chapter  12
40 Pages

Language and the Symbolic Processes: Linguistic Models and Associationism

An essential feature of the psychological issue is the old problem of meaning, related in this case to syntax as well as to word units. Thus Garrett and Fodor (1968) assume "that understanding a sentence entails pairing it with an appropriate semantic interpretation and that the interpretation is uniquely determined by relevant lexical and syntactic data (p. 451)." Since the fluent speaker is able to provide an interpretation for an indefinitely large set of sentences, it is neces-

sary to assume further that he is equipped with the ability to provide both "structural descriptions" and "semantic readings" for sentences. These inseparable components of syntacticity and semanticity of language behavior constitute the puzzle that psycholinguistic theories and empirical studies have attempted to solve.