Marco Cruciani

On the Inference of Meaning in Use in Explicit Verbal Communication

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: meaning in use, interest, inference, semantic underdeterminacy, explicit communication.

The paper examines the determination of the explicit content of communication via inferential processes based on the speakers' situational interests. The paper's argument is based on the hypothesis that the meaning of natural language expressions depends on the situational non-linguistic interests of speakers. It is maintained that interests affect the sentences of natural language because semantic conventions, semantic context, and pragmatic context are unable to determine a unique meaning for a sentence. In particular, the paper addresses the question of the determination of meaning via inference where the speaker's interest is a premise for communicative inferences. The last part of the paper illustrates a case discussed in pragmatist literature where it is argued how the inferential model based on interests captures the explicit content of communication better than the model based on the notion of context.

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