David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In the 1950s, Chomsky and his colleagues began attempts to reduce the complexity of natural language phonology and syntax to a few general principles. It wasn’t long before philosophers, notably John Searle and H. Paul Grice, started looking for ways to do the same for rational communication (Chapman 2005). In his 1967 William James Lectures, Grice presented a loose optimization system based on his maxims of conversation. The resulting papers (especially Grice 1975) strike a fruitful balance between intuitive exploration and formal development. Though the work is not particularly formal, it marks the birth of modern formal pragmatics. Pragmatics is central to the theory of linguistic meaning because, to paraphrase Levinson (2000), the encoded content of the sentences we utter is only the barest sketch of what we actually communicate with those utterances. Utterance interpretation involves complex interactions among (i) semantic content, (ii) the context of utterance, and (iii) general pragmatic pressures (of which Grice’s maxims are one conception). The starting point for a formal pragmatics is the observation that speakers agree to a remarkable extent on the interpretations of the utterances they hear, suggesting that there are deep regularities across speakers, utterance contexts, and sentence types in how (i)–(iii) interact. An overarching challenge for pragmatic theory is that semantic content and the context of utterance influence each other. It is common, for instance, to find that the meaning of a sentence is crucially incomplete without contextual information. Indexicals and demonstratives are paradigm cases: ‘I am here now’ doesn’t have a fully specified denotation without information about who the speaker is, when he is speaking, and where he is speaking. Similarly, modal auxiliaries like must admit of a wide range of interpretations..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Konrad Talmont-Kaminski (2005). Pragmatist Pragmatics: The Functional Context of Utterances. Philosophica 75.
Christopher Gauker (2012). Semantics and Pragmatics. In Gillian Russell & Delia Graff Fara (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Routledge.
Jay David Atlas (2005). Logic, Meaning, and Conversation: Semantical Underdeterminacy, Implicature, and Their Interface. Oxford University Press.
Emma Borg (2004). Minimal Semantics. Oxford University Press.
Emma Borg (2004). Formal Semantics and Intentional States. Analysis 64 (3):215–223.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2009-01-28
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?