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New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Bridging and Relevance
Written By: Tomoko Matsui
Series Title: Pragmatics & Beyond NS 76

While it has long been taken for granted that context or background information plays a crucial role in reference assignment, there have been very few serious attempts to investigate exactly how they are used. This study provides an answer to the question through an extensive analysis of cases of bridging. The book demonstrates that when encountering a referring expression, the hearer is able to choose a set of contextual assumptions intended by the speaker in a principled way, out of all the assumptions possibly available to him. It claims more specifically that the use of context, as well as the assignment of referent, is governed by a single pragmatic principle, namely, the principle of relevance (Sperber & Wilson 1986/1995), which is also a single principle governing overall utterance interpretation. The explanatory power of the criterion based on the principle of relevance is tested against the two major, current alternatives - truth-based criteria and coherence-based criteria - using data elicited in a battery of referent assignment questionnaires. The results show clearly that the relevance-based criterion has more predictive power to handle a wider range of examples than any other existing criterion. As such, this work adds to the growing body of evidence supporting the insights of relevance theory.

Publication Year: 2000
Publisher: John Benjamins
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Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 155619924
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: USD 75.00
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027250928
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: NLG 150.00