- Semantics, pragmatics and the theory of meaning
- Journal of Pragmatics
- Volume | Issue number
- 2 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
Interfacultary Research Institutes
- Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC)
In this paper arguments are given for the thesis that an adequate theory of meaning for a natural language has to consist at least of a recursive specification of the truth conditions (semantics) and of a recursive specification of the correctness conditions (pragmatics) of the sentences of that language.The thesis is defended on both theoretical and empirical grounds. The empirical grounds are that such a theory of meaning makes it possible to explain a wide range of phenomena concerning the meaning of various kinds of linguistic expressions and constructions which cannot be explained in either syntactic or semantic terms.The theoretical grounds are that a theory of meaning which consists of both a semantics and a pragmatics seems a promising way to unify insights from two main streams of contemporary philosophy of language: logical semantics and speech act theory.Furthermore, some notions and principles of a formal pragmatic theory are discussed.
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