Secondary Content

The Semantics and Pragmatics of Side Issues


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In addition to expressing some main content, utterances often convey secondary content, which is content that is not their “main point”, but which rather provides side or background information, is less prominent than the main content, and shows distinctive behavior with respect to its role in discourse structure and which discourse moves it licenses. This volume collects original research papers on the semantics and pragmatics of secondary content. By covering a broad variety of linguistic phenomena that convey secondary content – including expressives, various particles, adverbials, pronouns, quotations, and dogwhistle language – the contributions show that secondary content is pervasive throughout different aspects of natural language and provide new insight into the nature of secondary content through new semantic and pragmatic analyses.

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Daniel Gutzmann, Ph.D. (2013), University of Frankfurt, is a senior lecturer in German Linguistics at the University of Cologne, working on semantics, pragmatics. He is author of Use-Conditional Meaning (OUP, 2015) and co-edited two other volumes in the CRISPI series.

Katharina Turgay, Ph.D. (2010), University of Mainz, is a senior lecturer in German Linguistics at the University of Landau. She published two monographs and many articles on various grammatical and semantic topics, especially on non-formal varieties of language.

Contributors are: Ana Aguilar-Guevara, Patrícia Amaral, Claudia Borgonovo, Elena Castroviejo & Berit Gehrke, Laura Dörre & Andreas Trotzke, Mira Grubic, Holden Härtl, Robert Henderson, , Stefan Hinterwimmer, Joachim Jacobs, Elin McCready, Kalle Müller, Osamu Sawada, Heiko Seeliger, and Matthijs Westera.
1 Secondary Content: A Short IntroductionDaniel Gutzmann and Katharina Turgay
2 Literal and Enriched Meaning of Sentences with Weak Definites and Bare SingularsAna Aguilar-Guevara
3 Descriptive PronounsPatrícia Amaral
4 Concessive Clauses or How to Be Pragmatically HumbleClaudia Borgonovo
5 Intensification and Secondary Content: A Case Study of Catalan GoodElena Castroviejo and Berit Gehrke
6 The Processing of Secondary Meaning: An Experimental Comparison of Focus and Modal Particles in Wh-questionsLaura Dörre and Andreas Trotzke
7 Additives and AccommodationMira Grubic
8 Is a So-Called “Beach” a Beach? An Empirically Based Analysis of Secondary Content Induced by Ironic Name UseHolden Härtl and Heiko Seeliger
9 Dogwhistles and the At-Issue/Non-At-Issue DistinctionRobert Henderson and Elin McCready
10 The Bavarian Discourse Particle fei as a Marker of Non-At-IssuenessStefan Hinterwimmer
11 Why the Meaning of Discourse Particles Is Separated from Focus-Background StructureJoachim Jacobs
12 Sentence Adverbials, (NonAt-Issueness, and Orientation in German—Evidence from ConditionalsKalle Müller
13 Interpretations of the Embedded Expressive Motto in Japanese: Varieties of Meaning and ProjectivityOsamu Sawada
14 Rise-Fall-Rise as a Marker of Secondary QUD sMatthijs Westera
All linguists interested in semantics and pragmatics and kinds of meaning, as well as cognitive scientist investigating the constitution of meaning, and philosophers of language.
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