Relevance Theory

Applications and implications

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  • Editors: Robyn Carston1, and Seiji Uchida2
  • Format: PDF
  • Publication Year: 1998
  • e-Book ISBN 9789027285560

This collection of papers arises from a meeting of relevance theorists held in Osaka, May 29-30, 1993. Speakers at the conference included both of the originators of the theory, Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson, the editors of this volume and several other Japanese linguists and pragmatists, all of whose work is included.<br />The full breadth and richness of relevance theory is represented here, both in its applications to problems of utterance interpretation, that fall squarely within the domain of pragmatics, and its implications for linguistic semantics. Several papers investigate and assess the theory’s account of figurative uses of language, such as irony, metaphor and metonymy. Other central pragmatic issues include a relevance-driven account of generalized implicature, the role of bridging implicatures in reference assignment, the way in which different intonation patterns contribute to the relevance of an utterance and the application of the theory to literary texts. The recently developed semantic distinction between conceptually and procedurally encoded meaning, motivated by relevance-theoretic considerations, is employed in new accounts of several Japanese particles and in a fresh perspective on the phenomenon of metalinguistic negation.<br />The volume comes with a comprehensive glossary of relevance-theoretic terms.

Subjects: Semantics; Pragmatics

  • Affiliations: 1: University College London; 2: Nara Women's University

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