Analyzing meaning
Paul R. Kroeger
Politics & Social Sciences
Analyzing meaning
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{This book provides an introduction to the study of meaning in human language, from a linguistic perspective. It covers a fairly broad range of topics, including lexical semantics, compositional semantics, and pragmatics. The chapters are organized into six units: (1) Foundational concepts; (2) Word meanings; (3) Implicature (including indirect speech acts); (4) Compositional semantics; (5) Modals, conditionals, and causation; (6) Tense & aspect.Most of the chapters include exercises which can be used for class discussion and/or homework assignments, and each chapter contains references for additional reading on the topics covered.As the title indicates, this book is truly an INTRODUCTION: it provides a solid foundation which will prepare students to take more advanced and specialized courses in semantics and/or pragmatics. It is also intended as a reference for fieldworkers doing primary research on under-documented languages, to help them write grammatical descriptions that deal carefully and clearly with semantic issues. The approach adopted here is largely descriptive and non-formal (or, in some places, semi-formal), although some basic logical notation is introduced. The book is written at level which should be appropriate for advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate students. It presupposes some previous coursework in linguistics, but does not presuppose any background in formal logic or set theory.

I Foundational concepts
1 The meaning of meaning
1.1 Semantics and pragmatics
1.2 Three “levels” of meaning
1.3 Relation between form and meaning
1.4 What does mean mean?
1.5 Saying, meaning, and doing
1.6 “More lies ahead” (a roadmap)
2 Referring, denoting, and expressing
2.1 Talking about the world
2.2 Denotational semantics vs. cognitive semantics
2.3 Types of referring expressions
2.4 Sense vs. denotation
2.5 Ambiguity
2.6 Expressive meaning: Ouch and oops
2.6.1 Independence
2.6.2 Nondisplaceability
2.6.3 Immunity
2.6.4 Scalability and repeatability
2.6.5 Descriptive ineffability
2.6.6 Case study: Expressive uses of diminutives
2.7 Conclusion
3 Truth and inference
3.1 Truth as a guide to sentence meaning
3.2 Analytic sentences, synthetic sentences, and contradictions
3.3 Meaning relations between propositions
3.4 Presupposition
3.4.1 How to identify a presupposition
3.4.2 Accommodation: a repair strategy
3.4.3 Pragmatic vs. semantic aspects of presupposition
3.5 Conclusion
4 The logic of truth
4.1 What logic can do for you
4.2 Valid patterns of inference
4.3 Propositional logic
4.3.1 Propositional operators
4.3.2 Meaning relations and rules of inference
4.4 Predicate logic
4.4.1 Quantifiers (an introduction)
4.4.2 Scope ambiguities
4.5 Conclusion
II Word meanings
5 Word senses
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Word meanings as construals of external reality
5.3 Lexical ambiguity
5.3.1 Ambiguity, vagueness, and indeterminacy
5.3.2 Distinguishing ambiguity from vagueness and indeterminacy
5.3.3 Polysemy vs. homonymy
5.3.4 One sense at a time
5.3.5 Disambiguation in context
5.4 Context-dependent extensions of meaning
5.4.1 Figurative senses
5.4.2 How figurative senses become established
5.5 “Facets” of meaning
5.6 Conclusion
6 Lexical sense relations
6.1 Meaning relations between words
6.2 Identifying sense relations
6.2.1 Synonyms
6.2.2 Antonyms Complementary pairs (simple antonyms) Gradable (scalar) antonyms Converse pairs Reverse pairs
6.2.3 Hyponymy and taxonomy
6.2.4 Meronymy
6.3 Defining words in terms of sense relations
6.4 Conclusion
7 Components of lexical meaning
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Lexical entailments
7.3 Selectional restrictions
7.4 Componential analysis
7.5 Verb meanings
7.6 Conclusion
III Implicature
8 Grice’s theory of Implicature
8.1 Sometimes we mean more than we say
8.2 Conversational implicatures
8.3 Grice’s Maxims of Conversation
8.4 Types of implicatures
8.4.1 Generalized Conversational Implicature
8.4.2 Conventional Implicature
8.5 Distinguishing features of conversational implicatures
8.6 How to tell one kind of inference from another
8.7 Conclusion
9 Pragmatic inference after Grice
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Meanings of English words vs. logical operators
9.2.1 On the ambiguity of and
9.2.2 On the ambiguity of or
9.3 Explicatures: bridging the gap between what is said vs. what is implicated
9.4 Implicatures and the semantics/pragmatics boundary
9.4.1 Why numeral words are special
9.5 Conclusion
10 Indirect Speech Acts
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Performatives
10.3 Indirect speech acts
10.4 Indirect speech acts across languages
10.5 Conclusion
11 Conventional implicature and use-conditional meaning
11.1 Introduction
11.2 Distinguishing truth-conditional vs. use-conditional meaning
11.2.1 Diagnostic properties of conventional implicatures
11.2.2 Speaker-oriented adverbs
11.3 Japanese honorifics
11.4 Korean speech style markers
11.5 Other ways of marking politeness
11.6 Discourse particles in German
11.7 Conclusion
IV Compositional semantics
12 How meanings are composed
12.1 Introduction
12.2 Two simple examples
12.3 Frege on compositionality and substitutivity
12.4 Propositional attitudes
12.5 De dicto vs. de re ambiguity
12.6 Conclusion
13 Modeling compositionality
13.1 Introduction
13.2 Why a model might be useful
13.3 Basic concepts in set theory
13.3.1 Relations and functions
13.3.2 Operations and relations on sets
13.4 Truth relative to a model
13.5 Rules of interpretation
13.6 Conclusion
14 Quantifiers
14.1 Introduction
14.2 Quantifiers as relations between sets
14.3 Quantifiers in logical form
14.4 Two types of quantifiers
14.5 Scope ambiguities
14.6 Conclusion
15 Intensional contexts
15.1 Introduction
15.2 When substitutivity fails
15.3 Non-intersective adjectives
15.4 Other intensional contexts
15.5 Subjunctive mood as a marker of intensionality
15.6 Defining functions via lambda abstraction
15.7 Conclusion
V Modals, conditionals, and causation
16 Modality
16.1 Possibility and necessity
16.2 The range of modal meanings: strength vs. type of modality
16.2.1 Are modals polysemous?
16.3 Modality as quantification over possible worlds
16.3.1 A simple quantificational analysis
16.3.2 Kratzer’s analysis
16.4 Cross-linguistic variation
16.5 On the nature of epistemic modality
16.6 Conclusion
17 Evidentiality
17.1 Markers that indicate the speaker’s source of information
17.2 Some common types of evidential systems
17.3 Evidentiality and epistemic modality
17.4 Distinguishing evidentiality from tense and modality
17.5 Two types of evidentials
17.6 Conclusion
18 Because
18.1 Introduction
18.2 Because as a two-place operator
18.3 Use-conditional because
18.4 Structural issues: co-ordination vs. subordination
18.5 Two words for ‘because’ in German
18.6 Conclusion
19 Conditionals
19.1 Conditionals and modals
19.2 Four uses of if
19.3 Degrees of hypotheticality
19.4 English if vs. material implication
19.5 If as a restrictor
19.6 Counterfactual conditionals
19.7 Speech Act conditionals
19.8 Conclusion
VI Tense & aspect
20 Aspect and Aktionsart
20.1 Introduction
20.2 Situation type (Aktionsart)
20.3 Time of speaking, time of situation, and “topic time”
20.4 Grammatical Aspect (= “viewpoint aspect”)
20.4.1 Typology of grammatical aspect
20.4.2 Imperfective aspect in Mandarin Chinese
20.4.3 Perfect and prospective aspects
20.4.4 Minor aspect categories
20.5 Interactions between situation type (Aktionsart) and grammatical aspect
20.6 Aspectual sensitivity and coercion effects
20.7 Conclusion
21 Tense
21.1 Introduction
21.2 Tense relates Topic Time to the Time of Utterance
21.3 Case study: English simple present tense
21.4 Relative tense
21.4.1 Complex (“absolute-relative”) tense marking
21.4.2 Sequence of tenses in indirect speech
21.5 Temporal Remoteness markers (“metrical tense”)
21.6 Conclusion
22 Varieties of the Perfect
22.1 Introduction: perfect vs. perfective
22.2 Uses of the perfect
22.3 Tense vs. aspect uses of English have + participle
22.3.1 The present perfect puzzle
22.3.2 Distinguishing perfect aspect vs. relative tense
22.4 Arguments for polysemous aspectual senses of the English Perfect
22.5 Case study: Perfect aspect in Baraïn (Chadic)
22.6 Case study: Experiential nobreakguo in Mandarin
22.7 Conclusion
Name index
Language index
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