopher, they have anything interesting to say about the syntactic, phonetic, and phonological features of languages in general or of English in particular. Why, then, should it be any different for all of the other features of language? For example, that in English a relative pronoun...

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This section contains 8,761 words
(approx. 30 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Philosophy of Language Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Philosophy of Language from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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