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ABSTRACT. This paper addresses the common-sense objections to a biopsychological understanding of natural languages. Some traditional notions of shared public languages are problematic for various reasons, both logical and social. It is argued, however, that a modest pragmatic analysis of linguistic norms is defensible, and can illuminate the nature of communication without abandoning a biopsychological perspective. An attempt is made to flesh out Jackendoff’s notion of the “tuning” of semantic representations for the purposes of communication (Jackendoff, 2002). Ultimately, it is argued, a biopsychological perspective remains the best-justified hypothesis for the foundation of core theoretical linguistics. pp. 49–79

Keywords: philosophy; linguistics; linguistic norms; sociolinguistics; communication; natural language semantics

How to cite: Life, Jonathan J. (2017), “An Analysis of Linguistic Normativity and Communication as a Response to Objections to a Biopsychological Foundation for Linguistics,” Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 16: 49–79.

Received 24 December 2015 • Received in revised form 31 January 2016
Accepted 5 February 2016 • Available online 20 April 2016

doi:10.22381/LPI1620173

JONATHAN J. LIFE
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Ph.D., The University of Western Ontario

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