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Minimal Semantics and Word Sense Disambiguation

Published Online: 31 Dec 2018
Page range: 147 - 171
Received: 15 Dec 2013
Accepted: 28 Jul 2014
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
16 Apr 2017
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Copyright
© 2020 Sciendo

Emma Borg has defined semantic minimalism as the thesis that the literal content of well-formed declarative sentences is truth-evaluable, fully determined by their lexico-syntactic features, and recoverable by language users with no need to access non-linguistic information. The task of this article is threefold. First, I shall raise a criticism to Borg’s minimalism based on how speakers disambiguate homonymy. Second, I will explore some ways Borg might respond to my argument and maintain that none of them offers a conclusive reply to my case. Third, I shall suggest that in order for Borg’s minimalism to best accommodate the problem discussed in this paper, it should allow for semantically incomplete content and be converted into a claim about linguistic competence.

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