What Do We Talk About When We Talk?

Speculative grammar and the semantics and pragmatics of focus

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This monograph deals with the ‘aboutness’ of language. First, the sense in which language ‘is about’ or ‘reflects’ both reality and a mental picture of reality is turned into a cornerstone of a reflectionist or ‘Speculative Grammarian’ semantics and pragmatics. Second, the ‘Speculative Grammar’ idea is made concrete in a logico-linguistic account of the way language ‘is about’ the whole of reality as well as about certain fractions of it. Third, the reflectionist perspective is used for a universalist account of the way speech acts ‘are about’ their subjects, topics, and foci.

Subjects: Pragmatics; Semantics

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