Focus: A case study on the semantics/pragmatics boundary
|Abstract||(1) He spoke GREEK. Philosophers coming to language from the tradition of logical semantics have sometimes been inclined to discount this sort of phenomenon. It makes no diﬀerence to the truth conditions of this particular sentence, and may appear merely to be an aspect of the vocal realization of the sentence—of interest to phonologists, and perhaps to socio-linguists, but not of much importance to fundamental philosophical questions about semantics and pragmatics. This appearance is deceptive. In fact, as we will see below, focus is a locus of interaction between semantics and pragmatics. Understanding this innocent-looking phenomenon is important to understanding how semantics and pragmatics relate to one-another.|
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