LINGUIST List 14.3319

Tue Dec 2 2003

Books: Pragmatics/Semantics: Recanati

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  1. jreid, Literal Meaning: Recanati

Message 1: Literal Meaning: Recanati

Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 14:04:18 -0500 (EST)
From: jreid <>
Subject: Literal Meaning: Recanati

Title: Literal Meaning
Subtitle: The Very Idea
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Book URL:

Availability: Available 

Author: Fran�ois Recanati

Hardback: ISBN: 0521792460, Pages: 187, Price: U.S. $: 55
Hardback: ISBN: 0521792460, Pages: 187, Price: U.K. �: 40

According to the dominant position among philosophers of language
today, we can legitimately ascribe determinate contents (such as
truth-conditions) to natural language sentences, independently of what
the speaker actually means. This view contrasts with that held by
ordinary language philosophers fifty years ago: according to them,
speech acts, not sentences, are the primary bearers of
content. Fran�ois Recanati argues for the relevance of this
controversy to the current debate about semantics and pragmatics. Is
'what is said' (as opposed to merely implied) determined by linguistic
conventions, or is it an aspect of 'speaker's meaning'? Do we need
pragmatics to fix truth-conditions? What is 'literal meaning'? To what
extent is semantic composition a creative process? How pervasive is
context-sensitivity? Recanati provides an original and insightful
defence of 'contextualism', and offers an informed survey of the
spectrum of positions held by linguists and philosophers working at
the semantics/pragmatics interface.

List of figures
1. Two approaches to 'what is said'
2. Primary pragmatic processes
3. Relevance-theoretic objections
4. The syncretic view
5. Nonliteral uses
6. From literalism to contextualism
7. Indexicalism and the finding fallacy
8. Circumstances of evaluation
9. Contextualism: How far can we go?
10. Conclusion.			

Lingfield(s): Pragmatics 
Written In: English (Language Code: English)

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