LINGUIST List 15.2397

Thu Aug 26 2004

Review: Semantics/Pragmatics: Jaszczolt (2002)

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  1. Gloria Cappelli, Semantics and Pragmatics: Meaning in Language and Discourse

Message 1: Semantics and Pragmatics: Meaning in Language and Discourse

Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 12:19:56 -0400 (EDT)
From: Gloria Cappelli <mailgloriacappelli.it>
Subject: Semantics and Pragmatics: Meaning in Language and Discourse

Author: Jaszczolt, Kasia M.
Title: Semantics and Pragmatics
Subtitle: Meaning in Language and Discourse
Series: Longman Linguistics Library
Year: 2002
Publisher: Pearson Longman
Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/14/14-1389.html


Dr. Gloria Cappelli, Centro Linguistico Interdipartimentale, 
University of Pisa

INTRODUCTION

''Semantics and Pragmatics'' is first of all a handbook. Its origins
are in the homonymous course that Professor Jaszczolt has been giving
over the last few years at the University of Cambridge. Its major goal
is to provide a unitary explanation of what meaning is; more precisely
the author wants to provide a unitary account of meaning in language,
in the mind and in discourse. Semantics and Pragmatics are therefore
seen as two complementary disciplines dealing with meaning from
different perspectives. Jaszczolt's approach is primarily objectivist,
assuming the notion of truth as corresponding with reality, but it
integrates to various degrees various proposals pertaining to
different traditions of research such as cognitive semantics. In her
book, she presents the most outstanding questions in semantics as well
as the dominant theories and approaches to these issues comparing them
in a ''problems and possible solutions'' style of presentation.

SYNOPSIS

The first chapter, ''Word meaning, sentence meaning, speaker
meaning'', introduces the reader to the fundamental concepts and
distinctions in the domain of meaning. First, the author distinguishes
semantics from pragmatics, identifying different objects of study for
the two disciplines. Then the notions of proposition, sentence and
utterance are defined and several theories of meaning are presented in
their attempts to solve the important question of what meaning
is. None of these (referential theory, mentalist theory, use theory
and truth-conditional theory) is discarded: they are viewed as
interconnected. The rest of the chapter is dedicated to word
meaning. Jaszczolt introduces the reader with the major proposals,
which are analysed and commented upon. The ''meaning-as-definition
approach'' is refuted because of the infinite regress or the
circularity it implies and because it doesn't seem to say anything
about the source of these definitions, neglecting also the problem of
the boundaries between linguistic and encyclopaedic knowledge.

The division between literal, conventional, context-independent and
context-dependent aspects of meaning are also criticised. After
quickly mentioning the ''meaning-as-concepts approach'', the author
contrasts the ''meaning-as-reference approach'' with the structuralist
approach. This latter provides the opportunity to introduce the
notions of structuralist sense vs. philosophical sense, and to better
explain the notion of reference and to contrast it with denotation,
also introducing the notion of the expression's extension. The
philosophical debate relative to definite descriptions is introduced
as well as the wider issue of intensional contexts and of
non-substitutivity. The exploration of the studies on word meaning
continues with an overview of paradigmatic lexical relations, such as
the relations of inclusion, sameness, and opposition and hyponymy and
meronymy and of their treatment in logic. In the following sections
the holistic structuralistic approach is then compared to various
atomistic componential analysis. After presenting several examples of
lexical decomposition, Jazczolt introduces the major models developed
within this approach. Attention is devoted to Carnap's meaning
postulates and to some further development within the componential
framework such as the generative approach by Katz and Postal
(1964). This approach, bringing semantics and syntax in contact, is
shown to have opened the way for research on thematic roles, of which
a list is provided. Talmy's cognitive approach to the syntax-semantics
interface is also presented and the overview of componential analyses
is closed with a quick description of Jackendoff's conceptual
semantics and Wierzbicka's semantic primes. The last approach to
lexical meaning presented in this very rich first chapter is
Pustejovsky's generative lexicon, in which pragmatics and semantics
interact, since world knowledge is considered indispensable for
drawing inferences. The overview of theories of word meaning is closed
by the presentation of Blutner's lexical pragmatics.

The second chapter, ''Concepts'', deals with one of the most
controversial notions in linguistics and in philosophy of language,
although the central one in representational approaches to
meaning. The author poses some fundamental questions such as: what are
representations and how do they work? Are meaning as mental
representation and meaning as reference compatible? What information
do concepts contain? In order to answer the first question, several
representational approaches (the imagist, the structuralist and the
atomistic) are compared and contrasted with externalism: the author's
conclusion seems to be that meanings are not in the head, but in the
world. The author presents then the possibility of merging
representational and referential approaches to meaning, including
truth-conditional and cognitive, as a very promising eclectic
direction in semantics. As to what concepts are constituted by, both
the images and the necessary and sufficient semantic features
hypothesis are ruled out. The major problem with concepts seems to be
boundary fuzziness, and some non-compositional theories which tried to
account for that are commented on, such as Rosh and Labov's Prototype
Theory, Wittgenstein's family resemblances, Lakoff's Idealized
Cognitive Models, Fillmore's Frame Theory, Johnson-Laird's Mental
Models and Fauconnier's Mental Spaces. Non-compositionality is
indicated as the major problem with these theories, since in
Jaszczolt's view any successful theory of meaning need be
compositional, therefore concepts cannot be prototypes (p.37). In line
with Fodor's view, concepts are better thought of as productive and
systematic compositional constituents of thoughts. The author then
focuses on the relation between thought, language and
concepts. Concepts are clearly defined as constituent parts of
propositions, and together, concepts and propositions are the units of
thought (p.38).

As far as the relationship between thought and language, the second
is, in ultimate analysis, considered to be dependent on the first.
Two opposite views are presented: linguistic relativity (Whorf and
Sapir) and linguistic universalism (Talmy, Kay and in general all the
cognitive linguists). Through this comparison, the author arrives at
proposing an approach in which both relativity and universalism (in
various degrees) could be integrated, although primacy is granted to
the hypothesis that thought determines language. The next question
considered concerns the nature of the ''language'' used in
computations, and the author tries to answer it comparing Fodor's
language of thought hypothesis (mentalese) and his theory of
modularity of the mind with the contrasting opinion of people like
Cohen or Carruthers who claim that although there is no strong
evidence against Mentalese, the language of thought is anyway better
conceived as resembling natural language. In the very few lines of the
chapter the author makes clear his position, that is, he states his
preference for a propositional-based approach to meaning ''in the form
of truth-conditional semantics, supplemented with a pragmatic theory
compatible with it'' and in which ''concepts have to have their
rightful place'' (p.51).

Chapter three, ''Sentence meaning'', introduces the reader to the main
concepts of truth-conditional semantics, which is the approach that
the author overtly supports throughout the book and which is defined
as ''the most successful theory of sentence meaning''. Jaszczolt
proposes an eclectic truth-conditional model. Within this theory,
sentences are about the world and meaning follows from the notion of
truth, which is taken to mean correspondence with facts
(correspondence theory of truth). Knowing what a sentence means,
equals knowing under what conditions it would be true. The author
underlines how, although being a referential approach,
truth-conditional semantics, as she interprets it, is an idealization,
and therefore there are many sentences for which the denotational
approach doesn't work, and the only possibility is to resort to mental
representations and contextual clues. In the remaining sections of the
chapter, the reader is introduced to several fundamental notions
pertaining to this domain of research such as analytic and synthetic
truth, deductive, propositional and predicate logic. The role of the
principle of compositionality in truth conditional semantics is
explained and some limitations of this approach are acknowledged, such
as the lack of an adequate account of word meaning, the inability to
account for non-declarative sentences and the problems created by such
constructions as propositional attitude reports. The theory of
Possible Worlds and Montague's Model Theoretic Semantics, as well as
some of its developments (Kamp & Reyle's Discourse Representation
Theory) are presented as an exemplification of applied
truth-conditional semantics. The author concludes the chapter stating
her position in favour of an approach which has as a promising
starting point, truth-conditional semantics, to which ''lexical
semantics adds the compositionality of word meaning and pragmatics
adds truth-conditionally relevant but context-dependent aspects of
meaning and the formalization of non-declarative'' (p.70).

In chapters four, ''Sentential connectives'', five, ''Quantified
expressions and predicate logic'', and six, ''Syntax and the Semantics
of predicate logic: an overview'', Jaszczolt introduces the operators
of first order logic, as well as the rules for the formation of
logical formulae. In the fourth chapter, she discusses logical
connectives, i.e. truth-functional operators of propositional logic,
whose meaning is constant and can be precisely defined, and which
perform logical operations over simple propositions (conjunction,
disjunction, implication, equivalence and negation). The relationship
between logical connectives and their English counterparts is
illustrated, in a rich argumentative style, and emphasis is put on the
fact that, even if logical operators help specify the meaning of
natural language connectives, there are all the same aspects of
meaning that the logical meta-language cannot capture. Frequent
reference is made to the debate at the semantics/pragmatics interface,
especially to the question of the underdeterminacy of meaning and of
pragmatic enrichment as well as to the question of the ambiguity
vs. truth-functional or sense-general approach to the analysis of
negation. In the fifth chapter, the author moves on to predicate
logic, which is presented as a meta-language allowing for the
translation of ''both simple and complex sentences'', building ''on
the logical forms of propositional logic and going deeper into the
structure of sentences to account for their internal structure''
(p.89). Quantifiers are presented as important operators of predicate
logic and important building blocks of logical forms.

After the description of standard quantifiers of first-order logic
(the existential and the universal quantifier) and of their
relationship with quantified expressions in English, generalized
quantifiers are introduced. Jaszczolt provides a quick sketch of Kamp
and Reyle's Discourse Representation Theory as well as Neale's
approach to binary and restricted quantifiers. The notions of
conservativity, monotonicity and the distinction between weak and
strong quantifiers are illustrated and, as in the previous chapter,
the problem of ambiguity is considered, with reference to the
semantics of numerals and of scalar expressions. In chapter six, the
author summarizes the points made previously, providing a list of the
symbols used in predicate logic and of the rules for the proper
formation of logical formulae. A list of limitations of this approach,
such as the treatment of non declarative sentences and propositional
attitudes reports is provided as well as some of the solutions
proposed by intensional logic.

Chapter seven, ''Referring expressions'', illustrates the complex
problems posed to the philosophical and truth-conditional semantic
models by referring expressions, such as proper nouns, definite
descriptions and deictics, all areas where semantics and pragmatics
seem to meet. Jaszczolt presents several approaches to referring
expressions and illustrates the ''degree of reference''
hypothesis. The last section of the chapter is devoted to referring
expressions in the scope of propositional attitudes, that is, in those
intensional contexts where an ambiguity between transparent and opaque
reading is present and where, in the case of opaque reading,
substitutivity ''salva veritate'' is not possible. The de re/de dicto
distinction is introduced and extended to a tri-partite distinction,
where de dicto reading is further specified in de dicto proper and de
dicto about someone else (de dicto1). The major problem created by the
failure of substitutivity in intensional contexts is individuated in
the menace it represents for a compositional theory of meaning, and in
fact several philosophers have proposed to abandon such an approach or
at least to integrate pragmatic information into the semantics of
these expressions. Several proposals are presented, such as the hidden
indexical theory by Schiffer or the neo-Russellian positions of
scholars like Ludlow, proposing interpreted logical forms, or, again,
Davidson's paratactic account. The contextualist
vs. anti-contextualist debate is presented, that is, the opposition
between theories allowing for the contextual information to contribute
to the propositional for of an utterance and theories regarding
contextual information as working externally to the proposition, as an
implicature. Jaszczolt seems to favour a moderate contextualist
approach, in which a proposal such as that of modes of presentation
has an epistemic significance and must have a role to play in various
degrees.

Chapter eight, ''Topic, focus and presupposition'', deals with some
central notions pertaining to the analysis of meaning in
discourse. The goal of the author is to try to demonstrate that formal
and functional approaches are not irreconcilable. She supports her
thesis by presenting some crucial problems in functional linguistics,
such as the question of information structure and its relevance in
creating text coherence and the fundamental notion of topic. After
further specifying the distinction between discourse topic and
speaker's topic, the author introduces the topic/comment opposition
and compares it to the theme/rheme one. The survey on information
structure also has the scope of bringing the notion of focus into the
discussion, which is further developed so as to analyse the role of
focus in truth-conditional semantics. Focus is seen as having
truth-conditional effects and triggering presupposition and
implicatures, its semantics depending on ''evoking the so-called
alternatives to the focused element'' (p.172). Three types of focus
are distinguished: semantic, contrastive and psychological focus, and
prominence is assigned to the first type. The other fundamental
concept introduced in the 8th chapter is presupposition and its major
characteristics (defeasibility and projectability), with several
approaches to the problems it raises and the solutions proposed, such
as the treatment of presupposition as anaphora. The approach which the
author favours is, as usual, an approach which can accommodate both
semantic and pragmatic suggestions, and in this sense she illustrates
in detail the influence of focus in determining presuppositions, and
the possible formalisations of these mutual relations. She concludes
that separating semantic and pragmatic approaches to the problem of
presupposition is sterile, since meaning in discourse is created
through the interaction of sentential, contextual and co-textual
links. She hypothesizes that these meaning relations can be formalised
somehow, and presents several proposals, such as van der Sandt's
ordering of the operations performed by the hearer, or Asher and
Lascaride's rules of discourse coherence, anticipating her proposal to
formalize the speaker's intentions considered as an overarching
principle for ordering interpretations.

Chapter nine, ''Deictic expressions'' illustrates the problems that
certain lexical items encoding contextual information pose to a formal
truth-conditional approach to meaning. Deictics are linguistic
expressions whose meaning can be recovered only recurring to the
available contextual information. They represent an area in which
semantics and pragmatics both have a role to play, or as Jaszczolt
says, ''the pragmatic processes of reference resolution intrude into
the semantics''(p.192). They must be pragmatically interpreted by a
hearer in order to allow for the assignment of a truth value to a
proposition; in other words, the situation must be constructed before
the semantic interpretation can be carried out. The author proposes to
classify deixis into 5 types (person deixis, time deixis, place
deixis, discourse deixis and social deixis) and offers a brief
characterisation of the groupings. She then turns to the question of
non-deictic use of pronouns and of problematic anaphors, such as the
E-type or ''donkey'' anaphora. The last section of the 9th chapter is
devoted to the relationship between deixis and reference. Deixis is
seen as sharing many features with proper nouns, in that they select a
referent and the proposition corresponding to the sentence in which
they occur can be assigned a positive truth-value only if and only if
the predicate predicates something true of the referred
individual. The fundamental difference lies though in the fact that,
contrary to proper nouns, deictic expressions have a variable
reference, and the logical form of the proposition must be completed
with contextual information. Philosophers and truth-conditional
semanticists have put forward many different proposals in order to try
to formalise this context-dependence, ranging from sequencing of
indexicals to the dynamic Fregean thought. All these proposals are
presented in the final pages of the chapter.

Chapters 10 and 11, ''Implicature'' and ''What is said'', continue the
exploration of the domains that are not satisfactorily described by
truth-conditional semantics. In chapter 10, the author presents
several approaches to the distinction between sentence meaning and
speaker's meaning. She introduces the Gricean approach (the
Cooperative Principle, the Maxims, etc.) and the problem area of
implicatures, as well as some post-Gricean approaches, in particular
those which rearrange Grice's maxims while remaining close to the
spirit of the original maxims, such as Levinson's and Horn's
developments, and those which substitute the original proposal with a
more general cognitive principle, such as the relevance-theoretic
proposal. Chapter 11 presents a theoretically advanced discussion of
the post-Gricean developments in semantics and pragmatics. More
precisely, Jaszczolt presents the discussion concerning the boundaries
between the two domains, attempting to answer some fundamental
questions relative to how many levels of meaning there are, the way
they can be defined and the criteria to distinguish between
implicatures and what is said. She presents an overview of the debate
relative to very important issues such as explicatures and
implicitures (RT) and the levels of meaning (Levinson 1995; 2000),
ambiguity and underspecification, and terminological and theoretical
issues concerning the distinction between logical form, semantic
representation and prepositional representation. Particular attention
is dedicated to default semantics, which is favoured by the author.

Chapter 12, ''Temporality'', acknowledges the context dependent nature
of tense and underlines the necessity to incorporate temporality into
any truth-conditional approach to language meaning. In the first two
sections, Jaszczolt introduces eventualities as proposed by Bach
(1981) and then she illustrates the davidsonian proposal for the
integration of events and logical forms. The following section is
devoted to the distinction between tense, mood and aspect as three
inalienable but distinct dimensions for the description of
situations. The rest of the chapter is dedicated to the distinction
between temporality and tense and to the way in which the former has
been integrated in truth-conditional treatments of language, with
particular attention to the two major theories about events, namely
the A-theory (there is no real past or future, but the present moment
of thinking which makes them ''past'' and ''future'') and the B-theory
(there is a sequence of unchanging events lined up as before
than/later than). The author concludes the chapter reminding the
reader that tense must be considered in the broader framework of
expressing temporality in language and since this latter is expressed
through other dimensions as well, such as aspect, anaphoric dimension,
conversational implicature and common-sense reasoning (p.271).

Chapter 13, ''Dynamic semantics and Discourse Representation Theory'',
is the last chapter dedicated to approaches to the analyses of
discourse based to a different extent on the formal methods of
truth-conditional semantics. The title of the chapter is
self-explanatory. It essentially deals with the illustration of DRT
itself as well as with some more general considerations on which DRT
and File Change Semantics are based. The author underlines the
difficulty with adequately representing many different types of
sentences, because of the lack of a ''uniform connection between the
output of grammar and the situation referred to by the utterance of a
sentence'' (p.272). Since reality changes in the ongoing communicative
process, both because of the participants and of the greater available
information, incorporating both context and its changes into semantics
becomes essential. This idea is at the basis of DRT, whose potential
is illustrated in the treatment of quantified expression, time
representation, prepositional attitude report analysis and multiple
interpretations. The last section is dedicated to a
theoretical-terminological issue, namely that of the way in which the
label ''dynamic semantics'' is used.

Chapter 14, ''Speech acts and intentionality'', is the first chapter
dedicated to the approaches which do not resort to the suggestions of
truth-conditionally oriented semantics, and which are rather based on
the idea that meaning is use. The major advantage of this tradition
initiated by Wittgenstein and then developed by ''ordinary language
philosophers'' such as Austin and Searle is identified in the
capability for these theories to account for sentences that do not
have clear truth-conditions since they do not express obvious
propositions, such as requests. The author illustrates the major
theoretical issues relative to the Speech Act Theory: felicity
conditions, illocution, perlocution and force, speech act types, and
presents the problems connected with the ethnocentricity of speech act
classification. This problematic area is illustrated through the
problem of indirect speech act and of the different ways in which
indirectness and politeness interact in different languages. The last
section is dedicated to a brief history of speech act.

In chapter 15, ''Linguistic politeness'', the problems raised by
ethnocentric approaches are considered in depth and illustrated
through an overview of the studies on politeness, especially of those
trying to overcome the limits of cultural specific
proposals. Jaszczolt introduces Lakoff's rules of pragmatic competence
('be clear' and 'be polite'), Leech's Politeness Principle
complementing Grice's Cooperative Principle and consisting of at least
six maxims, and Brown and Levinson's adoption of Goffman's
sociological notion of face, which is central to their theory of
face-threatening acts (FTAs) and their role in strategies of
politeness. The last section introduces the cognitive approach to
politeness proposed by Escandell-Vidall (1996, 1998) which, with the
notion of ''social adequacy'', opens the path for the subject of the
following chapter.

Chapter 16, ''Cross-cultural Pragmatics'', intends to explain what
pragmatics means in this tradition of research. This discipline is
presented as still vague and speculative, but at the same time, the
importance of certain observations deriving from this area of research
is underlined, since they might help cast more light on semantic and
pragmatic theories. The first section is dedicated to the
anthropological notion of culture, as described by Scollon and Scollon
(1995). The author then presents the issue of a metalanguage which can
express concepts in a non-cultural-specific way. In particular,
Jaszczolt presents Wierzbizcka's Natural Semantic Metalanguage. In the
next section, the author introduces cross-cultural pragmatics,
exemplifying the cultural-specific layer of utterance interpretation
with tautologies. The last section is dedicated to Dan Sperber's
epidemiology of representations, that is, Sperber's hypothesis
relative to how culture is formed.

The 17th and final chapter, ''Metaphor'', is dedicated to this
problematic area, which moves the discussion towards the cognitive
tradition of research. The debate about metaphor is presented from
different theoretical perspectives: the ''traditional views'' and
Searle's pragmatic account, Cohen's revival of the semantic approach,
Moran's truth-conditional account of metaphor and Lakoff's cognitive
approach to the issue. The last section is dedicated to a proposal for
a possible reconciliation of cognitive and truth-conditional
approaches to the study of metaphor.

The ''References'' and the ''Index'' close the book.

EVALUATION

Despite the fact that the book leads the reader from the more basic
semantic and pragmatic notions to very complex theoretical issue,
''Semantics and Pragmatics'' is not an ingenuous handbook. The clarity
of the exposition and the excellent organisation of very rich and
diverse contents in a gradual and well interconnected sequence,
ordered according to the complexity of the problems described, should
not hide the original theoretical contribution of this work.

On one hand, the author presents the semantic and pragmatic debate in
a very didactic and informative way, with particular attention towards
truth-conditionally oriented approaches, while on the other, she
carefully underlines the fallacies in the different approaches,
providing sound arguments for her criticism.

It is evident that the book is supported by strong theoretical
premises and is in itself a very well built account of the author's
theoretical stance, the one which inspires such monographic works as
''Discourse, Beliefs and Intentions: Semantic Defaults and
Propositional Attitude Ascriptions'' (1999), where she tries to bring
closer approaches which apparently are quite irreconcilable, such as
the cognitive and the truth-conditional approach, using the
representation tools of DRT and the assumptions of ''default
semantics''. This effort brings her in line with the most recent
proposals at the semantics-pragmatics interface (Levinson 2000, Kamp
and Reyle 1993).

Thus, if from the perspective of the researcher or the advanced
student of linguistics the book is a useful overview of the
fundamental problem areas in the semantics/pragmatics debate, and a
useful preparatory reading to the monographic work of Jaszczolt, from
the less advanced student's perspective, ''Semantics and Pragmatics''
is a very useful handbook providing all the necessary information
about the truth-conditional approaches to the study of discourse,
including the philosophical debate, and a good presentation of
non-truth-conditional approaches to language. Every chapter is
accompanied by a list of suggested readings, both ''general'' and
''advanced/detailed'', which is a very useful resource.

The author provides, moreover, excellent introductions and summaries
of the contents of the single chapters which make it very easy for the
reader to follow the discussion.

To conclude, I think that ''Semantics and Pragmatics'' makes for an
excellent didactic resource both for graduate and undergraduate
students, provided it is read with a critical eye, that is, provided
it is clearly understood that the book is not a ''neutral''
introduction to the two disciplines and their interface, but a
strongly theoretically oriented approach, a sort of ''manifest'', a
premise to the Jaszczolt's original work.

REFERENCES

Bach, E. (1981) 'On time, tense and aspect: An Essay in English
metaphysics', in P. Cole (ed.), Radical Pragmatics, New York: Academic
Press

Escandell-Vidall, V. (1996) 'Towards a cognitive approach to
politeness',in K. M. Jaszczolt & K. Turner (eds.) Contrastive
Semantics and Pragmatics, Vol.2: Discourse Strategies, Oxford:
Elsevier Science, pp.629-650

Escandell-Vidall, V. (1998) 'Politeness: A relevant issue for
relevance theory', Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses 11: 45-57

Jaszczolt, K. M. (1999, Discourse, Beliefs and Intentions: Semantic
Defaults and Propositional Attitude Ascriptions, Oxford: Elsevier
Science

Kamp, H. & Reyle, U. (1993) From Discourse to Logic: Introduction to
Model-theoretic Semantics of Natural Language, Formal Logic and
Discourse Representation Theory, Dordrecht: Kluwer

Katz, J. J. and Postal, P. M. (1964) An Integrated Theory of
Linguistic Descriptions, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press

Levinson, S. C. (1995) 'Three levels of meaning', in F. R. Palmer
(ed), Grammar and Meaning: Essays in Honour of Sir John Lyons,
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 90-115

Levinson, S. C. (2000) Presumptive Meanings: The Theory of Generalized
Conversational Implicature, Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press

Scollon, R. and Wong Scollon, S. (1995) Intercultural Communication: A
Discourse Approach, Oxford: Blackwell

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Dr. Gloria Cappelli is presently working for the Centro Linguistico
Interdipartimentale (Interdepartmental Centre for Linguistics) of the
University of Pisa. She has a Ph.D. in English Linguistics. She has
worked in the field of Lexical Semantics, Pragmatics and Second
Language Acquisition.
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