4. Markers of conceptual adjustment

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This paper employs the relevance-theoretic framework to account for the linguistic meaning and pragmatic contribution of two Serbian particles – baš and kao. Starting from a categorization of relations between lexical and communicated concepts, Miškovic-Lukovic shows that baš and kao play the same role in utterance interpretation – they both serve as semantic constraints on the explicit content of an utterance, but they do so in different ways. A baš-utterance communicates a strong explicature with baš serving as a marker of non-loose use: the specificatory baš encodes literalness while the emphatic baš encodes pragmatic strengthening. A kao-utterance, on the other hand, communicates a weak explicature with kao serving as a marker of pragmatic loosening. Additionally, kao may be used to signal interpretive language use – specifically, irony and reporting.


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