Journal of Indian Philosophy 41 (4):439-461 (2013)

Malcolm Keating
Yale-NUS College
We frequently use single words or expressions to mean multiple things, depending upon context. I argue that a plausible model of this phenomenon, known as lakṣaṇā by Indian philosophers, emerges in the work of ninth-century Kashmiri Mukulabhaṭṭa. His model of lakṣaṇā is sensitive to the lexical and syntactic requirements for sentence meaning, the interpretive unity guiding a communicative act, and the nuances of creative language use found in poetry. After outlining his model of lakṣaṇā, I show how arthāpatti, or presumption, forms the basis of both semantic and pragmatic processes in this approach. I employ a model from contemporary linguist James Pustejovsky as one way of reconstructing Mukulabhaṭṭa’s analysis. Finally, I argue that presumption is responsible for the wide range of interpretations in creative uses of language, and that our interpretations are constrained, through defeasible in a way that our decodings of literal meanings typically are not
Keywords Mukulabhaṭṭa   Lakṣaṇā  Metaphor  Metonymy  Language  Semantics  Pragmatics
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DOI 10.1007/s10781-013-9184-5
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References found in this work BETA

Studies in the Way of Words.H. P. Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
What Metaphors Mean.Donald Davidson - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Critical Inquiry. Routledge. pp. 31.
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What Metaphors Mean.Donald Davidson - 2013 - In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. pp. 453-465.
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Citations of this work BETA

On Arthāpatti.Nirmalya Guha - 2016 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 44 (4):757-776.

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