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Summary Details

Query:   Intro to Relevance Theory
Author:  Michael Kliffer
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Pragmatics
Cognitive Science

Summary:   Thanks to all who gave suggestions. Here are the main ones:

Maurizio Tirassa:
Sperber, D., Wilson, D. (1987) Precis of 'Relevance. Communication
and cognition'. ''Behavioral and Brain Sciences'' 10: 697-754.
Don't be mistaken by the number of pages: the whole treatment
includes a) the target article by S&W (actually, a resume of the
book), b) several commentaries from the community of cognitive
scientist (not only pragmaticists), and c) S&W's replies to the
commentaries. Thus, it is highly modular, in that you can choose
whatever selection of article(s) and/or commentaries you like, and
very interesting, in that you can have a whole debate.

Francisco Yus:
The best introduction to RT, to my knowledge, is Diane Blakemore's book ''Understanding Utterances'' (Blackwell, 1992). Apart from this, there are many articles covering general issues of the theory. I published an article in Journal of Pragmatics called ''A decade of relevance theory'' (1998) which does cover most of the basic tenets. In any case,
you should acces the bibliography on RT which is available on the Internet at Section 2 of this page contains bibliography on general issues of RT and, most interestingly, some of the references can be downloaded from that page.

Markus Tendahl recommends:
'a good, but slightly untechnical textbook':
Blakemore, Diane. 1992. Understanding Utterances. Oxford: Blackwell.

'a very good and recent version of RT, but too big in its entirety for your purposes':
Carston, R. 2002. Thoughts and Utterances: The Pragmatics of Explicit
Communication. Oxford: Blackwell.

'a good and concise introduction to the 'traditional' account of RT':
Sperber, Dan & Deirdre Wilson. 1998. ''Pr?cis of Relevance: Communication and
Cognition.'' In: Kasher, Asa, ed. Vol. V, 82-115. (this article is also available from the journal 'Behavioral and Brain Sciences')

'a good and concise introduction to the more recent account of RT':
Wilson, D. & Sperber, D. 2003. ''Relevance theory.'' In L.R. Horn & G. Ward, eds.,
The handbook of pragmatics (pp. 607-632). Malden, MA & Oxford: Blackwell.

I am probably going to select the Handbook of Pragmatics article or the one in Kasher 1998.


LL Issue: 15.1837
Date Posted: 16-Jun-2004
Original Query: Read original query


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