Procedural Meaning: Problems and Perspectives

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Although the notion of procedural meaning is found in areas such as discourse markers, reference, tense, modality and intonation, until now there has been no single volume entirely devoted to it. Over 25 years, since the initial proposal by Blakemore, a number of refinements have been suggested, yet some criticisms have also been raised. The role and status of the conceptual / procedural distinction within a theory of human communication and the nature of procedural encoding were in need of reassessment in the light of current research in linguistic theory, cognitive science, experimental pragmatics and language acquisition. The papers collected here serve this general purpose from different standpoints. Some of them consider the topic from the angle of its theoretical foundations and put forth original proposals aimed at clarifying the most controversial issues. Others take a more data-driven orientation and offer novel analyses illustrating how encoded instructions work and how much can be gained from approaching certain linguistic phenomena in procedural terms. The contributions in this volume represent an inflection point in the delimitation and understanding of the notion of procedural meaning and open new paths for future research.
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