Mentalist postulate

The mentalist postulate is the thesis that meaning in natural language is an information structure that is mentally encoded by human beings. It is a basic premise of some branches of cognitive semantics. Semantic theories implicitly or explicitly incorporating the mentalist postulate include force dynamics and conceptual semantics.

Two implications of the mentalist postulate are: first, that research on the nature of mental representations can serve to constrain or enrich semantic theories; and secondly, that results of semantic theories bear directly on the nature of human conceptualization.[1]


  1. ^ Jackendoff, Ray (1988). "Conceptual Semantics". In Umberto Eco; Marco Santambrogio; Patrizia Violi (eds.). Meaning and mental representations. Indiana University Press. pp. 81–97. ISBN 978-0-253-33724-5.

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