LINGUIST List 14.3117

Fri Nov 14 2003

Books: Cognitive Science, Pragmatics: Dascal

Editor for this issue: Marisa Ferrara <>

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  1. paul, Interpretation and Understanding: Dascal

Message 1: Interpretation and Understanding: Dascal

Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 09:28:34 -0500 (EST)
From: paul <>
Subject: Interpretation and Understanding: Dascal

Title: Interpretation and Understanding

Publication Year: 2003

Publisher: John Benjamins, 

Book URL:

Author: Marcelo Dascal, Tel Aviv University 

Hardback: ISBN: 1588114147, Pages: xxii, 714 pp., Price: USD 125.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9027226040, Pages: xxii, 714 pp., Price: EUR 125.00


Our species has been hunting for meaning ever since we departed from
our cousins in the evolutionary tree. We developed sophisticated forms
of communication. Yet, as much as they can convey meaning and foster
understanding, they can also hide meaning and prevent
comprehension. Indeed, we can never be sure that a "yes" conveys
assent or that a smile reveals pleasure. In order to ascertain what
communicative behavior "means", we have to go through an elaborate
cognitive process of interpretation.

This book deals with how we achieve the daily miracle of understanding each
 other. Based on the author's contributions to pragmatics, the book
articulates his perspective using the insights of linguistics, the
philosophy of language and rhetoric, and confronting alternatives to
it. Theory formation is shaped by application to fields of human
activity - such as legal practice, artificial intelligence,
psychoanalysis, the media, literature, aesthetics, ethics and politics
- where interpretation an d understanding are paramount.

Using an accessible language, this is a book addressed to specialists
as well as to anyone interested in interpreting understanding and
understanding the potentialities and limits of interpretation.

Table of contents

Foreword Ix 
Part I: Theorizing 
1. Pragmatics and communicative intentions 3 
2. Conversational relevance 31 
3. Strategies of understanding 52 
4. Two modes of understanding 82 
5. Individual and collective intentions 101 
6. How does a connective work? 115 
7. Commitment and involvement 149 
8. Cues, clues, and context 169 
9. Models of interpretation 194 
Part II: Applying 
10. Understanding digressions 213 
11. Understanding a metaphor 244 
12. Three remarks on pragmatics and literature 273 
13. Understanding controversies 280 
14. Understanding misunderstanding 293 
15. Understanding the law 322 
16. Understanding jokes and dreams 362 
17. Understanding art 380 
18. Why does language matter to Artificial Intelligence? 402 
19. Pragmatics in the digital age 437 
20. Interpretation and tolerance 457 
21. Understanding other cultures 477 
Part III: Meeting the alternatives 
22. Why should I ask her? 497 
23. Speech act theory and pragmatics 507 
24. The pragmatic structure of conversation 521 
25. Contextualism 542 
26. Does pragmatics need semantics? 562 
27. Pragmatics and foundationalism 594 
28. The marriage of pragmatics and rhetoric 600 
29. Hermeneutic interpretation and pragmatic interpretation 623 
30. The limits of interpretation 641 
Sources and acknowledgments 660 
References 666 
Subject Index 695 
Name Index 709

Lingfield(s): Cognitive Science 

Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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-------------------------- Major Supporters --------------------------
Blackwell Publishing
Cambridge University Press
Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd
Elsevier Ltd.
John Benjamins
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Lincom GmbH
MIT Press
Mouton de Gruyter
Oxford University Press
Pacini Editore Spa
Routledge (Taylor and Francis)

---------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ----------------------
Anthropological Linguistics
CSLI Publications
Canadian Journal of Linguistics
Cascadilla Press
Evolution Publishing
Graduate Linguistic Students' Assoc., Umass
International Pragmatics Assoc.
Linguistic Assoc. of Finland
MIT Working Papers in Linguistics
Multilingual Matters
Pacific Linguistics
Palgrave Macmillan
Pearson Longman
SIL International
St. Jerome Publishing Ltd.
Utrecht Institute of Linguistics