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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: Meaning
Subtitle: A Slim Guide to Semantics
Written By: Paul D. Elbourne

This book offers an introduction to the analysis of meaning. Our outstanding
ability to communicate is a distinguishing feature of our species. To
communicate is to convey meaning, but what is meaning? How do words
combine to give us the meanings of sentences? And what makes a
statement ambiguous or nonsensical? These questions and many others are
addressed in Paul Elbourne's fascinating guide. He opens by asking what
kinds of things the meanings of words and sentences could be: are they, for
example, abstract objects or psychological entities? He then looks at how we
understand a sequence of words we have never heard before; he considers to
what extent the meaning of a sentence can be derived from the words it
contains and how to account for the meanings that can't be; and he
examines the roles played by time, place, and the shared and unshared
assumptions of speakers and hearers. He looks at how language interacts
with thought and the intriguing question of whether what language we speak
affects the way we see the world.

Meaning, as might be expected, is far from simple. Paul Elbourne explores
its complex issues in crystal clear language. He draws on approaches
developed in linguistics, philosophy, and psychology - assuming a knowledge
of none of them -in a manner that will appeal to everyone interested in this
essential element of human psychology and culture.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0199585830
ISBN-13: 9780199585830
Pages: 192
Prices: U.K. £ 40.00

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0199696624
ISBN-13: 9780199696628
Pages: 192
Prices: U.K. £ 12.99