Partial Presentation of the PhD Thesis “The Process of Meaning Expansion and the Issue of Semantic (Un)Representability


Partial Presentation of the PhD Thesis “The Process of Meaning Expansion and the Issue of Semantic (Un)Representability The thesis argues that current semantic theories assume conceptual meanings incompatible with the empirical working of natural language, and embraces the process of meaning expansion as its theme because it is considered to be specially revealing of that working, revealing the weak points of the criticized theories. The main contested idea is the pretense autonomy of linguistic meanings relative to the means offered by language for their expression. At first, the focus was mainly upon the existence of a universal and formal semantic metalanguage that may be part of an innate device for language; but as the thesis progressed it was extended to the existence of any definitive metalanguage capable of completely describing linguistics meanings, even if its formative symbols were motivated and backed by general cognition. The purported reason for this claim is that there is no definitive substantive basis, external to language, that could give support for such metalanguage, as the description of linguistics signifiers can take support upon a substantive basis of acoustic-articulatory features. With this, the thesis doesn’t deny that language is essentially characterized by the attempt to represent the experience of the world of linguistic communities; what is assumed is that this attempt can be realized only asymptotically, through the so called poetic function of language, and that there is no finite and determined ensemble of experience dimensions that could give a definite cast of characterizing features for the linguistic meanings. Language is not a mechanism for expressing potentially preexistent meanings, but a depot responsible for the emergence of meanings in itself.

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