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Gongsun Longzi’s “form”: Minimal word meaning

Limin Liu, Qiao Huang

Article ID: 1200
Vol 2, Issue 1, 2020, Article identifier:1-18

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Inspired by Gongsun Longzi’s “form-naming” idea about word meaning, this paper argues that 1) the internal lexicon contains only the list of word-meaning pairs, with no additional information either as part of word meaning or as a structural level above it; 2) the meaning of word is a minimal C-Form, the identifying conceptual meaning that individuates a concept; 3) C-Form is the interface between word meaning and concept meaning; and 4) a sentence has a minimal semantic content, consisting of the minimal meanings of the words composing it, which is propositional and truth-evaluable, and contextual elements contribute nothing to the meaning of language expressions. This paper adheres to semantic minimalism, believing meanwhile that meaning holism helps in semantics inquiry, since reflection on language meaning differs from language meaning itself.




Gongsun Longzi; semantic minimalism; word meaning; meaning holism

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