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Pragmatics

Edited by Christopher Gauker (University of Salzburg)
About this topic
Summary Topics in the philosophy of language tend to fall into two main branches, pragmatics and semantics.  Roughly, semantics deals with conventional meaning.  Theories in formal semantics for natural language attempt to pair meanings with sentence-context pairs in some systematic way.  A primary test of correctness for a semantic theory is whether it allows us to define the logical properties of sentences (such as whether one sentence logically implies another).  The term “pragmatics” covers both a part of formal semantics, so defined, and also the study of the ways in which utterances effect communication.  The first kind of pragmatic theory deals with the way in which the extensions of terms and the truth values of sentences depend on features of the situation in which the sentence is spoken.  The second kind of pragmatic theory studies the nature of speech acts, such as asserting or asking, and also the ways in which speakers manage to convey more than the conventional meaning of the sentence uttered.  It is not always clear where in this taxonomy a given phenomenon should fall.  The topic of presupposition, for instance, has been located under all of these headings.
Key works The classics of pragmatics include Austin 1975, Searle 1969, Grice 1989, Kaplan 1989, Stalnaker 1973, and Lewis 1979.  More recent contributions that have drawn considerable attention include Bach 1994, Recanati 2004, Lepore & Cappelen 2005, and Stanley & Szabó 2000
Introductions

An excellent but now somewhat dated collection of classics is Stephen Davis, ed., Pragmatics: A Reader, Oxford University Press, 1991.  For a short overview of some current issues, see Gauker 2012.

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  1. Ernest W. Adams (1984). Convention T's Pragmatic and Semantic Association, and Its Limitations. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 65 (2):124.
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  2. Keith Allan, The Pragmatics of Connotation.
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  3. Juan José Colomina Almiñana (2010). ¿ Qué podemos aprovechar del análisis austiniano del significado y de la verdad? Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 42 (2):197 - 218.
    In this paper, we try to show why a formal definition of truth is not satisfactory (first point). Later, we expound (second point) the polemic between Austin and Strawson about truth with the intention to show that both refer to different problems concerning truth and to prove that Austin did not lose this confrontation and that we can recover some elements of his investigation for making an adequate approach to this notion. We will complete our definition of truth using the (...)
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  4. Juan José Colomina Almiñana (2007). El papel del significado en una noción pragmática de la verdad. Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 32 (1):85-108.
    In this paper, we try to show why a formal definition of truth is not satisfactory (first point). Later, we expound (second point) the polemic between Austin and Strawson about truth with the intention to show that both refer to different problems concerning truth and to prove that Austin did not lose this confrontation and that we can recover some elements of his investigation for making an adequate approach to this notion. We will complete our definition of truth using the (...)
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  5. Karl -Otto Apel (1975). The Problem of Philosophical Fundamental-Grounding in Light of a Transcendental Pragmatic of Language. Man and World 8 (3):239-275.
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  6. Karl O. Apel (1981). Intentions, Conventions, and Reference to Things'. In Herman Parret & Jacques Bouveresse (eds.), Meaning and Understanding. W. De Gruyter 79.
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  7. Karl-Otto Apel (2003). Transcendental Pragmatics*(1979). In Gerard Delanty & Piet Strydom (eds.), Philosophies of Social Science: The Classic and Contemporary Readings. Open University 316.
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  8. Leo Apostel (1979). Persuasive Communication As Metaphorical Discourse Under The Guidance Of Conversational Maxims. Logique Et Analyse 22 (September):265-320.
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  9. Michael Argyle (1976). Non-Verbal Communication and Language. Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures 10:63-78.
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  10. Jane Aronson (1994). Pragmatic Intrusion. Dissertation, Stanford University
    A well-developed and commonly held view of the interaction between semantics and pragmatics is the Gricean view that suggests that pragmatics is limited to operating on the output of the semantic component. This dissertation considers the impact that a certain class of "intrusion" examples has on a broadly Gricean approach. Briefly, the problem is that such examples appear to require precisely what the Gricean picture excludes: semantic operations applying to the output of pragmatic inference. ;Chapter one talks about semantics and (...)
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  11. Madeleine Arseneault & Robert Stainton (2000). Holisme et homophonie. Dialogue 39 (01):123-.
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  12. Yuko Asano-Cavanagh (2011). An Analysis of Three Japanese Tags:Ne,Yone, Anddaroo. Pragmatics and Cognitionpragmatics and Cognition 19 (3):448-475.
    This paper presents an analysis of three Japanese words — ne, yone, and daroo. These three expressions are often interpreted as tag questions in English. Although these words are semantically closely related, they are not always interchangeable. The subtle differences between them are difficult to grasp, especially for language learners. Numerous studies have been undertaken in order to clarify the meanings of ne, yone, and daroo. However, opinions vary among different scholars, and definitions for these markers are not fully established. (...)
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  13. Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides (2003). Logics of Conversation. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  14. Salvatore Attardo (2005). Klaus-Uwe Panther and Linda L. Thornburg ,Metonymy and Pragmatic Inferencing. [REVIEW] Pragmatics and Cognitionpragmatics and Cognition 13 (2):433-438.
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  15. Valérie Aucouturier (2014). Vouloir Dire Et Vouloir faireMeaning and Intendion. On the Relations Between Language and Action. Methodos 14.
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  16. Ken Bach (1995). Speech Act Theory. In Audi Robert (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Cambridge University Press 758.
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  17. Kent Bach (1995). Standardization Vs. Conventionalization. Linguistics and Philosophy 18 (6):677 - 686.
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  18. Kent Bach (1987). On Communicative Intentions: A Reply to Recanti. Mind and Language 2 (2):141-154.
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  19. Adam Bailey (1980). Indicatives and Imperatives.
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  20. S. Balari (2006). Reflexiones biolingüísticas: Cómo puede ayudar la biología a comprender mejor las facultades lingüísticas humanas. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 25 (3).
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  21. Ann Banfield (1973). Narrative Style and the Grammar of Direct and Indirect Speech. Foundations of Language 10 (1):1-39.
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  22. Yehoshua Bar-Hillel (1946). Analysis of "Correct" Language. Mind 55 (220):328-340.
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  23. Dorit Bar-On (2013). Expressive Communication and Continuity Skepticism. Journal of Philosophy 110 (6):293-330.
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  24. Mary Bazire & Patrick Brézillon (2005). Understanding Context Before Using It. In B. Kokinov A. Dey (ed.), Modeling and Using Context. Springer 29--40.
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  25. Monroe Beardsley (1979). Verbal Style and Illocutionary Action. In Leonard B. Meyer & Berel Lang (eds.), The Concept of Style. University of Pennsylvania Press 149--168.
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  26. David Bedford (1993). John Dewey's Logical Project. Journal of Pragmatics 19 (5):453-468.
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  27. Monika Bednarek (2009). Dimensions of Evaluation: Cognitive and Linguistic Perspectives. Pragmatics and Cognition 17 (1):146-176.
    In the past two decades or so, a number of researchers from various fields within linguistics have turned their attention to interpersonal phenomena, such as the linguistic expression of speaker opinion or evaluation , or the encoding of subjectivity in language and its diachronic development . Many linguists have offered categorizations of evaluative meaning, based on authentic discourse data, but no connection has been made with cognitive approaches to appraisal processes. This paper offers a first meta-theoretical exploration of such issues. (...)
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  28. William O. Beeman (2010). Performance Pragmatics, Neuroscience and Evolution. Pragmatics and Society 1 (1):118-137.
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  29. Lars Bejerholm (1966). Religiöse Performative. Neue Zeitschrift für Systematicsche Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 8 (3):255-264.
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  30. V. Bell (2006). Performative Knowledge. Theory, Culture and Society 23 (2-3):214-217.
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  31. Gustav Bergmann (1947). Philosophical and Psychological Pragmatics. Philosophy of Science 14 (3):271-273.
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  32. Memo Bergmann (1986). How Many Feminists Does It Take To Make A Joke? Sexist Humor and What's Wrong With It. Hypatia 1 (1):63-82.
    In this paper I am concerned with two questions: What is sexist humor? and what is wrong with it? To answer the first question, I briefly develop a theory of humor and then characterize sexist humor as humor in which sexist beliefs are presupposed and are necessary to the fun. Concerning the second question, I criticize a common sort of argument that is supposed to explain why sexist humor is offensive: although the argument explains why sexist humor feels offensive, it (...)
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  33. Merrie Bergmann (1981). Presupposition and Two-Dimensional Logic. Journal of Philosophical Logic 10 (1):27 - 53.
  34. Roxane Bertrand & Beatrice Priego Valverde (2011). Does Prosody Play a Specific Role in Conversational Humor? Pragmatics and Cognition 19 (2):333-356.
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  35. Mary Besemeres & Anna Wierzbicka (2003). Pragmatics and Cognition: The Meaning of the Particle Lah in Singapore English. Pragmatics and Cognition 11 (1):3-38.
    In this paper we try to crack one of the hardest and most intriguing chestnuts in the field of cross-cultural pragmatics and to identify the meaning of the celebrated Singaporean particle lah ¿ the hallmark of Singapore English. In pursuing this goal, we investigate the use of lah and seek to identify its meaning by trying to find a paraphrase in ordinary language which would be substitutable for lah in any context. In doing so, we try to enter the speakers¿ (...)
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  36. Mary Besemeres & Anna Wierzbicka (2003). The Meaning of the Particlelahin Singapore English. Pragmatics and Cognitionpragmatics and Cognition 11 (1):3-38.
    In this paper we try to crack one of the hardest and most intriguing chestnuts in the field of cross-cultural pragmatics and to identify the meaning of the celebrated Singaporean particle lah — the hallmark of Singapore English. In pursuing this goal, we investigate the use of lah and seek to identify its meaning by trying to find a paraphrase in ordinary language which would be substitutable for lah in any context. In doing so, we try to enter the speakers' (...)
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  37. Anat Biletzki, Shoshana Blum-Kulka, Marcelo Dascal, Nomi Erteschik-Shir, Tamar Katriel, Ruth Manor, George-Elia Sarfati, Tamar Sovran, Elda Weizman & Yael Ziv (1999). International Pragmatics Conference On. Pragmatics and Cognition 7 (1):247-248.
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  38. Martina Blečić (2011). Drawing the Boundaries of Meaning: Neo-Gricean Studies in Pragmatics and Semantics in Honor of Laurence R. Horn; Edited by Betty J. Birner and Gregory Ward (John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2006), 350 Pp. [REVIEW] Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (1 (31)):133-139.
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  39. Martina Blečić (2011). Drawing the Boundaries of Meaning: Neo-Gricean Studies in Pragmatics and Semantics in Honor of Laurence R. Horn. [REVIEW] Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):133-139.
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  40. Gregory Bochner, Philippe De Brabanter, Mikhail Kissine & Daniela Rossi (eds.) (2011). Cognitive and Empirical Pragmatics : Issues and Perspectives. Belgian Journal of Linguistics 25.
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  41. Rudolf Boehm (2002). Topik. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  42. Peter Bornedal (1997). Speech and System. Museum Tusculanum Press.
    2.2.4) Differance as Supplement 246 2.3) Anti-logics 248 2.3.1) Argumentative Incompatibility 249 2.3.2) Counter-Finality 250 2.3.3) Performative ...
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  43. Peter Bosch & Rob van der Sandt (eds.) (1995). Focus and Natural Language Processing. Ibm Deutschland.
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  44. Francesca M. Bosco (2006). Cognitive Pragmatics. In Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. 546--552.
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  45. Robert Brandom (2002). Pragmatics and Pragmatisms. In Urszula M. Żegleń & James Conant (eds.), Hilary Putnam: Pragmatism and Realism. Routledge 40--58.
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  46. Richard Breheny, Napoleon Katsos & John Williams (2006). Are Generalised Scalar Implicatures Generated by Default? An on-Line Investigation Into the Role of Context in Generating Pragmatic Inferences. Cognition 100 (3):434-463.
  47. Juliette Brézillon & Patrick Brézillon (2007). Context Modeling: Context as a Dressing of a Focus. In D. C. Richardson B. Kokinov (ed.), Modeling and Using Context. Springer 136--149.
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  48. Karl Britton (1939). Communication. College Park, Md.,Mcgrath Pub. Co..
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  49. Sylvain Bromberger (1993). On What We Know We Don't Know: Explanation, Theory, Linguistics, and How Questions Shape Them. University of Chicago Press.
    In this collection of essays, Bromberger explores the centrality of questions and predicaments they create in scientific research. He discusses the nature of explanation, theory, and the foundations of linguistics.
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  50. Gillian Brown (1998). Context Creation in Discourse Understanding. In Kirsten Malmkjær & John Williams (eds.), Context in Language Learning and Language Understanding. Cambridge University Press 171--192.
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