Signalling games, sociolinguistic variation and the construction of style

Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (5):419-450 (2019)

This paper develops a formal model of the subtle meaning differences that exist between grammatical alternatives in socially conditioned variation and how these variants can be used by speakers as resources for constructing personal linguistic styles. More specifically, this paper introduces a new formal system, called social meaning games, which allows for the unification of variationist sociolinguistics and game-theoretic pragmatics, two fields that have had very little interaction in the past. Although remarks have been made concerning the possible usefulness of game-theoretic tools in the analysis of certain kinds of socially conditioned linguistic phenomena :645–668, 1977; Dror et al. in Lang Linguist Compass 7:561–579, 2013; in Lang Linguist Compass 8:230–242, 2014; Clark in Meaningful games: Exploring language with game theory, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2014, among others), a general framework uniting game-theoretic pragmatics and quantitative sociolinguistics has yet to be developed. This paper constructs such a framework through giving a formalization of the Third Wave approach to the meaning of variation using signalling games and a probabilistic approach to speaker/listener beliefs of the kind commonly used in the Bayesian game-theoretic pragmatics framework :3–44, 2016, for recent overviews).
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DOI 10.1007/s10988-018-9254-y
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The Social Construction of What?Ian Hacking - 1999 - Mind 109 (435):614-618.
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The Case Against Cognitive Phenomenology.Peter Carruthers & Bénédicte Veillet - 2011 - In Tim Bayne & Michelle Montague (eds.), Cognitive phenomenology. Oxford University Press. pp. 35.

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