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Linguistic Meaning and Non-Truth-Conditionality


Xosé Rosales Sequeiros

This book offers a new perspective on current semantic theory by analysing key aspects of linguistic meaning and non-truth-conditional semantics. It applies non-truth-conditional semantics to various areas of language and critically considers earlier approaches to the study of semantic meaning, such as truth-conditional semantics, Speech Act theory and Gricean conventional implicatures. The author argues that those earlier approaches to linguistic semantics do not stand up to close scrutiny and are subject to a number of counterexamples, indicating that they are insufficient for a comprehensive and unified account of linguistic semantics.
An alternative framework is then presented based on recent developments in the field, demonstrating that it is possible to provide a unified account of linguistic semantics by making two fundamental distinctions between (a) conceptual and procedural meaning and (b) explicit and implicit communication. These two distinctions, combined with the various levels of representation available in linguistic communication, allow researchers to capture the variety of linguistic meaning encountered in natural language. The study includes a discussion of a number of areas within linguistic semantics, including sentence adverbials, parentheticals, discourse/pragmatic connectives, discourse particles, interjections and mood indicators.


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Part II New Developments in Linguistic Semantics 81


Part Ii New Developments in Linguistic Semantics Chapter 5 Conceptual and Procedural Meaning in Linguistic Semantics 1. Introduction In the first part of this book we focused on standard traditional accounts of non-truth-conditional meaning. In particular, we considered two approaches: speech act theory and the Gricean framework, both of which treated non-truth-conditional expressions as indicators. In this view, these phenomena may indicate two things. One the one hand, they may indicate a type of speech act, such as telling or asking. On the other, they may indi- cate a propositional attitude, such as thinking, believing, doubting, etc. However, a number of questions still remained unanswered in relation to this type of account. In particular, it is not clear what the distinction between describ- ing and indicating amounts to, especially from a cognitive point of view. Equally, it remains unclear whether all the ‘indicators’ being considered here are in fact non-truth-conditional. Lastly, it is not certain whether all ‘indicators’ convey speech act and propositional-attitude information. We will begin to address these questions in this part of this book with a view to providing an alternative account. In particular, we will consider two key distinctions made within lin- guistic meaning and communication. Firstly, we will discuss a distinction between two dif ferent types of information that can be encoded linguis- tically, i.e. conceptual and procedural information. Then, we will explore a distinction between two dif ferent types of communication, i.e. explicit and implicit communication. I will demonstrate that the combination between these...

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