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Language Turned on ItselfThe Semantics and Pragmatics of Metalinguistic Discourse$
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Herman Cappelen and Ernest Lepore

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231195

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231195.001.0001

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Quotation and Context Sensitivity

Quotation and Context Sensitivity

(p.67) 7 Quotation and Context Sensitivity
Language Turned on Itself

Herman Cappelen (Contributor Webpage)

Ernie Lepore (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The thesis of Quotation Context Sensitivity (QCS) states that: let S be a sentence with a quotation Q. Two utterances, u and u', of S can express different propositions because Q in u and in u' quotes different items. This chapter refutes any semantic interpretation of QCS and shows that even a pragmatic construal of the data encounters problems. The first section presents four arguments against a semantic construal of QCS. These arguments are not intended to deny data that support QCS, but only to deny that they should be explained by a semantic theory. The next section presents some pragmatic options for explaining these data in support of QCS, and then argues that some of these variability data resist even pragmatic explanation. That result leaves an explanatory gap that is addressed in Chapter 12.

Keywords:   Quotation Context Sensitivity, semantic explanation, semantic theory, pragmatic explanation

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