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Understanding Utterances: An Introduction to Pragmatics

ISBN: 978-0-631-15867-7
204 pages
July 1992, Wiley-Blackwell
Understanding Utterances: An Introduction to Pragmatics (0631158677) cover image


This textbook provides an introduction to pragmatics from the point of view of Sperber and Wilson's Relevance Theory. The first part lays down the foundations of a relevance theoretic approach to utterance understanding, which is then applied to the analysis of a range of phenomena which are central to pragmatics.
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Table of Contents



Part I: Fundamentals:.

1. Communication and the Context.

1.1. What do Speakers Communicate?.

1.2. Understanding and Inference.

1.3. The Context.

Recommended Reading.


2. Relevance.

2.1. Standards in Communication.

2.2. The Principle of Relevance.

Recommended Reading.


3. Pragmatics, Linguistics and Literature.

3.1. Carving up Meaning: Semantics and Pragmatists.

3.2. Promises and Poetry.

Recommended Reading.


Part II: Explicature:.

4. Explicating and Implicating.

Recommended Reading.


5. The Proposition Expressed.

5.1. Assigning Reference.

5.2. Enrichment.

5.3. Explicatures and Coherence.

Recommended Reading.


6. Higher-Level Explicatures: Attitudes and Speech Acts.

6.1. Speech Acts and Pragmatics.

6.2. Performatives.

6.3. Saying, Telling and Asking.

6.4. Interpretive Use.

6.5. Non-Declarative Utterances: Imperatives.

6.6. Non-Declarative Utterances: Interrogatives.

Recommended Reading.


Part III: Implicature:.

7. Types of Implicature.

7.1. Introduction.

7.2. Implicated Premises and Implicated Conclusions.

7.3. Strong and Weak Implicatures.

Recommended Reading.


8. Constraints on Implicatures.

8.1. Connections in Discourse.

8.2. Discourse Connectives as Constraints on Implicatures.

8.3. The Classification of Discourse Connectives.

8.4. Parallel Implications.

8.5. Non-Truth-Conditional Meaning: Semantics and Pragmatics.

Recommended Reading.


9. Implicatures and Style.

9.1. Poetic Effects.

9.2. Metaphor.

9.3. Irony.

9.4. Style.

Recommended Reading.




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Author Information

Diane Blakemore is Lecturer in Linguistics at Southampton University. Her book on Semantic Constraints on Relevance was published by Blackwell in 1987.
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"A clearly written textbook. Punctuated with straightforward exercises and a useful recommended reading list." Journal of Pragmatics
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