The logic of the typicality judgments

  • Galit W. Sassoon


The standard model theoretical view of wrd meaning is incompatible with known facts about natural categories ('the typicality effects'), which experimental studies in cognitive psychology robustly support. Parts 1-3 of this paper present and criticize Kamp and Partee's 1995 well known analysis of the typicality effects. The main virtue of this analysis is in the use of supermodels, rather than fuzzy models, in order to represent vagueness in predicate meaning. The main problem is that typicality of an item in a predicate is represented by a value assigned by a measure function, indicating the proportion of supervaluations in which the item falls under the predicate. A number of issue cannot be correctly represented by the measure function, including the typicality effects in sharp predicates; the conjunction fallacy; the context dependency of the typicality effects, etc. In Parts 4-5, it is argued that these classical problems are solved if the typicality ordering is taken to be the order in which entities are learnt to be denotation members (or non-members) through contexts and their extensions. A modified formal model is presented, which clarifies the connnections between the typicality effects, predicate meaning and its acquisition.
How to Cite
Sassoon, G. W. (2019). The logic of the typicality judgments. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 11, 509-524.