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  • Publication
    Possible Nouns for Visual Experiences: A Theory of the Vision-Language Interface
    (New Prairie Press, 2019-12) ;
    The relation between vision and language is analyzed through a formal statement of what defines objecthood in the two domains. An interpretation of independently-motivated approaches to vision and to the grammar of nominals allows us to define the connection between them as an “infomorphism” consisting of two functions. Visual and linguistic objects are only indirectly related: the functions range over types and tokens, whose map defines objecthood in each domain. We show how the inferences proved in this system are empirically correct, and we draw some conclusions about the import of our proposal on the role of language in cognition.
  • Publication
    Nouns for visual objects: A hypothesis of the vision-language interface
    We propose an interpretation of the vision process and a structural analysis of nouns and nominal reference which make it possible to relate the visual/cognitive and the linguistic encapsulation of objecthood in a rigorous way. The result of this integrated hypothesis is a predictive account of possible and impossible nouns lexicalizing visual objects. Visual objects are indexed relations between stimuli interpreted via visual properties, such as [round], and what we define as object concepts: a red ball is the relation between the red and spherical features and the object concept of a ball. In language, nouns identify object concepts, semantically modelled as kinds, and the noun phrases they head can refer to instances of those kinds. No aspect of grammatical structure links up to visual properties directly, so no noun in natural language can denote an arbitrary subset of visual properties; the interaction is only at the level of objects, whether an abstract concept or a fully specified referent (the latter expressed by a full noun phrase). We formalize the relation between the two by means of an infomorphism, a formal representation of information flow between systems. This translates the objects of the visual and linguistic systems in terms of information types and tokens, constraining the possible lexicalization of object concepts. For instance, a visual property cannot be identified by a choice of noun unless it is interpreted as instantiating an object concept, because nouns can denote object concepts but not directly properties.
      218Scopus© Citations 2