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Summary

Relevance Theory is a cognitively oriented theory of pragmatics introduced by Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson in Sperber & Wilson 1986/1995. It builds on H.P. Grice’s commitment to the centrality of intention-reading and inference in communication and uses a cognitively grounded concept of relevance to develop a pragmatic theory which is both psychologically and evolutionarily plausible. Relevance Theory has been developed in a wide range of directions, including accounts of lexical pragmatics, metaphor and irony, and procedural meaning. 

Key works The core text which introduces and develops Relevance Theory is Sperber & Wilson 1986/1995. The second edition (1995) makes important modifications to the theory via a new Postface. Other key papers include Wilson & Sperber 2002, Sperber & Wilson 1986, Wilson & Sperber 1993, Sperber & Wilson 2008, Wilson & Carston 2006, and Sperber & Wilson 2015. Another central contribution to the development of the theory is Carston 2002. See Wilson & Sperber 2012 for a recent collection which includes other central contributions to the development of the theory along with some more recent writings.

Introductions The following overviews provide useful introductions to the theory: Wearing 2015, Wilson & Sperber 2002, Carston 2012, and Carston & Powell 2006.
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217 found
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  1. An Inferential Impasse in the Theory of Implicatures.Savas L. Tsohatzidis - manuscript
  2. Phrasal pragmatics in Carston's programme.Esther Romero & B. Soria - manuscript
    In B. Soria and E. Romero, Explicit Communication: Essays on Robyn Carston’s Pragmatics, Palgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Language and Cognition. London.
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  3. Efficient communication and indexicality.Toru Suzuki - forthcoming - Mathematical Social Sciences.
    Since sending explicit messages can be costly, people often utilize “what is not said,” i.e., informative silence, to economize communication. This paper studies the efficient communication rule, which is fully informative while minimizing the use of explicit messages, in cooperative environments. It is shown that when the notion of context is defined as the finest mutually self-evident event that contains the current state, the efficient use of informative silence exhibits the defining property of indexicals in natural languages. While the efficient (...)
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  4. Communication and deniability: Moral and epistemic reactions to denials.Francesca Bonalumi, Feride Belma Bumin, Thom Scott-Phillips & Christophe Heintz - 2023 - Frontiers in Psychology 13:1073213.
    People often deny having meant what the audience understood. Such denials occur in both interpersonal and institutional contexts, such as in political discourse, the interpretation of laws and the perception of lies. In practice, denials have a wide range of possible effects on the audience, such as conversational repair, reinterpretation of the original utterance, moral judgements about the speaker, and rejection of the denial. When are these different reactions triggered? What factors make denials credible? There are surprisingly few experimental studies (...)
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  5. Subtitling quality assessment from a relevance-theoretic perspective.Łukasz Bogucki - 2022 - Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 18 (1):113-129.
    Assessing the quality of translation is never straightforward and rarely objective. Context, audience, text type, function and lexis are only some of the criteria that need to be taken into account. In the case of constrained intersemiotic translation, subtitling being a prime example thereof, determining universal criteria for assessment is particularly testing. Often referred to as “necessary evil”, audiovisual translation needs to avoid distracting the audience, while aiding their comprehension of the audiovisual message. This is particularly the case for additive (...)
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  6. Beyond ostension: Introducing the expressive principle of relevance.Constant Bonard - 2022 - Journal of Pragmatics 187:13-23.
    In this paper, I am going to cast doubt on an idea that is shared, explicitly or implicitly, by most contemporary pragmatic theories: that the inferential interpretation procedure described by Grice, neo-Griceans, or post-Griceans applies only to the interpretation of ostensive stimuli. For this special issue, I will concentrate on the relevance theory (RT) version of this idea. I will proceed by putting forward a dilemma for RT and argue that the best way out of it is to accept that (...)
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  7. A Unified Model of Ad Hoc Concepts in Conceptual Spaces.Davide Coraci - 2022 - Minds and Machines 32 (2):289-309.
    Ad hoc concepts are highly-context dependent representations humans construct to deal with novel or uncommon situations and to interpret linguistic stimuli in communication. In the last decades, such concepts have been investigated both in experimental cognitive psychology and within pragmatics by proponents of so-called relevance theory. These two research lines have however proceeded in parallel, proposing two unconnected strategies to account for the construction and use of ad hoc concepts. The present work explores the relations between these two approaches and (...)
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  8. Metaphor, Relevance Theory, and the Curious Nature of Cut-Off Points. A Philosophical Attempt to Understand the Tension Caused by Non-Propositional Effects.Pascal Lemmer - 2022 - Philosophy Kitchen 17 (Metaphor):109-121.
    How to account for metaphor has long been a contentious issue within pragmatics. Revisiting this debate, Wilson & Carston (2019) analyse Grice’s oft-discussed exclusion of metaphor as an empirically unjustified use of cut-off points on the empirical continuum of language and link it a tension between his underlying focus on formalisation contrary to their aim of maximising pragmatics’ empirical scope. In spite of the latter, Relevance Theory’s various own models fail to account for essential characteristics of metaphor caused by certain (...)
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  9. Ignoring Qualifications as a Pragmatic Fallacy: Enrichments and Their Use for Manipulating Commitments.Fabrizio Macagno - 2022 - Langages 1 (13).
    The fallacy of ignoring qualifications, or secundum quid et simpliciter, is a deceptive strategy that is pervasive in argumentative dialogues, discourses, and discussions. It consists in misrepresenting an utterance so that its meaning is broadened, narrowed, or simply modified to pursue different goals, such as drawing a specific conclusion, attacking the interlocutor, or generating humorous reactions. The “secundum quid” was described by Aristotle as an interpretative manipulative strategy, based on the contrast between the “proper” sense of a statement and its (...)
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  10. Interpreting the Arguments of China and the Philippines in the South China Sea Territorial Dispute: A Relevance-Theoretic Perspective.Justine Iscah F. Madrilejos & Rachelle Ballesteros-Lintao - 2022 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 35 (2):519-564.
    The South China Sea territorial dispute has been a contentious issue in the international community. In the course of 3 years, China and the Philippines had undergone arbitral proceedings over the maritime rights and entitlements in the South China Sea. As the Permanent Court of Arbitration reached its decision, this paper aims to examine the interpretation process of the Arbitral Tribunal in the judgment of the South China Sea conflict between China and the Philippines. The primary objective of the study (...)
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  11. A Defense of Meaning Eliminativism: A Connectionist Approach.Tolgahan Toy - 2022 - Dissertation, Middle East Technical University
    The standard approach to model how human beings understand natural languages is the symbolic, compositional approach according to which the meaning of a complex expression is a function of the meanings of its constituents. In other words, meaning plays a fundamental role in the model. In this work, because of the polysemous, flexible, dynamic, and contextual structure of natural languages, this approach is rejected. Instead, a connectionist model which eliminates the concept of meaning is proposed.
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  12. Typographical iconicity and the communication of impressions: A relevance-theoretic perspective.Daniel William Pinder - 2022 - Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 18 (1):1-27.
    This article studies the cognitive and communicative effects of typographical iconicity in poetry from the perspective of relevance theory. It argues that the visual aspect pertaining to an instance of typographical iconicity conveys a sensory impression, which perceptually resembles elements of the semantic material represented via the typographical iconicity’s lexical aspect. It is suggested that the non-propositional information relating to this impression can trigger the derivation of a wide array of weak implicatures which can combine to form an impressionistic and (...)
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  13. Interpretation, relevance and the ideological effects of discursive practice.Stavros Assimakopoulos - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):394-415.
    Research in Critical Discourse Studies has for long recognised the central role that both direct and indirect communicative strategies play in the reproduction of social inequality, but a main proponent of this approach has expressed scepticism with regard to the contribution that theories of pragmatics which specifically focus on speaker intentions can make to its agenda. This paper sets out to examine how relevance theory’s theoretical machinery can be applied to the critical discussion of ideology in discourse, by offering insights (...)
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  14. Relevance theory and the philosophy of language.Robyn Carston - 2021 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), Cambridge Handbook of the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge University Press.
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  15. Creativity, Humour, and Cognition.Mario Gensollen & Marc Jiménez-Rolland - 2021 - Debats (6):107-119.
    This paper explores some aspects of the scientific study of creativity by focusing on intentional attempts to create instances of linguistic humour. We argue that this sort of creativity can be accounted for within an influential cognitive approach but that said framework is not a recipe for producing novel instances of humour and may even preclude them. We start by identifying three great puzzles that arise when trying to pin down the core traits of creativity, and some of the ways (...)
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  16. Metaphor and mental shortcuts.Elly Ifantidou & Anna Piata - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):299-320.
    Cognitive-pragmatic approaches to how metaphors are understood view the activation of perceptual or motor effects as inferred. Crucially, inferences elicit conceptual representations, e.g. in the form of implicatures, and/or mental simulations, e.g. in the form of imagery, memory, an impression and other private elements. Emotional effects, being non-conceptual, must be left out of this picture. But evidence in neurolinguistics and psycholinguistics has shown that metaphors activate brain regions linked to emotions, and that in L2, in the absence of fully-propositional meaning, (...)
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  17. Metaphor and mental shortcuts : The role of non-propositional effects.Elly Ifantidou & Anna Piata - 2021 - Pragmatics Cognition 28 (2):299-320.
    Cognitive-pragmatic approaches to how metaphors are understood view the activation of perceptual or motor effects as inferred (Steinhart 2001; Bergen 2005; Wilson and Carston 2006; Carston 2010; Gibbs and de Macedo 2010; Wilson and Carston 2019). Crucially, inferences elicit conceptual representations, e.g. in the form of implicatures, and/or mental simulations, e.g. in the form of imagery, memory, an impression and other private elements. Emotional effects, being non-conceptual, must be left out of this picture. But evidence in neurolinguistics and psycholinguistics has (...)
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  18. Retweeting: its linguistic and epistemic value.Neri Marsili - 2021 - Synthese 198:10457–10483.
    This paper analyses the communicative and epistemic value of retweeting (and more generally of reposting content on social media). Against a naïve view, it argues that retweets are not acts of endorsement, motivating this diagnosis with linguistic data. Retweeting is instead modelled as a peculiar form of quotation, in which the reported content is indicated rather than reproduced. A relevance-theoretic account of the communicative import of retweeting is then developed, to spell out the complex mechanisms by which retweets achieve their (...)
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  19. Why truth matters.Jacques Moeschler - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):416-440.
    This article is about truth and relevance. It first discusses the concept of truth in formal semantics and pragmatics, mainly the Gricean, neo-Gricean and post-Gricean approaches to meaning. What is particularly crucial is the relationship between pragmatic meaning and truth, since, from a Gricean perspective, meaning is defined as non-truth-conditional, which in turn raises the question of how truth can be a pragmatic issue. A second issue is the relationship between truth and relevance, as developed in relevance theory. A third (...)
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  20. Why truth matters : When relevance meets truthfulness.Jacques Moeschler - 2021 - Pragmatics Cognition 28 (2):416-440.
    This article is about truth and relevance. It first discusses the concept of truth in formal semantics and pragmatics, mainly the Gricean, neo-Gricean and post-Gricean approaches to meaning. What is particularly crucial is the relationship between pragmatic meaning and truth, since, from a Gricean perspective, meaning is defined as non-truth-conditional, which in turn raises the question of how truth can be a pragmatic issue. A second issue is the relationship between truth and relevance, as developed in relevance theory. A third (...)
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  21. On the interpretation of utterances with expressive expletives.Manuel Padilla Cruz - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):252-276.
    Expressive adjectives or expressive expletives have been argued to voice the speaker’s attitude towards the referent of the noun with which they co-occur, even though the attitude may be felt to be expressed about the referent of another sentential constituent or the state of affairs alluded to in the sentence where they are inserted. A previous pragmatic approach suggests that this is possible because these expletives perform an individual speech act, while a syntactic approach posits a feature whose detachment from (...)
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  22. New developments in relevance theory.Manuel Padilla Cruz & Agnieszka Piskorska - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):223-227.
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  23. Onomatopoeia, translation and relevance.Ryoko Sasamoto - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):347-375.
    It is generally acknowledged that onomatopoeia poses challenges for translation. However, there is little research into the translation of onomatopoeia in Pragmatics. This study seeks to examine the nature of onomatopoeia and its implications for translation from the perspective of relevance theory, addressing, in particular, the following questions: Can notions from pragmatics help to account for the perceived challenges involved in translating onomatopoeia? Would the showing-meaning nature affect the translation of onomatopoeia? What other factors result in difficulties in translating onomatopoeia (...)
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  24. Pragmatic resolutions of temporal and aspectual mismatches.Louis de Saussure - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):228-251.
    This paper proposes a pragmatic solution to utterances where the various indicators of time and aspect seem to have divergent temporal reference and aspectual properties. This type of cases is usually treated at the semantic level as ‘mismatches’ and resolved compositionally through logical operations of ‘aspectual coercion’. We suggest on the contrary that no such effect of ‘mismatch resolution’ or ‘coercion’ is at work: these utterances are worked out inferentially according to the various pieces of evidence they provide for their (...)
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  25. Memes as multimodal metaphors : A relevance theory analysis.Kate Scott - 2021 - Pragmatics Cognition 28 (2):277-298.
    In this article I analyse object labelling image macro internet memes as multimodal metaphors, taking the Distracted Boyfriend meme as a case study. Object labelling memes are multimodal texts in which users add labels to a stock photograph to convey messages that are often humorous or satirical in nature. Using the relevance-theoretic account of metaphor, I argue that object labelling memes are multimodal metaphors which are interpreted using the same processes as verbal metaphors. The labelling of the image guides the (...)
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  26. Relevance.Tim Wharton - 2021 - Pragmatics and Cognition 28 (2):321-346.
    Deirdre Wilson provides a reflective overview of a volume devoted to the historic application of relevance-theoretic ideas to literary studies. She maintains a view argued elsewhere that the putative non-propositional nature of literary effects are an illusion, a view which dates to Sperber and Wilson : “If you look at [non-propositional] affective effects through the microscope of relevance theory, you see a wide array of minute cognitive [i.e., propositional] effects.” This paper suggests an alternative, that modern-day humans have two apparently (...)
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  27. Relevance and emotion.Tim Wharton, Constant Bonard, Daniel Dukes, David Sander & Steve Oswald - 2021 - Journal of Pragmatics 181.
    The ability to focus on relevant information is central to human cognition. It is therefore hardly unsurprising that the notion of relevance appears across a range of different dis- ciplines. As well as its central role in relevance-theoretic pragmatics, for example, rele- vance is also a core concept in the affective sciences, where there is consensus that for a particular object or event to elicit an emotional state, that object or event needs to be relevant to the person in whom (...)
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  28. Mutual (Mis)understanding: Reframing Autistic Pragmatic “Impairments” Using Relevance Theory.Gemma L. Williams, Tim Wharton & Caroline Jagoe - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    A central diagnostic and anecdotal feature ofautismis difficulty with socialcommunication. We take the position that communication is a two-way,intersubjectivephenomenon—as described by thedouble empathy problem—and offer uprelevance theory(a cognitive account of utterance interpretation) as a means of explaining such communication difficulties. Based on a set of proposed heuristics for successful and rapid interpretation of intended meaning, relevance theory positions communication as contingent on shared—and, importantly,mutuallyrecognized—“relevance.” Given that autistic and non-autistic people may have sometimes markedly different embodied experiences of the world, we (...)
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  29. The Art Experience.Kate McCallum, Scott Mitchell & Thom Scott-Phillips - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):21-35.
    Art theory has consistently emphasised the importance of situational, cultural, institutional and historical factors in viewers’ experience of fine art. However, the link between this heavily context-dependent interpretation and the workings of the mind is often left unexamined. Drawing on relevance theory—a prominent, cogent and productive body of work in cognitive pragmatics—we here argue that fine art achieves its effects by prompting the use of cognitive processes that are more commonly employed in the interpretation of words and other stimuli presented (...)
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  30. The role of Gricean determinacy and the strength condition in the relevance theory for interpreting implicatures.Miquel Company - 2019 - Filosofia Unisinos 20 (3).
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  31. Conceptos ad hoc, arquitectura cognitiva y localismo léxico.Laura Campos Millán - 2019 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 57:125-148.
    Relevance Theory makes one of the strongest defenses of the thesis of local linguistic underdetermination. According to this thesis, the intuitive concept expressed by a lexical item in the utterance of a sentence is an ad hoc concept. Ad hoc concepts result from a linguistically free pragmatic process. The postulation of ad hoc concepts is due to the fact that the sort of cognitive organization they introduce is held as necessary to satisfy the demands that, for this Theory, imposes the (...)
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  32. The Praxis of Indirect Reports: Cognitive, Sociopragmatic, and Philosophical Issues.Mostafa Morady Moghaddam - 2019 - Springer Verlag.
    This book discusses the concept of indirect reporting in relation to sociopragmatic, philosophical, and cognitive factors. In addition, it deals with several state-of-the-art topics with regard to indirect reports, such as trust, politeness, refinery and photosynthetic processes and cognitive features. The book presents socio-cognitive accounts of indirect reports that take into consideration Grice’s Cooperation Principle and Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory. It discusses direct and indirect reports and their similarities and differences, with a focus on the neglected role of the (...)
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  33. Disarming Context Dependence. A Formal Inquiry into Indexicalism and Truth-Conditional Pragmatics.Stellan Petersson - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Gothenburg
    In the debate about semantic context dependence, various truth-conditional frameworks have been proposed. Indexicalism, associated with e.g. Jason Stanley, accounts for contextual effects on truth conditions in terms of a rich covert syntax. Truth-conditional pragmatics, associated with e.g. François Recanati, does not locate the mechanisms for context dependence in the syntactic structure but provides a more complex semantics. In this dissertation, the hypothesis that indexicalism and truth-conditional pragmatics are empirically equivalent is explored. The conclusion that the hypothesis is correct emerges, (...)
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  34. Metaphor From the Ground Up: Understanding Figurative Language in Context.Daniel C. Strack - 2019 - Lexington Books.
    Cross-referencing neurobiological knowledge with the invariance hypothesis, relevance theory, and frame semantics, Metaphor from the Ground Up: Understanding Figurative Language in Context unifies metaphor theory, fundamentally rethinks “context,” and moves linguistics into the twenty-first century.
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  35. Assessing relevance.Fabrizio Macagno - 2018 - Lingua 210:42-64.
    This paper advances an approach to relevance grounded on patterns of material inference called argumentation schemes, which can account for the reconstruction and the evaluation of relevance relations. In order to account for relevance in different types of dialogical contexts, pursuing also non-cognitive goals, and measuring the scalar strength of relevance, communicative acts are conceived as dialogue moves, whose coherence with the previous ones or the context is represented as the conclusion of steps of material inferences. Such inferences are described (...)
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  36. Relevance theory, pragmatic inference and cognitive architecture.Wen Yuan, Francis Y. Lin & Richard P. Cooper - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (1):98-122.
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  37. Lexical Modulation without Concepts.Nicholas Allott & Mark Textor - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (3):399-424.
    We argue against the dominant view in the literature that concepts are modulated in lexical modulation. We also argue against the alternative view that ‘grab bags’ of information that don’t determine extensions are the starting point for lexical modulation. In response to the problems with these views we outline a new model for lexical modulation that dispenses with the assumption that there is a standing meaning of a general term that is modified in the cases under consideration. In applying general (...)
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  38. Mixed-language and humorous advertising slogans.Kerstin Fuhrich - 2017 - Dissertation, Lmu München
    This doctoral thesis examines the influence of mixed-language and humorous advertising slogans on different German target groups. The advertising slogans concerned are written in a foreign language, native language or both and partly include wordplays. It is examined which advertising slogan stays best in mind for which target group. Results are explained with humour theory, relevance theory and frame-shifting.
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  39. Counterfactual claims about fictional characters: philosophical and literary perspectives.Luis Galván - 2017 - Journal of Literary Semantics 46 (2):87-107.
    The problems of making and evaluating counterfactual claims about fictional characters cannot be adequately handled without taking into account the practices of literary criticism, interpretation, and re-creation. The direct-reference theory of names explains only a subset of the phenomena of fiction and explains away the rest as irrelevant or pseudo-problems, whereas some criticisms of that theory bring in metaphysical concepts that may obscure the issue. This paper suggests that the indeterminacy of fictions and the conventions of the aforementioned practices are (...)
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  40. Defaults and inferences in interpretation.Fabrizio Macagno - 2017 - Journal of Pragmatics 117:280-290.
    The notions of inference and default are used in pragmatics with different meanings, resulting in theoretical disputes that emphasize the differences between the various pragmatic approaches. This paper is aimed at showing how the terminological and theoretical differences concerning the two aforementioned terms result from taking into account inference and default from different points of view and levels of analysis. Such differences risk making a dialogue between the theories extremely difficult. However, at a functional level of analysis the different theories, (...)
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  41. Relevance, Pragmatics and Interpretation.Kate Scott, Billy Clark & Robyn Carston (eds.) - 2017 - Cambridge University Press.
    Bringing together work by leading scholars in relevance theory, this volume showcases cutting-edge research within the theory, and demonstrates its influence across a range of fields including linguistics, pragmatics, philosophy of language, literary studies, developmental psychology and cognitive science. Organised into broad thematic strands that represent the latest research and debates, the volume shows the depth of analysis now possible after nearly forty years of intensive work in developing and applying the principles of relevance theory. The breadth of influence of (...)
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  42. A Gricean Theory of Malaprops.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (4):446-462.
    Gricean intentionalists hold that what a speaker says and means by a linguistic utterance is determined by the speaker's communicative intention. On this view, one cannot really say anything without meaning it as well. Conventionalists argue, however, that malapropisms provide powerful counterexamples to this claim. I present two arguments against the conventionalist and sketch a new Gricean theory of speech errors, called the misarticulation theory. On this view, malapropisms are understood as a special case of mispronunciation. I argue that the (...)
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  43. Identifying the meanings hidden in legal texts: The three conditions of relevance theory and their sufficiency.Sol Azuelos-Atias - 2016 - Semiotica 2016 (209):99-123.
    Name der Zeitschrift: Semiotica Jahrgang: 2016 Heft: 209 Seiten: 99-123.
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  44. What properly belongs to grammar? A response to Lepore and Stone.Anne Bezuidenhout - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (2):175-194.
    Lepore and Stone devote Part I of their book to setting out a number of views that act as foils for their own positive ‘disambiguation’ view of interpretation developed in Part II. They divide their opposition into three camps: The Gricean rationalists, the neo-Gricean lexicalists, and the empirical psychologists. I try to show why a ‘disambiguation’ view of such phenomena is unappealing and why Relevance Theory provides a better account of these phenomena. I end with some brief remarks about what (...)
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  45. Argument relevance and structure. Assessing and developing students’ uses of evidence.Fabrizio Macagno - 2016 - International Journal of Educational Research 79:180–194.
    The purpose of this paper is to show whether the two crucial dimensions used for assessing the quality of argumentation, argument-as-a-product (argument structure) and argument-as-a-process (relevance), are interrelated, and how they can be used to assess the effect of argumentative mode on students’ arguments. To this purpose, a twofold coding scheme will be developed, aimed at capturing: a) the argumentative function of evidence use and b) the dialogical relevance of evidence use. A study will be described in which students’ use (...)
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  46. Interpretative Disputes, Explicatures, and Argumentative Reasoning.Fabrizio Macagno & Alessandro Capone - 2016 - Argumentation 30 (4):399-422.
    The problem of establishing the best interpretation of a speech act is of fundamental importance in argumentation and communication in general. A party in a dialogue can interpret another’s or his own speech acts in the most convenient ways to achieve his dialogical goals. In defamation law this phenomenon becomes particularly important, as the dialogical effects of a communicative move may result in legal consequences. The purpose of this paper is to combine the instruments provided by argumentation theory with the (...)
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  47. Profiles of Dialogue for Relevance.Douglas Walton & Fabrizio Macagno - 2016 - Informal Logic 36 (4):523-562.
    This paper uses argument diagrams, argumentation schemes, and some tools from formal argumentation systems developed in artificial intelligence to build a graph-theoretic model of relevance shown to be applicable as a practical method for helping a third party judge issues of relevance or irrelevance of an argument in real examples. Examples used to illustrate how the method works are drawn from disputes about relevance in natural language discourse, including a criminal trial and a parliamentary debate.
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  48. Propositional attitude, affective attitude and irony comprehension.Francisco Yus - 2016 - Pragmatics Cognition 23 (1):92-116.
    According to relevance theory, irony comprehension invariably entails the identification of some opinion or thought and the identification of the speaker’s dissociative attitude. In this paper, it is argued that it is also essential for hearers to identify not only that propositional attitude, but also the affective attitude that the speaker holds towards the source of this echo so that an optimallyrelevant interpretive outcomeis achieved. This notion comprises feelings and emotions of a non-propositional quality which affect the propositional effects obtained (...)
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  49. Manipulation by deliberate failure of communication.Sol Azuelos-Atias - 2015 - Pragmatics and Society 6 (4):502-516.
    This work studies manipulative use of language that can be called “deliberate failure of communication”; I characterize this kind of manipulation and show that it can be found in the discourse of marketing experts and legal professionals. Relying on relevance theory, I show that manipulation of this kind takes advantage of what van Dijk calls the “context model” of the addressees. I exemplify two ways in which the context models of some of the discourse’s participants might be misused in order (...)
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  50. Cognitive Environments and Conversational Tailoring.Anne Bezuidenhout - 2015 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 15 (2):151-162.
    This paper explores the psychological notion of context as cognitive environment that is part of the Relevance Theory framework and describes the way in which such CEs are constrained during the course of conversation as the conversational partners engage in “conversional tailoring”.
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