What malapropisms mean: A reply to Donald Davidson [Book Review]

Erkenntnis 60 (3):317-334 (2004)
Abstract
In this paper, I argue against Davidson's (1986) view that our ability to understand malapropisms forces us to re-think the standard construal of literal word meaning as conventional meaning. Specially, I contend that the standard construal is not only intuitive but also well-motivated, for appeal to conventional meaning is necessary to understand why speakers utter the particular words they do. I also contend that, contra Davidson, we can preserve the intuitive distinction between what a speaker means and what his words mean, even while retaining the standard construal of literal word meaning as conventional.
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