In recent work, much of it collaborative, I have been trying to figure out what linguistic meanings are--and how human semantic competence is related to other aspects of human cognition--by approaching the central issues from several angles. These slides provide a high-level overview.

The articles below constitute a different kind of sampler, with a paper for each of six overlapping topics.
I'd like to think that there is an underyling unity to this work. Indeed, I am currentlly completing final revisions of a book manuscript, Conjoining Meanings: Semantics without Truth Values, for publication with OUP. I received very helpful comments on the penultimate draft, which I will leave here, until I send the final manuscript to the press this summer. But because of the helpful comments, the final version will be different, especially with regard to the first two chapters. So please don't quote from any unpublished version of the book.

Here are some other links to...
Although our cognitive systems surely reflect our experience in some manner, a careful specification of the properties of these systems on the one hand, and of the experience that somehow led to their formation on the other, shows that the two are separated by a considerable gap, in fact, a chasm....The problem, then, is to determine the innate endowment that serves to bridge the gap between experience and knowledge attained....The study of language is particularly interesting in this regard.
(Noam Chomsky, Knowledge of Language)

In order to understand a sentence, it is necessary to have knowledge both of the constituents and of the particular instance of the form. It is in this way that a sentence conveys information, since it tells us that certain known objects are related according to a certain known form. Thus some kind of knowledge of logical forms, though with most people it is not explicit, is involved in all understanding of discourse. It is the business of philosophical logic to extract this knowledge from its concrete integuments, and to render it explicit and pure.
(Bertrand Russell, Our Knowledge of the External World)