Compositionality

[Revised entry by Zoltán Gendler Szabó on May 24, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Anything that deserves to be called a language must contain meaningful expressions built up
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[Revised entry by Zoltán Gendler Szabó on May 24, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] Anything that deserves to be called a language must contain meaningful expressions built up from other meaningful expressions. How are their complexity and meaning related? The traditional view is that the relationship is fairly tight: the meaning of a complex expression is fully determined by its structure and the meanings of its constituents - once we fix what the parts mean and how they are put together we have no more leeway regarding the meaning of the whole. This is the principle of compositionality, a fundamental...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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