Caterina Scianna

Neuropragmatics: New perspectives on a theory of utterance interpretation

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Keywords: Communication; Pragmatic Abilities; Indirect Replies; Speaker Meaning; Brocas' Area.

Is it possible to make a theory of utterance interpretation? This is the question that Louise Cummings tries to answer in the paper «Can there ever be a theory of utterance interpretation?». The paper claims that the rational, intentional, holistic character of utterance interpretation is in contrast with the central features of every theory: simplicity, completeness and explanatory power. L. Cummings, takin cue from Putnam's ideas on metaphysical realism, argues that if we consider the term «theory» in a strict sense, there can't be any theory of utterance interpretation. The only way to explain the utterance interpretation is to analyse the multiple uses of interpretative process and its daily applications. In this paper, it will be ar¬gued that a theory of utterance interpretation has to consider the neurobiology of language, the neural system that regulates semantic and pragmatic integration.

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