Default Semantics: Foundations of a Compositional Theory of Acts of Communication

Paperback | June 28, 2007

byK. M. Jaszczolt

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In this pioneering book Kasia Jaszczolt lays down the foundations of an original theory of meaning in discourse, reveals the cognitive foundations of discourse interpretation, and puts forward a new basis for the analysis of discourse processing. She provides a step-by-step introduction to thetheory and its application, and explains new terms and formalisms as required. Dr Jaszczolt unites the precision of truth-conditional, dynamic approaches with insights from neo-Gricean pragmatics into the role of speaker's intentions in communication. She shows that the compositionality of meaningmay be understood as merger representations combining information from various sources including word meaning and sentence structure, various kinds of default interpretations, and conscious pragmatic inference. Among the applications the author discusses are constructions that pose problems in semantic analysis such as referring expressions, propositional attitude constructions, presupposition, modality, numerals, and sentential connectives. She proposes solutions to cutting edge problems in thesemantics/pragmatics interface - for example, how many levels of meaning should be distinguished; the status of under-specification; how much contextual information should be placed in the representation of the speaker's meaning; whether there are default interpretations; the stage of utteranceinterpretation at which pragmatic inference begins; and whether compositionality is a necessary feature of the theory of meaning and if so how it is to be defined.The book is for advanced students and researchers in semantics, pragmatics, computational linguistics, and philosophy of language.

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In this pioneering book Kasia Jaszczolt lays down the foundations of an original theory of meaning in discourse, reveals the cognitive foundations of discourse interpretation, and puts forward a new basis for the analysis of discourse processing. She provides a step-by-step introduction to thetheory and its application, and explains ne...

Kasia Jaszczolt is Senior Lecturer in Semantics and Pragmatics at the University of Cambridge and Fellow and Director of Studies in Linguistics at Newnham College, Cambridge. She is the author of Discourse, Beliefs, and Intentions: Semantic Defaults and Propositional Attitude Ascription (1999) and Semantics and Pragmatics: Meaning in ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.71 inPublished:June 28, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199226687

ISBN - 13:9780199226689

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Table of Contents

Part I Foundations1. Meaning Representation: Setting the Scene2. Default Meanings3. Compositionality and Merger RepresentationsPart II Some Applications4. Defaults for Definite Descriptions5. Default Semantics for Propositional Attitude Reports6. Futurity and the English will7. Default Semantics for Presupposition as Anaphora8. The Myth of Sentential Connectives?9. Default Semantics for Number Terms10. Concluding Remarks and Future ProspectsReferencesIndex