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Studies in Linguistics and Cognition

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Edited By Bárbara Eizaga-Rebollar

Studies in Linguistics and Cognition offers a comprehensive collection of essays in the interdisciplinary fields of linguistics and cognition. These essays explore the connections between cognitive approaches and different theoretical and applied linguistic theories, such as pragmatics, sociolinguistics, computational linguistics and semantics among others, providing revealing insights into the nature of the cognitive processes underlying language. The authors discuss a variety of fundamental questions, ranging from the study of figurative language, phrasal verbs and humorous discourse to the analysis of fuzzy concepts, attitude verbs and neologisms. These and other related questions are dealt with in this integrative overview of the linguistic and cognitive processes. The volume is structured in three main sections, each corresponding to a distinct level of meaning description: Section I deals with Lexicon and Cognition, Section II with Semantics and Cognition and Section III with Communication and Cognition. This book provides thought-provoking reading for linguists, pragmaticians, psychologists, philosophers and cognitive scientists as well as scholars in computational linguistics and natural language processing who are interested in gaining a better understanding of the interface between cognition and linguistics.

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Section 3: Communication and Cognition

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BÁRBARA EIZAGA REBOLLAR1 Meaning Adjustment Processes in Idiom Variants 1. Introduction Speakers often, if not always, use words in such a way that they com- municate different meanings from those linguistically encoded by the words. Thus, hearers have to pragmatically adjust speakers’ meaning in context to interpret their utterance in a way that fulfills their expec- tations of relevance. According to Relevance Theory (RT from now onwards), this meaning adjustment can be achieved by two comple- mentary processes that take place during interpretation: narrowing and broadening. Therefore, in this chapter I will sketch the role of Relevance in intentional communication in Section 2. Section 3 will show that the communicated meaning can be narrowed and broadened to different degrees and in different ways during the interpretation process to yield an ad hoc concept. In Section 4 we will present an analysis of how speakers’ meanings are pragmatically adjusted in the case of idiom variants using these two complementary processes and exploiting a resemblance with an implicitly alluded idiom. The different attitudes speakers convey by exploiting such resemblance will be briefly dealt with in Section 5. Finally, Section 6 summarizes the main findings of this work. 1 . 186 Bárbara Eizaga Rebollar 2. Relevance role in intentional communication Humans always have many stimuli competing for their attention. As cognitive efficiency is a matter of choosing the most relevant piece of information and processing it in the most relevant context, human cognition is geared to the maximization of relevance (Cognitive Prin-...

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