||The distinction between semantics and pragmatics is a central topic in philosophy of language, as well as in certain areas of linguistics and cognitive science. According to one way of understanding the distinction, semantics is the study of how sentences of a language - or some suitable level of representation, such as logical forms - compositionally determine truth conditions, while pragmatics is the study of inferences that hearers draw on the basis of interpreting truth-conditional meaning. The former is sometimes referred to as “what is said,” the latter as “what is meant." On this way of thinking of the demarcation, semantics studies the way in which truth conditions are associated with sentences in a systematic way depending on the lexical meanings of their parts and their mode of combination. By contrast, pragmatics is the study of how semantic meaning, the mental states of the speaker and hearers, and other contextual features underpin what is communicated by utterances. For example, on this conception, the semantic study of a sentence like “Anna drank two beers and drove home” would be the study of the compositional determination of the truth conditions that the sentence is true if and only if it is true that Anna drank two beers and it is true that Anna drove home. On the other hand, an utterance of the sentence, in most situations, communicates that Anna drove home after drinking the two beers. This latter fact would be studied by pragmatics. The controversy over the distinction between semantics and pragmatics arises, in part, from various arguments to the effect that pragmatic processes are involved in determining truth-conditional meaning, or what is said. Hence, proponents of the view often called “Contextualism,” in this area, typically argue that there is no clear distinction between what is said and what is meant, in that there is no way of isolating an aspect of the meaning of a sentence that is determined without influence from contextual factors such as the mental states of the participants. Some Contextualist believe that theorizing about what is communicated by utterances, in context, is nevertheless possible although it must be a thoroughly pragmatic study. Others are more skeptic and dismiss any attempt to theorize systematically about natural language meaning. One kind of opposition to Contextualism, of this kind, comes from theories, sometimes called “Indexicalist,” according to which even contextual effects on what is said, or truth-conditional meaning, is determined compositionally, in context, that is by linguistic material at the relevant level of representation. On the other hand, so-called “Minimalist" opponents of Contextualism hold that compositional processes invariably determine a fully fledged truth-conditional level of meaning, which is nevertheless often not identical to what is communicated in context. Debate in this area ranges from general issues concerning the nature of communication and linguistic representation to questions about specific expressions and constructions in natural languages. The debate has implications for how to understand the nature of languages, what it means to know a language, as well as for many other issues concerning speech acts, mental states, and other topics.