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The Journal of Philosophy

Volume 113, Issue 12, December 2016

Wade Munroe
Pages 593-616
DOI: 10.5840/jphil20161131240

Words on Psycholinguistics

David Kaplan’s analysis of the factors that determine what words (if any) someone has used in a given utterance requires that a speaker can only use a word through producing an utterance performed with a particular, related intention directed at speaking that word. This account, or any that requires a speaker to have an intention to utter a specific word, proves inconsistent with models of speech planning in psycholinguistics as informed by data on slips-of-the-tongue. Kaplan explicitly aims to formulate a theory of words that elides the details of the processes responsible for speech planning and production. Though it may superficially seem that the picture of speech planning and production offered by psycholinguistics can add no insight into our analysis—on closer inspection—we find a rich body of empirical data that should be integrated into any viable account of what words someone has used in a given utterance.

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