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Polysemy: Pragmatics and sense conventions

Carston, R; (2020) Polysemy: Pragmatics and sense conventions. Mind and Language 10.1111/mila.12329. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Polysemy, understood as instances of a single linguistic expression having multiple related senses, is not a homogenous phenomenon. There are regular (apparently, rule‐based) cases and irregular (resemblance‐based) cases, which have different processing profiles. Although a primary source of polysemy is pragmatic inference, at least some cases become conventionalised and linguistically encoded. Three main issues are discussed: (a) the key differences between regular and irregular cases and the role, if any, of a “core meaning”; (b) the distinction between pragmatic polysemy and semantic polysemy; and (c) the role of syntactic meaning in both generating and constraining polysemy.

Type: Article
Title: Polysemy: Pragmatics and sense conventions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/mila.12329
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/mila.12329
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108211
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