Meaning and Reality

  • Gaetano Fiorin
  • Denis Delfitto
Part of the Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology book series (PEPRPHPS, volume 25)


In this chapter, we present linguistic evidence towards the conclusion that there is a fundamental difference between things as they are in the external world of material things and things as speakers talk about them. The facts of the language suggest, against the thesis of semantic externalism, that the reality referred to by natural language expressions is the product of a certain amount of conceptualization on the part of the speakers. Amongst the evidence presented, we will devote special attention to the grammatical distinction between count and mass nouns.


Semantic externalism Semantic internalism Mass nouns Count nouns 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaetano Fiorin
    • 1
  • Denis Delfitto
    • 2
  1. 1.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.University of VeronaVeronaItaly

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