Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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In this paper my aim is to approach the referential–attributive distinction in the interpretation of definite descriptions, originally discussed by Donnellan (1966), from a cognitive perspective grounded in Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory (Sperber and Wilson 1986/95). In particular, I argue that definite descriptions encode a procedural semantics, in the sense of Blakemore (1987), which is neutral as between referential and attributive readings (among others). On this account, the distinction between referential and attributive readings arises as a result of the differing links that exist between different types of mental representation and the world, rather than as a result of the differing links between language and mental representations.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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