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Contextual effects on explicature: Optional pragmatics or optional syntax?

Carston, R; Hall, A; (2017) Contextual effects on explicature: Optional pragmatics or optional syntax? International Review of Pragmatics , 9 (1) pp. 51-81. 10.1163/18773109-00901002. Green open access

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Abstract

The debate between advocates of free pragmatic enrichment and those who maintain that any pragmatic contribution to explicature is mediated by a covert linguistic indexical took a new turn with the claim that these covert elements may be optional (Martí, 2006). This prompted the conclusion (Recanati, 2010b) that there is no longer any issue of substance between the two positions, as both involve optional elements of utterance meaning, albeit registered at different representational levels (conceptual or linguistic). We maintain, on the contrary, that the issue remains substantive and we make the case that, for a theory of the processes involved in utterance comprehension, the free pragmatic enrichment account is indispensable. We further argue that the criticism of free enrichment that motivates at least some indexicalist accounts rests on a mistaken assumption that it is the semantic component of the grammar (linguistic competence) that is responsible for delivering truth-conditional content (explicature).

Type: Article
Title: Contextual effects on explicature: Optional pragmatics or optional syntax?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1163/18773109-00901002
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1163/18773109-00901002
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: on-line pragmatic processing; optionality; covert indexicals; free pragmatic enrichment; contextualist; semanticist; pragmaticist; linguistic competence
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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/1505846
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