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  • Upon further reflection (trust me on this), you could never winnow away the possibilites and arrive at the meaning of "gavagai" ... that is, never unless you are making some assumptions about what the tribesman could mean (that is, if you assume definitions involving undetached rabbit parts are too unlikely to even consider).

    Why languages can't be learned

  • Quine's gavagai paradox is one of the easier cases to describe, though I can see how that looks more like mentalese than grammar.

    Universal meaning

  • One classic problem, which I've discussed before on this blog, is the gavagai problem.

    Universal meaning

  • We don't have learn that gavagai doesn't change it's meaning based on the day of the week because we assume that it doesn't.

    Universal meaning

  • He already knows that while the number of possible meanings for gavagai is great, the number of probable meanings is very low.

    Ghost Month, Teleology, Cognition, and Belief

  • The book strains belief at times because of how stunningly unhelpful the residents of the foreign city are (this is the sort of language that Chomsky claims could not exist, so utterly different is it from any known language; it makes Quine's gavagai query look trivial in comparison).


  • ..& props, a cunning linguist, i feel enlightened by the opportunity to peruse "quine's gavagai"...

    This Just In: I Bid You "Aduh" Until 2010


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  • gavagai!

    January 17, 2009