Unsaid Thoughts: Thinking in the absence of (some) verbal logical connectives
David J. Lobina, Josep Demestre, José E. García-Albea, Marc Guasch
November 2021

Combining two thoughts into a compound mental representation is a central feature of our verbal and non-verbal logical abilities. We here approach this issue by focusing on the contingency that while natural languages typically verbalise only two of the sixteen connectives from formal logic to express compound thoughts —and and or— the remainder appear to be entertainable as non-verbal, conceptual representations and this suggests a way to probe how linguistic and non-linguistic thinking processes relate. In a visual world experiment aimed at tracking both comprehension-related and reasoning-related aspects of the capacity to represent compound thoughts, we found that participants are capable of learning and interpreting a made-up word for logic’s NAND operator, indicating that unlexicalised logical connectives are nonetheless conceptually available. NB: This file is composed of two texts: a largely discursive paper in the style of magazines such as Science and Nature, with a length of about 20 pages, followed by a detailed and lengthy description of the materials and methods, again in the style of the supplementary materials one often finds in Science or Nature, for a total of 59 pages. This work is so unpublished, but the authors are open to suggestions. The Authors
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006330
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: So far: here and at PsyArXiv
keywords: logical connectives; nand operator; learnability; lexicalisation., semantics, syntax
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