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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."

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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: Presumptive Meanings: The Theory of Generalized Conversational Implicature
Written By: Stephen Curtis Levinson

When we speak, we mean more than we say. In this book Stephen C. Levinson explains some general processes that underlie presumptions in communication. This is the first extended discussion of preferred interpretation in language understanding, integrating much of the best research in linguistic pragmatics from the last two decades. Levinson outlines a theory of presumptive meanings, or preferred interpretations, governing the use of language, building on the idea of implicature developed by the philosopher H. P. Grice. Some of the indirect information carried by speech is presumed by default because it is carried by general principles, rather than inferred from specific assumptions about intention and context. Levinson examines this class of general pragmatic inferences in detail, showing how they apply to a wide range of linguistic constructions. This approach has radical consequences for how we think about language and communication. Stephen C. Levinson is Director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, the Netherlands.

Publication Year: 2000
Publisher: MIT Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0262122189
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 450 p
Prices: $35.00/#23.95

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0262621304
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 450 p