Relevance Theory—New Directions and Developments

Robyn Carston and George Powell

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552238
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577451 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Relevance Theory—New Directions and Developments

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Much work in relevance theory relies on the kinds of method and data familiar to linguistic philosophers: essentially introspection and native speaker intuitions on properties such as truth conditions, truth values, what is said, etc. Recently, however, relevance theorists have been at the forefront of a newly-emerging research field, experimental pragmatics, which aims to apply the empirical techniques of psycholinguistics to questions about utterance interpretation. Over the last few years, this new research methodology has thrown up interesting and sometimes surprising insights into the psychological processes underlying human communication and comprehension, some of which are discussed in this article.

Keywords: relevance theory; linguistic philosophy; truth conditions; truth values; experimental pragmatics; psycholinguistics

Article.  9118 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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