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Summary

Relevance Theory is a cognitively oriented theory of pragmatics introduced by Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson in Sperber & Wilson 1986/1995. It builds on H.P. Grice’s commitment to the centrality of intention-reading and inference in communication and uses a cognitively grounded concept of relevance to develop a pragmatic theory which is both psychologically and evolutionarily plausible. Relevance Theory has been developed in a wide range of directions, including accounts of lexical pragmatics, metaphor and irony, and procedural meaning. 

Key works The core text which introduces and develops Relevance Theory is Sperber & Wilson 1986/1995. The second edition (1995) makes important modifications to the theory via a new Postface. Other key papers include Wilson & Sperber 2002, Sperber & Wilson 1986, Wilson & Sperber 1993, Sperber & Wilson 2008, Wilson & Carston 2006, and Sperber & Wilson 2015. Another central contribution to the development of the theory is Carston 2002-01-01. See Wilson & Sperber 2012 for a recent collection which includes other central contributions to the development of the theory along with some more recent writings.

Introductions The following overviews provide useful introductions to the theory: Wearing 2015, Wilson & Sperber 2002, Carston 2011, and Carston & Powell 2006.
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  1. An Inferential Impasse in the Theory of Implicatures.Savas L. Tsohatzidis - manuscript
  2. Phrasal pragmatics in Carston's programme.Esther Romero & B. Soria - manuscript
    In B. Soria and E. Romero, Explicit Communication: Essays on Robyn Carston’s Pragmatics, Palgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Language and Cognition. London.
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  3. Underdeterminacy without ostension: A blind spot in the prevailing models of communication.Constant Bonard - 2024 - Mind and Language 39 (2):142-161.
    Together, the code and inferential models of communication are often thought to range over all cases of communication. However, their prevailing versions seem unable to fully explain what I call underdeterminacy without ostension. The latter is constituted by communication where stimuli that are not (nor appear to be) produced with communicative or informative intentions nevertheless communicate information underdetermined by the relevant codes. Though the prevailing accounts of communication cannot fully explain how communication works in such cases, I suggest that some (...)
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  4. A Leaky Boat Holding Wine: A Study of the Word-Meaning Debate in Wei-Jin Six Dynasties Period Thought by Jing Yuan (review).Run Gu - 2024 - Philosophy East and West 74 (2):1-3.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Reviewed by:A Leaky Boat Holding Wine: A Study of the Word-Meaning Debate in Wei-Jin Six Dynasties Period Thought by Jing YuanRun Gu (bio)Lou Chuan Zai Jiu: Yanyi zhi Bian yu Wei-Jin Liu Chao Sixiang Xueshu Yangjiu 漏船载酒: 言意之辨与魏晋六朝思想学术研究 (A Leaky Boat Holding Wine: A Study of the Word-Meaning Debate in Wei-Jin Six Dynasties Period Thought). By Jing Yuan 袁晶. Shanghai: Shanghai People's Press, 2022. Pp. 247. Paperback RMB23.93, isbn (...)
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  5. Pragmatics after Grice علم الاستعمال بعد جرايس.Ismail Salah - 2024 - Tatris 2 (Second issue):148-170.
    ملخص تهدف هذه المقالة إلى بيان التطورات التي طرأت على علم الاستعمال كما قدمه جرايس، والتي يمكن حصرها في اتجاهين أساسيين. أولهما علم الاستعمال الجرايسي الجديد الذي يحافظ على أصول جرايس ويجدد بمقدار، سواء أكان التجديد في اختصار قواعد جرايس للمحادثة لتفادي التداخل والتعارض فيما بينها، أم زيادة القواعد والتوسع في بعضها. وثانيهما علم الاستعمال ما بعد جرايس متمثلاً في نظرية الْمُلَاءَمَة التي هي تناول إدراكي لعلم الاستعمال، وتؤكد على أن الاستدلال اللغوي يعد جانبًا من ميل إدراكي إلى طلب الملاءمة (...)
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  6. Communication and deniability: Moral and epistemic reactions to denials.Francesca Bonalumi, Feride Belma Bumin, Thom Scott-Phillips & Christophe Heintz - 2023 - Frontiers in Psychology 13:1073213.
    People often deny having meant what the audience understood. Such denials occur in both interpersonal and institutional contexts, such as in political discourse, the interpretation of laws and the perception of lies. In practice, denials have a wide range of possible effects on the audience, such as conversational repair, reinterpretation of the original utterance, moral judgements about the speaker, and rejection of the denial. When are these different reactions triggered? What factors make denials credible? There are surprisingly few experimental studies (...)
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  7. Metaphor processing: Referring and predicating.Robyn Carston & Xinxin Yan - 2023 - Cognition 238 (C):105534.
    The general consensus emerging from decades of empirical investigation of metaphor processing is that, when appropriately contextualised, metaphorically used language is no more demanding of processing effort than literally used language. However, there is a small number of studies which contradict this position, notably Noveck, Bianco, and Castry (2001): they maintain that relevance-based pragmatic theory predicts increased cognitive costs incurred in deriving the extra effects that metaphors typically yield, and they provide experimental results that support this prediction. In our study, (...)
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  8. Linguistic knowledge and language use: bridging construction grammar and relevance theory.Benoît Leclercq - 2023 - Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
    Combining insights from two of the most influential approaches in linguistics, Construction Grammar and Relevance Theory, this book furthers our understanding of how meaning comes about. This title is part of the Flip it Open Programme and may also be available Open Access. Check our website Cambridge Core for details.
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  9. X-Phi and the challenge from ad hoc concepts.Michelle Liu - 2023 - Synthese 201 (5):1-25.
    Ad hoc concepts feature prominently in lexical pragmatics. A speaker can use a word or phrase to communicate an ad hoc concept that is different from the lexically encoded concept and the hearer can construct the intended ad hoc concept pragmatically during utterance comprehension. I argue that some philosophical concepts have origins as ad hoc concepts, and such concepts pose a challenge for experimental philosophy regarding these concepts. To illustrate this, I consider philosophers’ ‘what-it’s-like’-concepts and experimental philosophy of consciousness.
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  10. Philosophy of Communication.Giacomo Turbanti - 2023 - London: Palgrave Macmillan.
    By comprehensively exploring the theoretical questions raised by professional communication, this book provides an introduction to the philosophy of communication. Key Features: Arranged in three parts encompassing the theory of communication, conflict transformation and the role communication plays within organizations. Examines how agreement is reached through communication, how such agreement is negotiated between different perspectives and how such negotiation produces our organizations. Includes a full range of pedagogical features, including study questions, essay questions. chapter summaries, focus points and suggestions for (...)
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  11. Subtitling quality assessment from a relevance-theoretic perspective.Łukasz Bogucki - 2022 - Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 18 (1):113-129.
    Assessing the quality of translation is never straightforward and rarely objective. Context, audience, text type, function and lexis are only some of the criteria that need to be taken into account. In the case of constrained intersemiotic translation, subtitling being a prime example thereof, determining universal criteria for assessment is particularly testing. Often referred to as “necessary evil”, audiovisual translation needs to avoid distracting the audience, while aiding their comprehension of the audiovisual message. This is particularly the case for additive (...)
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  12. Beyond ostension: Introducing the expressive principle of relevance.Constant Bonard - 2022 - Journal of Pragmatics 187:13-23.
    In this paper, I am going to cast doubt on an idea that is shared, explicitly or implicitly, by most contemporary pragmatic theories: that the inferential interpretation procedure described by Grice, neo-Griceans, or post-Griceans applies only to the interpretation of ostensive stimuli. For this special issue, I will concentrate on the relevance theory (RT) version of this idea. I will proceed by putting forward a dilemma for RT and argue that the best way out of it is to accept that (...)
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  13. A Unified Model of Ad Hoc Concepts in Conceptual Spaces.Davide Coraci - 2022 - Minds and Machines 32 (2):289-309.
    Ad hoc concepts are highly-context dependent representations humans construct to deal with novel or uncommon situations and to interpret linguistic stimuli in communication. In the last decades, such concepts have been investigated both in experimental cognitive psychology and within pragmatics by proponents of so-called relevance theory. These two research lines have however proceeded in parallel, proposing two unconnected strategies to account for the construction and use of ad hoc concepts. The present work explores the relations between these two approaches and (...)
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  14. Ad hoc concepts, affective attitude and epistemic stance.Manuel Padilla Cruz - 2022 - Pragmatics and Cognition 29 (1):1-28.
    In relevance-theoretic pragmatics thelower-levelorfirst-order explicatureis a propositional form resulting from a series of inferential developments of the logical form. It amounts to the message the speaker communicates explicitly. Thehigher-levelorsecond-order explicatureis a description of the speech act that the speaker performs, her affective attitude towards what she says or her epistemic stance to the communicated information. Information about the speaker’s affective attitude or epistemic stance need not solely be represented in the latter, though. It could be included as beliefs in the (...)
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  15. Metaphor, Relevance Theory, and the Curious Nature of Cut-Off Points. A Philosophical Attempt to Understand the Tension Caused by Non-Propositional Effects.Pascal Lemmer - 2022 - Philosophy Kitchen 17 (Metaphor):109-121.
    How to account for metaphor has long been a contentious issue within pragmatics. Revisiting this debate, Wilson & Carston (2019) analyse Grice’s oft-discussed exclusion of metaphor as an empirically unjustified use of cut-off points on the empirical continuum of language and link it a tension between his underlying focus on formalisation contrary to their aim of maximising pragmatics’ empirical scope. In spite of the latter, Relevance Theory’s various own models fail to account for essential characteristics of metaphor caused by certain (...)
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  16. Ignoring Qualifications as a Pragmatic Fallacy: Enrichments and Their Use for Manipulating Commitments.Fabrizio Macagno - 2022 - Langages 1 (13).
    The fallacy of ignoring qualifications, or secundum quid et simpliciter, is a deceptive strategy that is pervasive in argumentative dialogues, discourses, and discussions. It consists in misrepresenting an utterance so that its meaning is broadened, narrowed, or simply modified to pursue different goals, such as drawing a specific conclusion, attacking the interlocutor, or generating humorous reactions. The “secundum quid” was described by Aristotle as an interpretative manipulative strategy, based on the contrast between the “proper” sense of a statement and its (...)
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  17. Mathematics, relevance theory and the situated cognition paradigm.Kate McCallum - 2022 - Pragmatics and Cognition 29 (1):59-81.
    Mathematics is a highly specialised arena of human endeavour, one in which complex notations are invented and are subjected to complex and involved manipulations in the course of everyday work. What part do these writing practices play in mathematical communication, and how can we understand their use in the mathematical world in relation to theories of communication and cognition? To answer this, I examine in detail an excerpt from a research meeting in which communicative board-writing practices can be observed, and (...)
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  18. Pragmatics in English: An Introduction.Kate Scott - 2022 - Cambridge University Press.
    Pragmatics – the study of language in context, and of how we understand what other people say – is a core subject in English language, linguistics, and communication studies. This textbook introduces the key topics in this fast-moving field, including metaphor, irony, politeness, disambiguation, and reference assignment. It walks the reader through the essential theories in pragmatics, including Grice, relevance theory, speech act theory, and politeness theory. Each chapter includes a range of illustrative examples, guiding readers from the basic principles (...)
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  19. Relevance as the Moving Ground of Semiosis.Jan Strassheim - 2022 - Philosophies 7 (5):115.
    All levels of semiosis, from the materiality of signs to their contents and the contexts of their application, are structured by a selectivity in human experience and action that foregrounds only a fraction of the situation here and now. Before Sperber and Wilson, concepts of “relevance” were proposed in both semiotics and phenomenology to analyze this selectivity. Building critically on Alfred Schutz’s phenomenology, I suggest that a productive way to capture the fundamental role of relevance in processes of meaning-making is (...)
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  20. A Defense of Meaning Eliminativism: A Connectionist Approach.Tolgahan Toy - 2022 - Dissertation, Middle East Technical University
    The standard approach to model how human beings understand natural languages is the symbolic, compositional approach according to which the meaning of a complex expression is a function of the meanings of its constituents. In other words, meaning plays a fundamental role in the model. In this work, because of the polysemous, flexible, dynamic, and contextual structure of natural languages, this approach is rejected. Instead, a connectionist model which eliminates the concept of meaning is proposed.
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  21. Typographical iconicity and the communication of impressions: A relevance-theoretic perspective.Daniel William Pinder - 2022 - Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 18 (1):1-27.
    This article studies the cognitive and communicative effects of typographical iconicity in poetry from the perspective of relevance theory. It argues that the visual aspect pertaining to an instance of typographical iconicity conveys a sensory impression, which perceptually resembles elements of the semantic material represented via the typographical iconicity’s lexical aspect. It is suggested that the non-propositional information relating to this impression can trigger the derivation of a wide array of weak implicatures which can combine to form an impressionistic and (...)
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  22. The relevance theory, pragmatics and the problem of meaning.Л. Б Макеева - 2022 - Philosophy Journal 15 (3):125-139.
    The paper discusses the theory of relevance, advanced in the middle of the 1980s by Dan Sperber and Deidra Wilson, in the context of opposition between the proponents of “ideal language philosophy”, or formal semantics, and adherents of “ordinary language philoso­phy”. Though the theory was created as a version of cognitive pragmatics, an area at the junction of cognitive sciences and theoretical linguistics, it is of undoubted interest for philosophical comprehension of language, verbal communication, and the nature of meaning. Treating (...)
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  23. Interpretation, relevance and the ideological effects of discursive practice.Stavros Assimakopoulos - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):394-415.
    Research in Critical Discourse Studies has for long recognised the central role that both direct and indirect communicative strategies play in the reproduction of social inequality, but a main proponent of this approach has expressed scepticism with regard to the contribution that theories of pragmatics which specifically focus on speaker intentions can make to its agenda. This paper sets out to examine how relevance theory’s theoretical machinery can be applied to the critical discussion of ideology in discourse, by offering insights (...)
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  24. Relevance theory and the philosophy of language.Robyn Carston - 2021 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), Cambridge Handbook of the Philosophy of Language. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
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  25. Relevance theory and the philosophy of language.Robyn Carston - 2021 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of the Philosophy of Language. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
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  26. Creativity, Humour, and Cognition.Mario Gensollen & Marc Jiménez-Rolland - 2021 - Debats (6):107-119.
    This paper explores some aspects of the scientific study of creativity by focusing on intentional attempts to create instances of linguistic humour. We argue that this sort of creativity can be accounted for within an influential cognitive approach but that said framework is not a recipe for producing novel instances of humour and may even preclude them. We start by identifying three great puzzles that arise when trying to pin down the core traits of creativity, and some of the ways (...)
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  27. Metaphor and mental shortcuts.Elly Ifantidou & Anna Piata - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):299-320.
    Cognitive-pragmatic approaches to how metaphors are understood view the activation of perceptual or motor effects as inferred. Crucially, inferences elicit conceptual representations, e.g. in the form of implicatures, and/or mental simulations, e.g. in the form of imagery, memory, an impression and other private elements. Emotional effects, being non-conceptual, must be left out of this picture. But evidence in neurolinguistics and psycholinguistics has shown that metaphors activate brain regions linked to emotions, and that in L2, in the absence of fully-propositional meaning, (...)
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  28. Metaphor and mental shortcuts : The role of non-propositional effects.Elly Ifantidou & Anna Piata - 2021 - Pragmatics Cognition 28 (2):299-320.
    Cognitive-pragmatic approaches to how metaphors are understood view the activation of perceptual or motor effects as inferred (Steinhart 2001; Bergen 2005; Wilson and Carston 2006; Carston 2010; Gibbs and de Macedo 2010; Wilson and Carston 2019). Crucially, inferences elicit conceptual representations, e.g. in the form of implicatures, and/or mental simulations, e.g. in the form of imagery, memory, an impression and other private elements. Emotional effects, being non-conceptual, must be left out of this picture. But evidence in neurolinguistics and psycholinguistics has (...)
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  29. Slur Reclamation – Polysemy, Echo, or Both?Zuzanna Jusińska - 2021 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 28 (3):689–707.
    This paper concerns the topic of slur reclamation. I start with presenting two seemingly opposing accounts of slur reclamation, Jeshion’s (2020) Polysemy view and Bianchi’s (2014) Echoic view. Then, using the data provided by linguists, I discuss the histories of the reclamation of the slur ‘queer’ and of the n-word, which bring me to presenting a view of reclamation that combines the Polysemy view and Echoic view. The Combined view of slur reclamation proposed in this paper postulates meaning change while (...)
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  30. Retweeting: its linguistic and epistemic value.Neri Marsili - 2021 - Synthese 198:10457–10483.
    This paper analyses the communicative and epistemic value of retweeting (and more generally of reposting content on social media). Against a naïve view, it argues that retweets are not acts of endorsement, motivating this diagnosis with linguistic data. Retweeting is instead modelled as a peculiar form of quotation, in which the reported content is indicated rather than reproduced. A relevance-theoretic account of the communicative import of retweeting is then developed, to spell out the complex mechanisms by which retweets achieve their (...)
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  31. Why truth matters.Jacques Moeschler - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):416-440.
    This article is about truth and relevance. It first discusses the concept of truth in formal semantics and pragmatics, mainly the Gricean, neo-Gricean and post-Gricean approaches to meaning. What is particularly crucial is the relationship between pragmatic meaning and truth, since, from a Gricean perspective, meaning is defined as non-truth-conditional, which in turn raises the question of how truth can be a pragmatic issue. A second issue is the relationship between truth and relevance, as developed in relevance theory. A third (...)
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  32. Why truth matters : When relevance meets truthfulness.Jacques Moeschler - 2021 - Pragmatics Cognition 28 (2):416-440.
    This article is about truth and relevance. It first discusses the concept of truth in formal semantics and pragmatics, mainly the Gricean, neo-Gricean and post-Gricean approaches to meaning. What is particularly crucial is the relationship between pragmatic meaning and truth, since, from a Gricean perspective, meaning is defined as non-truth-conditional, which in turn raises the question of how truth can be a pragmatic issue. A second issue is the relationship between truth and relevance, as developed in relevance theory. A third (...)
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  33. On the interpretation of utterances with expressive expletives.Manuel Padilla Cruz - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):252-276.
    Expressive adjectives or expressive expletives have been argued to voice the speaker’s attitude towards the referent of the noun with which they co-occur, even though the attitude may be felt to be expressed about the referent of another sentential constituent or the state of affairs alluded to in the sentence where they are inserted. A previous pragmatic approach suggests that this is possible because these expletives perform an individual speech act, while a syntactic approach posits a feature whose detachment from (...)
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  34. New developments in relevance theory.Manuel Padilla Cruz & Agnieszka Piskorska - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):223-227.
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  35. Onomatopoeia, translation and relevance.Ryoko Sasamoto - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):347-375.
    It is generally acknowledged that onomatopoeia poses challenges for translation. However, there is little research into the translation of onomatopoeia in Pragmatics. This study seeks to examine the nature of onomatopoeia and its implications for translation from the perspective of relevance theory, addressing, in particular, the following questions: Can notions from pragmatics help to account for the perceived challenges involved in translating onomatopoeia? Would the showing-meaning nature affect the translation of onomatopoeia? What other factors result in difficulties in translating onomatopoeia (...)
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  36. Pragmatic resolutions of temporal and aspectual mismatches.Louis de Saussure - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):228-251.
    This paper proposes a pragmatic solution to utterances where the various indicators of time and aspect (tenses, lexical-conceptual features of Aktionsart, adverb phrases and contextual cues) seem to have divergent temporal reference and aspectual properties. This type of cases is usually treated at the semantic level as ‘mismatches’ and resolved compositionally through logical operations of ‘aspectual coercion’. We suggest on the contrary that no such effect of ‘mismatch resolution’ or ‘coercion’ is at work: these utterances are worked out inferentially according (...)
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  37. Memes as multimodal metaphors : A relevance theory analysis.Kate Scott - 2021 - Pragmatics Cognition 28 (2):277-298.
    In this article I analyse object labelling image macro internet memes as multimodal metaphors, taking the Distracted Boyfriend meme as a case study. Object labelling memes are multimodal texts in which users add labels to a stock photograph to convey messages that are often humorous or satirical in nature. Using the relevance-theoretic account of metaphor, I argue that object labelling memes are multimodal metaphors which are interpreted using the same processes as verbal metaphors. The labelling of the image guides the (...)
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  38. Relevance.Tim Wharton - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):321-346.
    Deirdre Wilson provides a reflective overview of a volume devoted to the historic application of relevance-theoretic ideas to literary studies. She maintains a view argued elsewhere that the putative non-propositional nature of literary effects are an illusion, a view which dates to Sperber and Wilson : “If you look at [non-propositional] affective effects through the microscope of relevance theory, you see a wide array of minute cognitive [i.e., propositional] effects.” This paper suggests an alternative, that modern-day humans have two apparently (...)
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  39. Relevance and emotion.Tim Wharton, Constant Bonard, Daniel Dukes, David Sander & Steve Oswald - 2021 - Journal of Pragmatics 181.
    The ability to focus on relevant information is central to human cognition. It is therefore hardly unsurprising that the notion of relevance appears across a range of different dis- ciplines. As well as its central role in relevance-theoretic pragmatics, for example, rele- vance is also a core concept in the affective sciences, where there is consensus that for a particular object or event to elicit an emotional state, that object or event needs to be relevant to the person in whom (...)
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  40. Mutual (Mis)understanding: Reframing Autistic Pragmatic “Impairments” Using Relevance Theory.Gemma L. Williams, Tim Wharton & Caroline Jagoe - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    A central diagnostic and anecdotal feature ofautismis difficulty with socialcommunication. We take the position that communication is a two-way,intersubjectivephenomenon—as described by thedouble empathy problem—and offer uprelevance theory(a cognitive account of utterance interpretation) as a means of explaining such communication difficulties. Based on a set of proposed heuristics for successful and rapid interpretation of intended meaning, relevance theory positions communication as contingent on shared—and, importantly,mutuallyrecognized—“relevance.” Given that autistic and non-autistic people may have sometimes markedly different embodied experiences of the world, we (...)
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  41. Interpreting the Arguments of China and the Philippines in the South China Sea Territorial Dispute: A Relevance-Theoretic Perspective.Justine Iscah F. Madrilejos & Rachelle Ballesteros-Lintao - 2020 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 35 (2):519-564.
    The South China Sea territorial dispute has been a contentious issue in the international community. In the course of 3 years, China and the Philippines had undergone arbitral proceedings over the maritime rights and entitlements in the South China Sea. As the Permanent Court of Arbitration reached its decision, this paper aims to examine the interpretation process of the Arbitral Tribunal in the judgment of the South China Sea conflict between China and the Philippines. The primary objective of the study (...)
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  42. The Art Experience.Kate McCallum, Scott Mitchell & Thom Scott-Phillips - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):21-35.
    Art theory has consistently emphasised the importance of situational, cultural, institutional and historical factors in viewers’ experience of fine art. However, the link between this heavily context-dependent interpretation and the workings of the mind is often left unexamined. Drawing on relevance theory—a prominent, cogent and productive body of work in cognitive pragmatics—we here argue that fine art achieves its effects by prompting the use of cognitive processes that are more commonly employed in the interpretation of words and other stimuli presented (...)
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  43. Efficient communication and indexicality.Toru Suzuki - 2020 - Mathematical Social Sciences 108 (November).
    Since sending explicit messages can be costly, people often utilize “what is not said,” i.e., informative silence, to economize communication. This paper studies the efficient communication rule, which is fully informative while minimizing the use of explicit messages, in cooperative environments. It is shown that when the notion of context is defined as the finest mutually self-evident event that contains the current state, the efficient use of informative silence exhibits the defining property of indexicals in natural languages. While the efficient (...)
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  44. The role of Gricean determinacy and the strength condition in the relevance theory for interpreting implicatures.Miquel Company - 2019 - Filosofia Unisinos 20 (3).
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  45. Conceptos ad hoc, arquitectura cognitiva y localismo léxico.Laura Campos Millán - 2019 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 57:125-148.
    Relevance Theory makes one of the strongest defenses of the thesis of local linguistic underdetermination. According to this thesis, the intuitive concept expressed by a lexical item in the utterance of a sentence is an ad hoc concept. Ad hoc concepts result from a linguistically free pragmatic process. The postulation of ad hoc concepts is due to the fact that the sort of cognitive organization they introduce is held as necessary to satisfy the demands that, for this Theory, imposes the (...)
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  46. The Praxis of Indirect Reports: Cognitive, Sociopragmatic, and Philosophical Issues.Mostafa Morady Moghaddam - 2019 - Springer Verlag.
    This book discusses the concept of indirect reporting in relation to sociopragmatic, philosophical, and cognitive factors. In addition, it deals with several state-of-the-art topics with regard to indirect reports, such as trust, politeness, refinery and photosynthetic processes and cognitive features. The book presents socio-cognitive accounts of indirect reports that take into consideration Grice’s Cooperation Principle and Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory. It discusses direct and indirect reports and their similarities and differences, with a focus on the neglected role of the (...)
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  47. Introduction: Inference and Consciousness.Anders Nes - 2019 - In Anders Nes & Timothy Hoo Wai Chan (eds.), Inference and Consciousness. London: Routledge. pp. 1-12.
    This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book offers support for unconscious inference from a slightly different angle, in as much as they defend a proposal on the nature of inference on which consciousness plays no essential role. It examines appeals to unconscious inference in cognitive science. The book explains about the explanatory power of the appeal to unconscious inference – especially unconscious Bayesian inference – in accounts of cognition. (...)
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  48. Disarming Context Dependence. A Formal Inquiry into Indexicalism and Truth-Conditional Pragmatics.Stellan Petersson - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Gothenburg
    In the debate about semantic context dependence, various truth-conditional frameworks have been proposed. Indexicalism, associated with e.g. Jason Stanley, accounts for contextual effects on truth conditions in terms of a rich covert syntax. Truth-conditional pragmatics, associated with e.g. François Recanati, does not locate the mechanisms for context dependence in the syntactic structure but provides a more complex semantics. In this dissertation, the hypothesis that indexicalism and truth-conditional pragmatics are empirically equivalent is explored. The conclusion that the hypothesis is correct emerges, (...)
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  49. A Contribution from the Perspective of Language Cognitive Sciences on the Default Semantics and Architecture of Mind Debate.Caterina Scianna - 2019 - In Alessandro Capone, Marco Carapezza & Franco Lo Piparo (eds.), Further Advances in Pragmatics and Philosophy: Part 2 Theories and Applications. Springer Verlag. pp. 391-408.
    This essay is a contribution to the recent debate between Capone’s ‘Default Semantics and the architecture of mind’ and Zhang and Zhang’s ‘Explicature versus default meaning: A response to Alessandro Capone’s Default Semantics and the architecture of the mind’ about the relationship between Jaszczolt’s default semantics and relevance theory. Relevance theory and default semantics have made different predictions about the elaboration of scalar inferences. Default semantics, gathers Levinson’s idea of ‘default interpretations’, and considers generalized conversational implicatures as instances of default (...)
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  50. Metaphor From the Ground Up: Understanding Figurative Language in Context.Daniel C. Strack - 2019 - Lexington Books.
    Cross-referencing neurobiological knowledge with the invariance hypothesis, relevance theory, and frame semantics, Metaphor from the Ground Up: Understanding Figurative Language in Context unifies metaphor theory, fundamentally rethinks “context,” and moves linguistics into the twenty-first century.
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