Neo-Gricean Pragmatics and the Lexicon

in International Review of Pragmatics
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Abstract

Interest in the pragmatics of the lexicon is probably as old as that in pragmatics itself, as can be seen in the early work by e.g.the 19 th century British philosophers John Stuart Mill and Augustus De Morgan, and the more recent, seminal work by Grice (1975, 1989) and McCawley (1978). However, a revival of this interest has occurred since the 1990s, and there has since been an acceleration in the development of a separate branch of lexical pragmatics. Currently, lexical pragmatics - the systematic study of aspects of meaning-related properties of lexical items that are dependent on or modifi ed in language in use, i.e.that part of lexical meaning which is parasitic on what is coded but is not part of what is coded (e.g.Huang 1998) – is a hot pursuit within at least three diff erent theoretical frameworks of pragmatics, namely, neo-Gricean pragmatic theory (e.g.Horn 1984, 1989, 2003, 2006a, b, 2007, Huang 1998, 2005, 2008, 2009, Levinson 2000), neo-Gricean oriented bidirectional optimality-theoretic (OT) pragmatics (e.g.Blutner 1998, 2004, forthcoming) and relevance theory (e.g.Carston 1997, Wilson 2003, Wilson and Carston 2007). e aim of this article is to present a neo-Gricean pragmatic analysis of four central topics in lexical pragmatics: lexical narrowing, lexical cloning, lexical blocking, and asymmetry in the lexicalization of certain logical operators.

Neo-Gricean Pragmatics and the Lexicon

in International Review of Pragmatics

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