Dan Sperber
Understanding verbal understanding
What is intelligence?
The Darwin College lecture series
Edited by Jean Khalfa
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994. 179-198.


The chapter shifts away from the traditional emphasis on language production and structure, to concentrate on language understanding; shows that even the simplest acts of communication convey complex hierarchies of intentions that any speaker must be able to infer if he is to understand other speakers' utterances and respond to them; thus, as the ability to assign intentions to others must be prior to verbalisation ..., the explanation of language must ultimately be grounded in the psychology of intelligence. (from the chapter) coding and its limits; inference; naive optimism; cautious optimism; sophisticated understanding.


Maintained by Francis F. Steen, Communication Studies, University of California Los Angeles