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LINGUIST List 23.5237

Thu Dec 13 2012

Books: Meaning and Relevance: Sperber, Wilson

Editor for this issue: Rebekah McClure <rebekahlinguistlist.org>

Date: 30-Nov-2012
From: Joyce Reid <jreidcambridge.org>
Subject: Meaning and Relevance: Sperber, Wilson
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Title: Meaning and Relevance
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL: http://www.cambridge.org/us/knowledge/isbn/item6621370/?site_locale=en_US

Author: Deirdre Wilson
Author: Dan Sperber

Hardback: ISBN: 9780521766777 Pages: 400 Price: U.S. $ 105.00
Paperback: ISBN: 9780521747486 Pages: 400 Price: U.S. $ 45.00


When people speak, their words never fully encode what they mean, and the
context is always compatible with a variety of interpretations. How can
comprehension ever be achieved? Wilson and Sperber argue that comprehension is
a process of inference guided by precise expectations of relevance. What are
the relations between the linguistically encoded meanings studied in semantics
and the thoughts that humans are capable of entertaining and conveying? How
should we analyse literal meaning, approximations, metaphors and ironies? Is
the ability to understand speakers' meanings rooted in a more general human
ability to understand other minds? How do these abilities interact in
evolution and in cognitive development? Meaning and Relevance sets out to
answer these and other questions, enriching and updating relevance theory and
exploring its implications for linguistics, philosophy, cognitive science and
literary studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: 1. Pragmatics

Part I. Relevance and Meaning:

2. The mapping between the mental and the public lexicon
3. Truthfulness and relevance
4. Rhetoric and relevance
5. A deflationary account of metaphors
6. Explaining irony

Part II. Explicit and Implicit Communication:

7. Linguistic form and relevance
8. Pragmatics and time
9. Recent approaches to bridging: truth, coherence, relevance
10. Mood and the analysis of non-declarative sentences
11. Metarepresentation in linguistic communication

Part III. Cross-disciplinary Themes:

12. Pragmatics, modularity and mindreading
13. Testing the cognitive and communicative principles of relevance
14. The why and how of experimental pragmatics
15. A pragmatic perspective on the evolution of language

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics

Written In: English (eng)

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