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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2017

Compositionality and Concepts in Linguistics and Psychology

  • The first book length overview of a central topic in psychology, linguistics, and philosophy

  • Offers a unique integrative overview of experimental work in various areas of semantics and psychology

  • A state-of-the-art overview of this interdisciplinary field by leading authors and young scholars

  • Includes supplementary material:

Part of the book series: Language, Cognition, and Mind (LCAM, volume 3)

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Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-x
  2. Introduction

    • James A. Hampton, Yoad Winter
    Pages 1-7Open Access
  3. Cognitively Plausible Theories of Concept Composition

    • Lawrence W. Barsalou
    Pages 9-30Open Access
  4. Compositionality and Concepts

    • James A. Hampton
    Pages 95-121Open Access
  5. Typicality Knowledge and the Interpretation of Adjectives

    • Choonkyu Lee
    Pages 123-138Open Access
  6. Complement Coercion as the Processing of Aspectual Verbs: Evidence from Self-paced Reading and fMRI

    • Yao-Ying Lai, Cheryl Lacadie, Todd Constable, Ashwini Deo, Maria Mercedes Piñango
    Pages 191-222Open Access
  7. Conceptual Combination, Property Inclusion, and the Aristotelian-Thomistic View of Concepts

    • Christina L. Gagné, Thomas L. Spalding, Matthew Kostelecky
    Pages 223-244Open Access
  8. Conceptual Versus Referential Affordance in Concept Composition

    • Louise McNally, Gemma Boleda
    Pages 245-267Open Access
  9. Back Matter

    Pages 327-337

About this book

By highlighting relations between experimental and theoretical work, this volume explores new ways of addressing one of the central challenges in the study of language and cognition. The articles bring together work by leading scholars and younger researchers in psychology, linguistics and philosophy. An introductory chapter lays out the background on concept composition, a problem that is stimulating much new research in cognitive science. Researchers in this interdisciplinary domain aim to explain how meanings of complex expressions are derived from simple lexical concepts and to show how these meanings connect to concept representations. Traditionally, much of the work on concept composition has been carried out within separate disciplines, where cognitive psychologists have concentrated on concept representations, and linguists and philosophers have focused on the meaning and use of logical operators. This volume demonstrates an important change in this situation, where convergence points between these three disciplines in cognitive science are emerging and are leading to new findings and theoretical insights.


This book is open access under a CC BY license.


  • cognitive science and linguistics
  • compositionality
  • concept composition in linguistics
  • derivation of concept representations
  • empirical research in linguistics
  • experimental semantics
  • experimental work in linguistics
  • formal semantics
  • language and cognition
  • lexical concepts
  • meaning and use of logical concepts
  • meaning and use of logical operators
  • meanings of complex expressions
  • semantic prototypes
  • Open access

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Psychology, City, University of London, London, United Kingdom

    James A. Hampton

  • Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

    Yoad Winter

About the editors

James A. Hampton is a psychologist and cognitive scientist with a career-long interest in how people represent the concepts they use in everyday life. With an MA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from University College London, he has been based at City, University of London since 1977 where he has been a Professor since 1997. He has published over 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals and edited books. His empirical work has contributed to our understanding of how people’s intuitive reasoning based on vaguely defined word meanings can leads to judgments which are at odds with the strict rules of logic. In this research he has engaged in collaborative work with colleagues from other cognitive sciences, including philosophy and linguistics. A particular interest has been the way in which vague concepts can be combined using logical operators such as conjunction, disjunction and negation.

Yoad Winter is a linguist specializing in formal semantics. After obtaining his MSc in Computer Science and Mathematics from Tel-Aviv University, and PhD in Linguistics from Utrecht University, he was appointed as lecturer in Computer Science at Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. After having worked as an associate professor at Technion, he moved to Utrecht University in 2010, where he was appointed as a full professor in Semantics and Artificial Intelligence in 2014. Over the last twenty years he has published extensively in the area of formal semantics. His monograph Flexibility Principles in Boolean Semantics appeared with MIT Press (2001), and his advanced textbook Elements of Formal Semantics with Edinburgh University Press (2016). His main interests are plurality, logical operators in language, spatial expressions, computational reasoning and African drum languages.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)