Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

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: Literal Meaning
Subtitle: The Very Idea
Written By: François Recanati

According to the dominant position among philosophers of language today, we
can legitimately ascribe determinate contents (such as truth-conditions) to
natural language sentences, independently of what the speaker actually
means. This view contrasts with that held by ordinary language philosophers
fifty years ago: according to them, speech acts, not sentences, are the
primary bearers of content. François Recanati argues for the relevance of
this controversy to the current debate about semantics and pragmatics. Is
'what is said' (as opposed to merely implied) determined by linguistic
conventions, or is it an aspect of 'speaker's meaning'? Do we need
pragmatics to fix truth-conditions? What is 'literal meaning'? To what
extent is semantic composition a creative process? How pervasive is
context-sensitivity? Recanati provides an original and insightful defence
of 'contextualism', and offers an informed survey of the spectrum of
positions held by linguists and philosophers working at the
semantics/pragmatics interface.

Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0521792460
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 187
Prices: U.S. $ 55
U.K. £ 40