Language Turned on Itself: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Metalinguistic Discourse

Paperback | December 1, 2009

byHerman Cappelen, Ernest Lepore

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Language Turned on Itself examines what happens when language becomes self-reflexive; when language is used to talk about language. Those who think, talk, and write about language are habitual users of various metalinguistic devices, but reliance on these devices begins early: kids are told,'That's called a "rabbit"'. It's not implausible that a primitive capacity for the meta-linguistic kicks in at the beginning stages of language acquisition. But no matter when or how frequently these devices are invoked, one thing is clear: they present theorists of language with a complex datapattern. Herman Cappelen and Ernest Lepore show that the study of these devices and patterns not only represents an interesting and neglected project in the philosophy of language, but also carries important consequences for other parts of philosophy. Part I is devoted to presenting data about various aspects of our metalinguistic practices. In Part II, the authors examine and reject the four leading metalinguistic theories, and offer a new account of our use of quotation in a variety of different contexts. But the primary goal of this book isnot to promote one theory over another. Rather, it is to present a deeply puzzling set of problems and explain their significance

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Language Turned on Itself examines what happens when language becomes self-reflexive; when language is used to talk about language. Those who think, talk, and write about language are habitual users of various metalinguistic devices, but reliance on these devices begins early: kids are told,'That's called a "rabbit"'. It's not implausi...

Herman Cappelen is Arche Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews. Ernie Lepore is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:184 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:December 1, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199575525

ISBN - 13:9780199575527

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements1. Advertisement2. Preliminaries: 'Quotation' and Varieties of QuotationPart I: Data3. Overview4. Omitted Quotation Marks5. 'Impure' Direct Quotes6. Mixed Quotation7. Quotation and Context SensitivityPart II: Theory8. Use Theories of Quotation9. Proper Names and Description Theories of Quotation10. Davidson's Theory of Quotation11. Minimal Theory of Quotation12. On the Nature of Quotable ItemsBibliography