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Secondary Content

The Semantics and Pragmatics of Side Issues

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Edited by Daniel Gutzmann and Katharina Turgay

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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Edited by Daniel Gutzmann and Hans-Martin Gärtner

Beyond Expressives: Explorations in Use-Conditional Meaning offers empirical and theoretical studies of expressions whose meaning falls outside the standard realm of truth-conditional semantics. Aspects of meaning that are better captured by their use-conditions instead came into the spotlight of formal semantics recently, mainly due to the raised interest in expressions like interjections or swear words. Going beyond such expressives, the contributions provide detailed semantic analyses of a broad range of use-conditional items, including particles, non-inflectional constructions, personal datives and interpretational effects of focus. This volume thereby proves that the empirical domain of use-conditional meaning is as diverse as the truth-conditional one, equally amenable to systematic semantic treatments.

This book is an exciting, eye-opening collection of novel and challenging data from English, German and Japanese. For anyone who needs persuading that there is more to language expressivity than informational content, this book is a must. For those who need no persuading, this book will be no less a treat. It offers to all not merely sets of entrancing new observations, but also analyses which feed one’s imagination as to how best to extend current methodologies to make these data tractable for formal modelling. Ruth Kempson, King’s College

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Daniel Gutzmann and Hans-Martin Gärtner

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Daniel Gutzmann and Hans-Martin Gärtner

Composition, Values, and Interpretation

An Introduction to Elements of Semantic Theory

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Daniel Gutzmann, Jan Köpping and Cécile Meier

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Daniel Gutzmann, Jan Köpping and Cécile Meier

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Daniel Gutzmann, Jan Köpping and Cécile Meier

Approaches to Meaning

Composition, Values, and Interpretation

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Edited by Daniel Gutzmann, Jan Köpping and Cécile Meier

The basic claims of traditional truth-conditional semantics are that the semantic interpretation of a sentence is connected to the truth of that sentence in a situation, and that the meaning of the sentence is derived compositionally from the semantic values meaning of its constituents and the rules that combine them. Both claims have been subject to an intense debate in linguistics and philosophy of language. The original research papers collected in this volume test the boundaries of this classic view from a linguistic and a philosophical point of view by investigating the foundational notions of composition, values and interpretation and their relation to the interfaces to other disciplines. They take the classical theories one step further and closer to a realistic semantic theory that covers speaker’s intentions, the knowledge of discourse participants, meaning of fiction and literature, as well as vague and paradoxical utterances.

Ede Zimmermann is a pioneering researcher in semantics whose students, friends, and colleagues have collected in this volume an impressive set of studies at the interfaces of semantics. How do meanings interact with the context and with intentions and beliefs of the people conversing? How do meanings interact with other meanings in an extended discourse? How can there be paradoxical meanings? Researchers interested in semantics, pragmatics, philosophy of language, anyone interested in foundational and empirical issues of meaning, will find inspiration and instruction in this wonderful volume. Kai von Fintel, MIT Department of Linguistics