Meaning and Relevance

Cambridge University Press
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When people speak, their words never fully encode what they mean, and the context is always compatible with a variety of interpretations. How can comprehension ever be achieved? Wilson and Sperber argue that comprehension is a process of inference guided by precise expectations of relevance. What are the relations between the linguistically encoded meanings studied in semantics and the thoughts that humans are capable of entertaining and conveying? How should we analyse literal meaning, approximations, metaphors and ironies? Is the ability to understand speakers' meanings rooted in a more general human ability to understand other minds? How do these abilities interact in evolution and in cognitive development? Meaning and Relevance sets out to answer these and other questions, enriching and updating relevance theory and exploring its implications for linguistics, philosophy, cognitive science and literary studies.
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About the author

Deirdre Wilson is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at University College London and Research Professor at the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature at the University of Oslo.

Dan Sperber is Emeritus Directeur de Recherche at the Institut Jean Nicod, CNRS, Paris and part-time university professor in the departments of philosophy and cognitive science at the Central European University, Budapest.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
Mar 22, 2012
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Pages
397
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ISBN
9781107376779
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / Semantics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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