Prepragmatics: Widening the Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary

In Alexis Burgess & Brett Sherman (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 311-326 (2013)

Authors
Isidora Stojanovic
Institut Jean Nicod
Abstract
One of the most important and, at the same time, most controversial issues in metasemantics is the question of what semantics is, and what distinguishes semantic elements (features, properties, phenomena, mechanisms, processes, or whatever) from the rest. The issue is tightly linked with the debate over the semantics-pragmatics distinction, which has been vibrant for a decade or two, but seems to be reaching an impasse. I suggest that this impasse may be due to the failure to recognize a distinct realm that should not be subsumed either under semantics or pragmatics, but may be labeled "prepragmatics". My ultimate goal is to put forward and defend a novel picture of our language architecture, according to which: semantic content is strictly poorer than the lexically encoded content (and therefore does not involve any contextually determined material - not even the reference of demonstratives); pragmatic mechanisms require being able to reason about one's beliefs and intentions and do not affect truth-conditions or truth-value; and, finally, there is a distinct prepragmatic level, which takes into account various kinds of contextual information and makes it possible to evaluate a sentence (as used on a particular occasion) for a truth value. I shall take as a case study, one of the "stumbling stones" in the semantics-pragmatics literature: the case of demonstrative reference. The upshot will be to show that if there is indeed room for a family of linguistic phenomena that are neither semantic nor yet fully pragmatic, the resolution of demonstrative reference is a candidate par excellence to belong there.
Keywords semantic content  metasemantics  context
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2014
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 45,434
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Literal Meaning.François Recanati - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):487-492.
The Logic of Conventional Implicatures.Chris Potts - 2004 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (6):707-749.
Semantics and Metasemantics in the Context of Generative Grammar.Seth Yalcin - 2014 - In Alexis Burgess & Brett Sherman (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 17-54.
On the Logic of Demonstratives.David Kaplan - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):81 - 98.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Semantics and Metasemantics in the Context of Generative Grammar.Seth Yalcin - 2014 - In Alexis Burgess & Brett Sherman (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 17-54.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Focus: A Case Study on the Semantics–Pragmatics Boundary.Michael Glanzberg - 2005 - In Zoltan Gendler Szabo (ed.), Semantics Versus Pragmatics. Oxford University Press. pp. 72--110.
Semantics, Pragmatics, and the Role of Semantic Content.Jeffrey C. King & Jason Stanley - 2005 - In Zoltan Gendler Szabo (ed.), Semantics Versus Pragmatics. Oxford University Press. pp. 111--164.
Semantics and Pragmatics.Christopher Gauker - 2012 - In Gillian Russell & Delia Graff Fara (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Routledge.
Insensitive Enough Semantics.Richard Vallée - 2006 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 10 (1):67-79.
Pragmatism and Inferentialism.John MacFarlane - 2010 - In Bernhard Weiss & Jeremy Wanderer (eds.), Reading Brandom: On Making It Explici. Routledge. pp. 81--95.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-07-13

Total views
77 ( #111,660 of 2,280,287 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #120,972 of 2,280,287 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature