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 1969, 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

5208 found
1 — 50 / 5208
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. The Pragmatics of Connotation.Keith Allan - unknown
  4. ¿ Qué podemos aprovechar del análisis austiniano del significado y de la verdad?Juan José Colomina Almiñana - 2010 - Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 42 (2):197 - 218.
    In this paper, we try to show why a formal definition of truth is not satisfactory (first point). Later, we expound (second point) the polemic between Austin and Strawson about truth with the intention to show that both refer to different problems concerning truth and to prove that Austin did not lose this confrontation and that we can recover some elements of his investigation for making an adequate approach to this notion. We will complete our definition of truth using the (...)
  5. El papel del significado en una noción pragmática de la verdad.Juan José Colomina Almiñana - 2007 - Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 32 (1):85-108.
    In this paper, we try to show why a formal definition of truth is not satisfactory (first point). Later, we expound (second point) the polemic between Austin and Strawson about truth with the intention to show that both refer to different problems concerning truth and to prove that Austin did not lose this confrontation and that we can recover some elements of his investigation for making an adequate approach to this notion. We will complete our definition of truth using the (...)
  6. 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.
  7. Intentions, Conventions, and Reference to Things'.Karl O. Apel - 1981 - In Herman Parret & Jacques Bouveresse (eds.), Meaning and Understanding. W. De Gruyter. pp. 79.
  8. 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.
  9. Persuasive Communication As Metaphorical Discourse Under The Guidance Of Conversational Maxims.Leo Apostel - 1979 - Logique Et Analyse 22 (September):265-320.
  10. Non-Verbal Communication and Language.Michael Argyle - 1976 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures 10:63-78.
  11. Holisme et homophonie.Madeleine Arseneault & Robert Stainton - 2000 - Dialogue 39 (01):123-.
  12. Klaus-Uwe Panther and Linda L. Thornburg ,Metonymy and Pragmatic Inferencing. [REVIEW]Salvatore Attardo - 2005 - Pragmatics and Cognitionpragmatics and Cognition 13 (2):433-438.
  13. Vouloir Dire Et Vouloir faireMeaning and Intendion. On the Relations Between Language and Action.Valérie Aucouturier - 2014 - Methodos 14.
  14. Indicatives and Imperatives.Adam Bailey - 1980
  15. Reflexiones biolingüísticas: Cómo puede ayudar la biología a comprender mejor las facultades lingüísticas humanas.S. Balari - 2006 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 25 (3).
  16. Narrative Style and the Grammar of Direct and Indirect Speech.Ann Banfield - 1973 - Foundations of Language 10 (1):1-39.
  17. Analysis of "Correct" Language.Yehoshua Bar-Hillel - 1946 - Mind 55 (220):328-340.
  18. A Mentalist Framework for Linguistic and Extralinguistic Communication.Bruno G. Bara & Maurizio Tirassa - 2010 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 9:182-193.
  19. Understanding Context Before Using It.Mary Bazire & Patrick Brézillon - 2005 - In B. Kokinov A. Dey (ed.), Modeling and Using Context. Springer. pp. 29--40.
  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. John Dewey's Logical Project.David Bedford - 1993 - Journal of Pragmatics 19 (5):453-468.
  22. Performance Pragmatics, Neuroscience and Evolution.William O. Beeman - 2010 - Pragmatics and Society 1 (1):118-137.
  23. Language From the Ground Up: A Study of Homesign Communication.Endre Begby - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (3):693-714.
    Philosophers are often beholden to a picture of language as a largely static, well-defined structure which is handed over from generation to generation by an arduous process of learning: language, on this view, is something that we are given, and that we can make use of, but which we play no significant role in creating ourselves. This picture is often maintained in conjunction with the idea that several distinctively human cognitive capacities could only develop via the language acquisition process, as (...)
  24. Religiöse Performative.Lars Bejerholm - 1966 - Neue Zeitschrift für Systematicsche Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 8 (3):255-264.
  25. Performative Knowledge.V. Bell - 2006 - Theory, Culture and Society 23 (2-3):214-217.
  26. Tras la Pragmática Intencionalista (After the Intentionalist Pragmatics).Benejam Antoni Gomila - 1998 - Theoria 13 (1):33-49.
    Se trata de una consideraeión de la ultima propuesta teórica de Víctor Sánchez de Zavala para la Pragmatica, desde la perspectiva de sus fundamentos conceptuales, de la filosofia de la mente subyacente. Se repasan sus argumentos para sentirse insatisfecho con el enfoque intencionalista estándar de la Pragmática y se intenta reconstruir su coneepeión alternativa a este respecto, implícita en su nuevo marco teórieo. Lo que aparece, al final es una concepeión dinámica de las relaciones reciprocas entre pensamiento y lenguaje.The aim (...)
  27. Philosophical and Psychological Pragmatics.Gustav Bergmann - 1947 - Philosophy of Science 14 (3):271-273.
  28. The Meaning of the Particlelahin Singapore English.Mary Besemeres & Anna Wierzbicka - 2003 - Pragmatics and Cognitionpragmatics and Cognition 11 (1):3-38.
    In this paper we try to crack one of the hardest and most intriguing chestnuts in the field of cross-cultural pragmatics and to identify the meaning of the celebrated Singaporean particle lah — the hallmark of Singapore English. In pursuing this goal, we investigate the use of lah and seek to identify its meaning by trying to find a paraphrase in ordinary language which would be substitutable for lah in any context. In doing so, we try to enter the speakers' (...)
  29. 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.
  30. Signs, Language, and Behavior.Max Black & Charles Morris - 1947 - Philosophical Review 56 (2):203.
  31. Analogy, Anomaly, and Apollonius.David Blank - 1994 - In Stephen Everson (ed.), Language. Cambridge University Press.
  32. 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.
  33. Drawing the Boundaries of Meaning: Neo-Gricean Studies in Pragmatics and Semantics in Honor of Laurence R. Horn. [REVIEW]Martina Blečić - 2011 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):133-139.
  34. Cognitive and Empirical Pragmatics : Issues and Perspectives.Gregory Bochner, Philippe De Brabanter, Mikhail Kissine & Daniela Rossi (eds.) - 2011 - Belgian Journal of Linguistics 25.
  35. Topik.Rudolf Boehm - 2002
  36. Speech and System.Peter Bornedal - 1997 - Museum Tusculanum Press.
    2.2.4) Differance as Supplement 246 2.3) Anti-logics 248 2.3.1) Argumentative Incompatibility 249 2.3.2) Counter-Finality 250 2.3.3) Performative ...
  37. Focus and Natural Language Processing.Peter Bosch & Rob van der Sandt (eds.) - 1995 - Ibm Deutschland.
  38. Cognitive Pragmatics.Francesca M. Bosco - 2006 - In Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. pp. 546--552.
  39. Pragmatics and Pragmatisms.Robert Brandom - 2002 - In Urszula M. Żegleń & James Conant (eds.), Hilary Putnam: Pragmatism and Realism. Routledge. pp. 40--58.
  40. Are Generalised Scalar Implicatures Generated by Default? An on-Line Investigation Into the Role of Context in Generating Pragmatic Inferences.Richard Breheny, Napoleon Katsos & John Williams - 2006 - Cognition 100 (3):434-463.
  41. Context Modeling: Context as a Dressing of a Focus.Juliette Brézillon & Patrick Brézillon - 2007 - In D. C. Richardson B. Kokinov (ed.), Modeling and Using Context. Springer. pp. 136--149.
  42. Communication.Karl Britton - 1939 - College Park, Md., Mcgrath Pub. Co..
  43. On What We Know We Don't Know: Explanation, Theory, Linguistics, and How Questions Shape Them.Sylvain Bromberger - 1993 - University of Chicago Press.
    In this collection of essays, Bromberger explores the centrality of questions and predicaments they create in scientific research. He discusses the nature of explanation, theory, and the foundations of linguistics.
  44. Context Creation in Discourse Understanding.Gillian Brown - 1998 - In Kirsten Malmkjær & John Williams (eds.), Context in Language Learning and Language Understanding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 171--192.
  45. Chapter V. The Communicative Function of Questions.Anna Brożek - unknown - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 99:101-127.
  46. The Deictic Center and Sentence Interpretation in Natural Narrative.Ga Bruder - 1988 - Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 26 (6):491-492.
  47. 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.
  48. 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 ...
  49. H. PUTNAM: Words and Life.Godehard Brüntrup - 1997 - Theologie Und Philosophie 72:465-467.
  50. Logic, Language, and Argumentation in Projection of Philosophical Knowledge.G. A. Brutian & Haykakan Matenashar Galust Kiwlpenkean Himnarkut Ean - 1998
1 — 50 / 5208