Thoughts and Utterances: The Pragmatics of Explicit Communication / Edition 1

Thoughts and Utterances: The Pragmatics of Explicit Communication / Edition 1

by Robyn Carston
     
 

Thoughts and Utterances is the first sustained investigation of two distinctions that are fundamental to all theories of utterance understanding: the semantics/pragmatics distinction and the distinction between what is explicitly and what is implicitly communicated.

The central claim of this book is that the linguistically encoded meaning of an

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Overview

Thoughts and Utterances is the first sustained investigation of two distinctions that are fundamental to all theories of utterance understanding: the semantics/pragmatics distinction and the distinction between what is explicitly and what is implicitly communicated.

The central claim of this book is that the linguistically encoded meaning of an utterance underdetermines the propositions explicitly communicated by the utterance. The arguments and analyses are developed within the relevance-theoretic framework of Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson, so the approach is resolutely cognitive, focussing on the representational levels and mental processes involved in utterance interpretation. However, extensive comparison is made throughout with other pragmatic frameworks, including those of Paul Grice, François Recanati and Kent Bach, which are more philosophically based, and that of Stephen Levinson, which has a more linguistic and computational orientation.

Finally, this volume assesses and attempts to reconcile the different perspectives of theories of human semantic competence and accounts of the pragmatic processes involved in communication and interpretation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780631214885
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
11/04/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
3.94(w) x 9.84(h) x 0.59(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction.

1. Pragmatics and Linguistic Underdeterminacy:.

Saying and Meaning.

The Underdeterminacy Thesis.

Eternal Sentences and Effability.

Metarepresentation, Relevance and Pragmatic Inference.

Underdeterminacy, Truth Conditions and the Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction.

Radical Underdeterminacy and the Background.

Underdeterminacy of Thought?.

Summary.

2. The Explicit/Implicit Distinction:.

Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction.

Grice: Saying/Implicating.

Sperber and Wilson: Relevance-theoretic Distinctions.

Travis and Recanati: Enriched ‘What is Said'.

Bach: What is Said/Impliciture/Implicature.

Pragmatic Meaning: Enrichment or Implicature?.

Postscript: Hidden Indexicals or ‘Free Enrichment?.

Conclusion: From Generative Semantics to Pro-active Pragmatics.

3. The Pragmatics of 'And'-Conjunction:.

Preserving the Truth-functionality of 'And'.

A Relevance-based Pragmatics of Conjunction.

The Semantic Alternatives.

Cognitive Fundamentals: Causality and Explanation.

Relevance Relations and Units of Processing.

Processing Effort and Iconicity.

Residual Issues.

Conclusion: From Generalized Conversational Implicature.

4. The Pragmatics of Negation:.

Some Data and Some Distinctions.

Semantic Ambiguity Analyses.

Strong Pragmatic Analyses.

‘Presupposition'-cancelling Negation and Metalinguistic Negation.

The Pragmatics of ‘Presupposition'-Denial.

Conclusion: From Multiple Semantic Ambiguity to Univocal Semantics and Pragmatic Enrichment.

5. The Pragmatics of On-line Concept Construction:.

Encoded Concepts and Communicated Concepts.

A Symmetrical Account of Narrowing and Broadening.

Metaphor: Loose Use and Ad Hoc Concepts.

Word Meaning and Concepts.

Conclusion: The Long Road from Linguistically Encoded Meaning to the Thought(s) Explicitly Communicated.

Appendix 1: Relevance Theory Glossary.

Appendix 2: Gricean Conversational Principles.

References.

Index.

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