Category Archives: linguistic meaning

Cheap Talk

Game theorists spend a lot of time thinking about signaling in situations where there is asymmetric information.  These are cases where one player knows more than another player; the first player may want to signal something (for strategic advantage) or … Continue reading

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Entrenchment: “Befriend” vs. “friend”

In “Old words, new meanings,” I talked a little about how words can come to occupy semantic niches; really, this is just the question of how words can come to express the meanings that they express.  The idea is that … Continue reading

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Old words, new meanings

In 2009, the Oxford English Dictionary made “unfriend” the word of the year.    The word is so new, in fact, that my electronic dictionary doesn’t have it.  The entry it gives for “unfriended” is: without friends : murder left … Continue reading

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Games, the very idea

Where does meaning lie?  A lot of people believe that meaning is the product of a mind-internal conceptual system; meaning, on this view, is a private psychological property of individuals.  Communication would be the coded transmission of these private states … Continue reading

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