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Title: Current Trends in Diachronic Semantics and Pragmatics
Edited By: Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen
Jacqueline Visconti
Series Title: Studies in Pragmatics volume 7

The focus of this volume is on semantic and pragmatic change, its causes
and mechanisms. The papers gathered here offer both theoretical proposals
of more general scope and in-depth studies of language-specific cases of
meaning change in particular notional domains. The analyses include data
from English, several Romance languages, German, Scandinavian languages,
and Oceanic languages. Detailed case-studies covering central semantic
domains, such as concession, evidentiality, intensification, modality,
negation, scalarity, subjectivity, and temporality, allow the authors to
test and refine current models of semantic change, by focusing, for
instance, on the respective roles of speakers and hearers in the process
and on the relationship between semantic and syntactic reanalysis. Key
theoretical notions, such as presuppositions, paradigms, word order, and
discourse status are revisited in a diachronic perspective to provide
innovative accounts of causes and motivations for linguistic changes. A
prominent theme is the evolution of procedural meanings of various kinds.
Thus, several papers feature different types of pragmatic markers as their
object of study, while others are concerned with items and constructions
expressing modality, evidentiality, negation, and relational meanings.
Closely related themes are: the interface between semantics and
pragmatics/discourse, with figurative uses of language,
rhetorical-argumentational strategies, discourse traditions, information
structure, and the importance of dialogic contexts in change playing a
salient role in several papers; the relationship between meaning change and
processes such as grammaticalization, subjectification and
pragmaticalization; and, the thorny issue of the categorization of
linguistic items such as discourse markers or modal particles, evidentials
or epistemic modals, to which the diachronic data are shown to contribute
substantially. The volume will be of interest to graduate students and
researchers in the fields of semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis,
grammaticalization, and historical linguistics.

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Historical Linguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781849506
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 316
Prices: U.K. £ 74.95