Constructions of Intersubjectivity shows that the meaning of grammatical
constructions often has more to do with the human cognitive capacity for
taking other peoples' points of view than with describing the world.
Treating pragmatics, semantics, and syntax in parallel and integrating
insights from linguistics, psychology, and animal communication, Arie
Verhagen develops a new understanding of linguistic communication. In doing
so he shows the continuity between language and animal communication and
reveals the nature of human linguistic specialization.
Professor Verhagen uses Dutch and English data from a wide variety of
sources and considers the contributions of grammar to the coherence of
discourse. He argues that important problems in semantics and syntax may be
resolved if language is understood as an instrument for exerting influence
and coordinating different perspectives. The grammatical phenomena he
discusses include negative expressions, the let alone construction,
complementation constructions, and discourse connectives.
This powerfully argued and original explanation of the nature and operation
of communication will interest a wide range of scholars and advanced
students in linguistics, cognitive science, and human evolution.