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Piotr Stalmaszczyk

Making Semantics Pragmatic ( Current Research in the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface series, vol. 24), edited by Ken Turner (2011). Bingley: Emerald. xii + 228 pp. Forty years after Yehoshua Bar-Hillel warned us to “be more careful with forcing bits and pieces you find in the pragmatic

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Edgar Onea

In Potential Questions at the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface Edgar Onea proposes a novel component for question under discussion based discourse pragmatic theories thereby combining such theories with new ideas from inquisitive semantics. He shows how potential questions account for an entire range of grammatical phenomena. These phenomena include the semantics of indefinite determiners, the meaning contribution of nominal appositives, specificational constructions and non restrictive relative clauses.


This book delivers a comprehensive and empirically rich investigation into the role of questions in natural language interpretation. Drawing on data from German, English, Hungarian and Russian, Edgar Onea's study significantly broadens our understanding of conventional sensitivity to questions through formally rigorous analyses of specificational particles, parentheticals and indefinites. The Potential Questions framework offers a new and exciting perspective on utterance meanings as not just addressing, but also raising questions, with important consequences for integrated analyses of discourse structure and discourse relations. This book is essential reading for anybody interested in the semantics-pragmatics interface.

Judith Tonhauser, The Ohio State University

Leonid Tarasov

1 Introduction The following approach is popular in some areas of philosophy and linguistics when attempting to give a description of the semantics of a given sentence Φ. We should present ordinary speakers 1 with scenarios that involve an utterance of Φ 2 and ask them whether these

Editor-in-Chief Fuyin (Thomas) Li

A peer-reviewed international journal, Cognitive Semantics takes the relationship between meaning and mind as its central concern. It welcomes submission of unpublished research from all theoretical orientations in linguistics. It is also intended to be a forum for scholars in related fields – such as psychology, anthropology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, philosophy, and education – to disseminate their work studying the many and varied aspects of human cognition.

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Radical Frame Semantics and Biblical Hebrew

Exploring Lexical Semantics

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Stephen Shead

Since James Barr’s work in the 1960s, the challenge for Hebrew scholars has been to continue to apply the insights of linguistic semantics to the study of biblical Hebrew. This book begins by describing a range of approaches to semantic and grammatical analysis, including structural semantics, cognitive linguistics and cognitive metaphors, frame semantics, and William Croft’s Radical Construction Grammar. It then seeks to integrate these, formulating a dynamic approach to lexical semantic analysis based on conceptual frames, using corpus annotation. The model is applied to biblical Hebrew in a detailed study of a family of words related to “exploring,” “searching,” and “seeking.” The results demonstrate the value and potential of cognitive, frame-based approaches to biblical Hebrew lexicology.

Mark Q. Gardiner

1 Preliminary Remarks ‘Truth-conditions’ and ‘semantics’ are, in many circles, treated as synonymous. Coupled with the conception of truth as correspondence to fact (= objective arrangement of objects), the association of semantics with truth-conditions appears natural and almost a priori

Barbara Keller, Constantin Klein, Anne Swhajor-Biesemann, Christopher F. Silver, Ralph Hood and Heinz Streib

That the meaning of the term ‘religion’ depends strongly on the specific context of the surrounding culture is one of the fundamentals for scholars of religion (Ahn, 1997 ; Bianchi, 1994 ; Haußig, 1999 ; Schmitz, 1996 ). The documented cultural diversity of the semantics of the concept of

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Edited by Klaus von Heusinger and Ken Turner

The Current Research in the Semantic / Pragmatics Interface series has carved out a new and vibrant area of research. This volume offers the reader a state-of-the-art record of new and established research in this area. Von Heusinger and Turner's careful selection of topics and contributors ensures that each chapter integrates semantic and pragmatic facts into a single theory, that each finds an adequate division of theoretical labour and that each attempts to design and corroborate an elegant account of meaning and use that would be compatible with other aspects of human behaviour. Importantly, each paper in the volume focuses on linguistic detail, not merely abstract discussions of a theoretical nature. Thus each paper makes extensive reference to the semantic and pragmatic facts of English and also other languages.
This reference gives each of the proposed analyses a more adequate empirical edge and a sharper theoretical focus. This book is a must for all scholars and students interested in the new and vibrant discipline of semantics-pragmatics and to anyone who is fascinated by the prospect of working beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries of linguistics and the philosophy of language. The chapters in this volume originate from a workshop at the Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute, held at Michigan State University.

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Sonja Noll

In The Semantics of Silence in Biblical Hebrew, Sonja Noll explores the many words in biblical Hebrew that refer to being silent, investigating how they are used in biblical texts, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Ben Sira. She also examines the tradition of interpretation for these words in the early versions (Septuagint, Vulgate, Targum, Peshitta), modern translations, and standard dictionaries, revealing that meanings are not always straightforward and that additional work is needed in biblical semantics and lexicography. The traditional approach to comparative Semitics, with its over-simplistic assumption of semantic equivalence in cognates, is also challenged. The surprising conclusion of the work is that there is no single concept of silence in the biblical world; rather, it spans multiple semantic fields.

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Mingya Liu

Multidimensional Semantics of Evaluative Adverbs provides a multidimensional analysis for the lexical semantics of evaluative adverbs: nonfactive evaluative adverbs trigger a conventional implicature, whereas factive evaluative adverbs not only trigger a conventional implicature but also a conventional presupposition. This analysis proves to be more advantageous than existing analysis in terms of empirical coverage and explanatory power.

With the case of evaluative adverbs, the book demonstrates how secondary meanings (e.g. conventional presuppositions, conventional implicatures) interact with primary meanings (i.e. main assertion, or at-issue content). For the first time, a three-dimensional formal language of conventional implicatures and conventional presuppositions is implemented and applied to derive the right truth conditions of sentences with evaluative adverbs and predict their projection behaviors. With a cross-linguistic perspective (focusing on German, English and Mandarin Chinese) and using corpus- and psycholinguistic methods, the book also offers new perspectives on the syntax/semantics/pragmatics of adverbials.