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 1962, Searle 2012, Grice 1989, Kaplan 1989, Stalnaker 1973, and Lewis 1979.  More recent contributions that have drawn considerable attention include Bach 1994, Recanati 2002, Cappelen & Lepore 2005, and Stanley & Szabó 2000

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.

Related categories

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Material to categorize
  1. Convention T's Pragmatic and Semantic Association, and Its Limitations.Ernest W. Adams - 1984 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 65 (2):124.
  2. Some Questions About Language: A Theory About Human Discourse and Its Objects.Mortimer J. Adler - 1978 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 11 (2):143-145.
  3. Fixing Unsaid Meanings.Rodrigo Agerri - 2002 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6 (4):149-150.
  4. Mulla Sadra's View of Equating Uncertain Propositions with Conditional Propositions.Sayyid Al-Huda - unknown - Kheradnameh Sadra Quarterly 32.
    According to the principle of presupposition, in affirmative propositions, whose subject is the impossible being by essence, it is necessary for the subject to be realized, which is impossible. It seems that a good solution to this problem is considering uncertain categorical propositions as conditional ones. However, Muslim philosophers, particularly Mulla Sadra, believe that although uncertain propositions are coextensive with conditional ones, their logical structure is a categorial one.It seems that their most important reason for opposing equating conditional and uncertain (...)
  5. Problems of Discourse Theory.Robert Alexy - 1988 - Critica 20 (58):43 - 65.
  6. The Pragmatics of Connotation.Keith Allan - unknown
  7. The Problem of Philosophical Fundamental-Grounding in Light of a Transcendental Pragmatic of Language.Karl -Otto Apel - 1975 - Man and World 8 (3):239-275.
  8. Intentions, Conventions, and Reference to Things'.Karl O. Apel - 1981 - In Herman Parret & Jacques Bouveresse (eds.), Meaning and Understanding. W. De Gruyter. pp. 79.
  9. Transcendental Pragmatics*(1979).Karl-Otto Apel - 2003 - In Gerard Delanty & Piet Strydom (eds.), Philosophies of Social Science: The Classic and Contemporary Readings. Open University. pp. 316.
  10. Persuasive Communication As Metaphorical Discourse Under The Guidance Of Conversational Maxims.Leo Apostel - 1979 - Logique Et Analyse 22 (September):265-320.
  11. Non-Verbal Communication and Language.Michael Argyle - 1976 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures 10:63-78.
  12. Holisme et homophonie.Madeleine Arseneault & Robert Stainton - 2000 - Dialogue 39 (1):123-.
  13. Klaus-Uwe Panther and Linda L. Thornburg ,Metonymy and Pragmatic Inferencing. [REVIEW]Salvatore Attardo - 2005 - Pragmatics and Cognitionpragmatics and Cognition 13 (2):433-438.
  14. Vouloir Dire Et Vouloir faireMeaning and Intendion. On the Relations Between Language and Action.Valérie Aucouturier - 2014 - Methodos 14.
  15. Relevant Questions.Kent Bach & Robert M. Harnish - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):711.
  16. Reflexiones biolingüísticas: Cómo puede ayudar la biología a comprender mejor las facultades lingüísticas humanas.S. Balari - 2006 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 25 (3).
  17. Narrative Style and the Grammar of Direct and Indirect Speech.Ann Banfield - 1973 - Foundations of Language 10 (1):1-39.
  18. Analysis of "Correct" Language.Yehoshua Bar-Hillel - 1946 - Mind 55 (220):328-340.
  19. A Mentalist Framework for Linguistic and Extralinguistic Communication.Bruno G. Bara & Maurizio Tirassa - 2010 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 9:182-193.
  20. Verbal Style and Illocutionary Action.Monroe Beardsley - 1979 - In Leonard B. Meyer & Berel Lang (eds.), The Concept of Style. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 149--168.
  21. Performance Pragmatics, Neuroscience and Evolution.William O. Beeman - 2010 - Pragmatics and Society 1 (1):118-137.
  22. Speech Accommodation Theory and Audience Design.Allan Bell - 2006 - In Keith Brown (ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Elsevier. pp. 11--648.
  23. Performative Knowledge.V. Bell - 2006 - Theory, Culture and Society 23 (2-3):214-217.
  24. Philosophical and Psychological Pragmatics.Gustav Bergmann - 1947 - Philosophy of Science 14 (3):271-273.
  25. International Pragmatics Conference On.Anat Biletzki, Shoshana Blum-Kulka, Marcelo Dascal, Nomi Erteschik-Shir, Tamar Katriel, Ruth Manor, George-Elia Sarfati, Tamar Sovran, Elda Weizman & Yael Ziv - 1999 - Pragmatics and Cognition 7 (1):247-248.
  26. Signs, Language, and Behavior.Max Black & Charles Morris - 1947 - Philosophical Review 56 (2):203.
  27. 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]Martina Blečić - 2011 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (1 (31)):133-139.
  28. Cognitive and Empirical Pragmatics : Issues and Perspectives.Gregory Bochner, Philippe De Brabanter, Mikhail Kissine & Daniela Rossi (eds.) - 2011 - Belgian Journal of Linguistics 25.
  29. Topik.Rudolf Boehm - 2002
  30. Focus and Natural Language Processing.Peter Bosch & Rob van der Sandt (eds.) - 1995 - Ibm Deutschland.
  31. Cognitive Pragmatics.Francesca M. Bosco - 2006 - In Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. pp. 546--552.
  32. Aspects of Conversational Structure in the Research Interview.Michael Brenner - 1981 - In Paul Werth (ed.), Conversation and Discourse. St. Martins Press. pp. 19--40.
  33. Communication.Karl Britton - 1939 - College Park, Md., Mcgrath Pub. Co..
  34. Chapter V. The Communicative Function of Questions.Anna Brożek - unknown - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 99:101-127.
  35. On the Pragmatics of Post Focal Material in Italian (Left Peripheral Focus Looked at From the Other Side).Lisa Brunetti - 2009 - In Denis Apothéloz, Bernard Combettes & Franck Neveu (eds.), Les Linguistiques du Détachement: Actes du Colloque International de Nancy (7-9 Juin 2006). P. Lang. pp. 151--62.
  36. Modern Poetry and the Idea of Language: A Critical and Historical Study.Gerald L. Bruns - 1974 - Dalkey Archive Press.
    Bruns lucidly depicts the distinctions and convergences between these two lines of thought by examining the works of Mallarme, Flaubert, Joyce, Beckett, and ...
  37. H. PUTNAM: Words and Life.Godehard Brüntrup - 1997 - Theologie Und Philosophie 72:465-467.
  38. Logic, Language, and Argumentation in Projection of Philosophical Knowledge.G. A. Brutian & Haykakan Matenashar Galust Kiwlpenkean Himnarkut Ean - 1998
  39. Verbal Utterances as Data.A. M. Buchwald - 1961 - In H. Feigl & G. Maxwell (eds.), Current Issues in the Philosophy of Science. New York. pp. 461--472.
  40. Comments on Buchwald's" Verbal Utterances as Data.".R. Buck - 1961 - In H. Feigl & G. Maxwell (eds.), Current Issues in the Philosophy of Science. New York. pp. 468--472.
  41. Does Language Determine Our Scientific Ideas?H. G. Callaway - 1992 - Dialectica 46 (3-4):225-242.
    SummaryThis paper argues that the influence of language on science, philosophy and other field is mediated by communicative practices. Where communications is more restrictive, established linguistic structures exercise a tighter control over innovations and scientifically motivated reforms of language. The viewpoint here centers on the thesis that argumentation is crucial in the understanding and evaluation of proposed reforms and that social practices which limit argumentation serve to erode scientific objectivity. Thus, a plea is made for a sociology of scientific belief (...)
  42. Perspectives on Pragmatics and Philosophy.Alessandro Capone (ed.) - 2013 - Springer.
    Alessandro Capone Franco Lo Piparo Marco Carapezza Editors Perspectives on Pragmatics and Philosophy Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology Volume 1 Editor-in-Cheif Alessandro. Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy ...
  43. Of Course, I Don't Say That!Jose E. Chaves - unknown
    Grice’s notion of what is said has been challenged in many directions and, since then, there are a lot of new proposals to understand it. One of these new proposals claims that what a speaker said is not part of the speaker meaning. In that sense, the content said by uttering a sentence is not intentioned by the speaker but a purely semantic and syntactic matter. Kent Bach argues for this proposal and is the main exponent of it. My aim (...)
  44. Recognizing Sarcasm Without Language: A Cross-Linguistic Study of English and Cantonese.Henry S. Cheang & Marc D. Pell - 2011 - Pragmatics and Cognitionpragmatics and Cognition 19 (2):203-223.
  45. Language-Games, Pro and Against.Elżbieta Chrzanowska-Kluczewska - 2000 - Universitas.
  46. Pragmatica Personajului.Corina Ciocãarlie - 1992
  47. "Pragmatics, Truth and Language" by R. M. MARTIN. [REVIEW]Nino Cocchiarella - 1980 - Linguistics and Philosophy 4:453.
  48. The Illusion of Aberrant Speakers.John W. Cook - 1982 - Philosophical Investigations 5 (3):215-266.
  49. Alessandro Capone .Perspectives on Language Use and Pragmatics. A Volume in Memory of Sorin Stati.Valentina Cuccio - 2011 - Pragmatics and Cognitionpragmatics and Cognition 19 (1):174-180.
  50. Concepção de Presença Em Gumbrecht--Contribuição Paradigmática E Transdisciplinar.Wellington Amâncio da Silva - 2015 - Revista Opara 5 (1):149--159.
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