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LINGUIST List 23.1110

Mon Mar 05 2012

Qs: Semantic/Pragmatic Analyses of ''Understand''

Editor for this issue: Zac Smith <zaclinguistlist.org>

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Date: 04-Mar-2012
From: Eddy Gaytan <e-gaytansbcglobal.net>
Subject: Semantic/Pragmatic Analyses of ''Understand''
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Dear Linguists,
I am researching the cognitive verb UNDERSTAND in English and
other languages such as French.

I am particularly interested in sentences in which understand takes the
WH-word why, plus a clausal object complement like the following:

1. I understand why John V/Ved…
2. I do not understand why John V/Ved…

I am interested in semantic/pragmatic/discourse-analysis analyses
which explain the information not expressed and pointed to by why,
which seems to be crucial for sentences like 1 and 2 to make sense.
Or, rather, the cogitator in 1 and 2 is only being truthful if his use of
why points to a set of reasons which allow him to understand a

As I said before, I would appreciate any information regarding the verb
understand of the WH-word why.

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis

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