David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Elsevier (2005)
A total theory of linguistic understanding is often taken to require three subtheories: a syntactic theory, a semantic theory, and a pragmatic theory. The semantic theory occupies an intermediary role – it takes as input structures generated by the syntax, assigns to those structures meanings, and then passes those meanings on to the pragmatics, which characterizes the conversational 1 impact of those meanings. Semantic theories thus seek to explain phenomena such as truth conditions of and inferential relations among sentences/utterances, anaphoric relations among terms, and ambiguity and incoherence of expressions.
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