In P. Stalmaszczyk (ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the philosophy of language. Cambridge (2021)

Emma Borg
University of Reading
Sarah A Fisher
University of Vienna
It is common in philosophy of language to recognise two different kinds of linguistic meaning: literal or conventional meaning, on the one hand, versus communicated or conveyed meaning, on the other. However, once we recognise these two types of meaning, crucial questions immediately emerge; for instance, exactly which meanings should we treat as the literal ones, and exactly which appeals to a context of utterance yield communicated, as opposed to semantic, content? It is these questions and, specifically, how we should model the relationship between semantic content and utterance context, that is the topic of this chapter. We explore five contemporary answers to this modelling question, considering the benefits and challenges of each, before closing by examining some potential new directions for debates in this area.
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