In Language and Equilibrium, Prashant Parikh offers a new account of meaning for natural language. He argues that equilibrium, or balance among multiple interacting forces, is a key attribute of language and meaning and shows how to derive the meaning of an utterance from first principles by modeling it as a system of interdependent games.
His account results in a novel view of semantics and pragmatics and describes how both may be integrated with syntax. It considers many aspects of meaning—including literal meaning and implicature—and advances a detailed theory of definite descriptions as an application of the framework.
Language and Equilibrium is intended for a wide readership in the cognitive sciences, including philosophers, linguists, and artificial intelligence researchers as well as neuroscientists, psychologists, and economists interested in language and communication.