Book

Use-Conditional Meaning

Daniel Gutzmann

Published in print May 2015 | ISBN: 9780198723820
Published online September 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191791161 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723820.001.0001

Series: Oxford Studies in Semantics and Pragmatics

Use-Conditional Meaning

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Pragmatic theories of meaning that go under the slogan of “meaning as use” are often conceived as fundamentally opposed to traditional truth-conditional semantics. However, Kaplan’s classic underground paper on “the meaning of ouch and oops” taught us how conditions of use can and should have a place in formal approaches to natural language meaning. Based on these suggestions, this book develops a multidimensional approach to meaning—which the author calls hybrid semantics—that incorporates use conditions alongside truth conditions in a unified framework. This system overcomes the empirical gaps and conceptual problems of previous frameworks of multidimensional semantics. The resulting system, which is based on the idea of compositional multidimensionality, puts less burden on the compositional system, by outsourcing combinatoric restriction to the lexicon—semantics interface. This approach is able to deal not only with the standard cases of expressives and slurs, but also with other kinds of use-conditional item that are often overlooked in the current literature. It also has natural application for analysis of sentence mood and modal particles in German, as two detailed case studies show.

Keywords: use conditions; truth conditions; semantics; pragmatics; multidimensional semantics; hybrid semantics; expressives; slurs; sentence mood; modal particles

Book.  328 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Semantics ; Linguistics

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Use-Conditional Meaning

Chapter

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Sentence mood in Use-Conditional Meaning

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Modal particles in Use-Conditional Meaning

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