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Conference Information

Full Title: Adaptability, Contextualism, and the Composition of Discourse Meaning

Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Start Date: 26-Jul-2015 - 31-Jul-2015
Contact: Luca Sbordone
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: Full title: Adaptability, contextualism, and the composition of discourse meaning

Contextualism about meaning is a view according to which substantial contribution of pragmatic information is allowed in the truth-evaluable content of an utterance. The orientation subsumes many different approaches but according to all of them pragmatic aspects of the representation that undergoes a truth-conditional analysis go beyond the basic list that includes personal and demonstrative pronouns, adverbs such as ‘here’, ‘there’, ‘now’, and some other, but very few, expression types (see Cappelen and Lepore 2005 and Kaplan 1989). Until recently, the debate concerning the degree to which pragmatics ‘intrudes’ in the semantic representation focused on the putative existence of covert variables in the logical form (e.g. Stanley 2000). This gave rise to the debate between the so-called indexicalists and those for whom pragmatic components of meaning are free from structural constraints and operate ‘top-down’ either as a modulation of the logical form (Recanati 2004, 2010) or as the output of sources of meaning that jointly produce a truth-evaluable representation (Jaszczolt 2005, 2010). However, in the most recent literature a greater burden has been placed on the properties of lexical items themselves. Recanati (2012) proposes that utterance meanings are both compositional and flexible: they enter the process of (pragmatic) composition only after the context-driven modulation has taken place.

This panel attempts to shed more light on some pertinent and as yet unresolved questions in these recent debates (Please see the Call for Papers for more information).

Selected References:

Cappelen, H. & E. Lepore. 2005. Insensitive Semantics: A Defense of Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism. Oxford: Blackwell.
Jaszczolt, K. M. 2005. Default Semantics: Foundations of a Compositional Theory of Acts of Communication. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Jaszczolt, K. M. 2010. ‘Default Semantics’. In: B. Heine & H. Narrog (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 193-221.
Kaplan, D. 1989. Demonstratives. In: J. Almog, J. Perry & H. Wettstein (eds). Themes from Kaplan. New York: Oxford University Press. 481-563.
Recanati, F. 2004. Literal Meaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Recanati, F. 2010. Truth-Conditional Pragmatics. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Recanati, F. 2012. ‘Compositionality, flexibility, and context-dependence’. In: M. Werning, W. Hinzen & E. Machery (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Compositionality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 175-191.
Stanley, J. 2000. ‘Context and logical form’. Linguistics and Philosophy 23. 391-434.
Szabó, Z. 2001. ‘Adjectives in context’. In: I. Kenesei and R. M. Harnish (eds). Perspectives on
Semantics, Pragmatics and Discourse: A Festschrift for Ferenc Kiefer. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 119–146.
Linguistic Subfield: Philosophy of Language; Pragmatics; Semantics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
LL Issue: 25.2978

This is a session of the following meeting:
14th International Pragmatics Conference

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