Field of Science

Semantics Summer Reading List

This summer, I organized two book clubs involving people from people in the Laboratory for Developmental Studies. Many of us have difficulty finding time to read, and the hope was that by forming book clubs there would be peer pressure to read some foundational material. The project has been more or less successful for different people, but at the very least I have managed a lot of reading.

The book clubs were organized around language meaning (some combination of the fields of semantics and pragmatics). Based on mutual interest, we have read or are reading the following books:

Levinson (2000) Presumptive Meanings
Quine (1960) Word and Object
Vygotsky (1934) Language & Thought
Fodor (1975) The Language of Thought
Heim & Kratzer (1998) Semantics in Generative Grammar
Tomasello (2003) Constructing a Language

Keep in mind of course that some obvious books are not on this list because we've already read them (for instance, we read Pinker's Learnability & Cognition and Jackendoff's Semantic Structures last winter) and some are not on the list because we plan to read them in the near future (Pustejovsky's The Generative Lexicon is a popular choice for this coming Fall).

That said, for those of you in the field, if you were to read 6 books on semantics & pragmatics over the summer, what would you read?


Andy said...

What about Language of Thought 2, by Fodor - out last year?

josh said...

Felt I had to read the old one first:) But I'm curious about what he has to say different now. 1975 (when the original book was published) was a very different time.