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Semantics versus Pragmatics$
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Zoltan Gendler Szabo

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251520

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199251520.001.0001

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Semantics, Pragmatics, and the Role of Semantic Content

Semantics, Pragmatics, and the Role of Semantic Content

Chapter:
(p.111) 4 Semantics, Pragmatics, and the Role of Semantic Content
Source:
Semantics versus Pragmatics
Author(s):

Jeffrey C. King (Contributor Webpage)

Jason Stanley (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199251520.003.0005

This chapter distinguishes two conceptions of semantics. On the expression-centred conception, semantic attributes (designation, content, truth value, meaning) are attributed to expression types (relative to such parameters as contexts, times, and/or possible worlds). On the speech-act-centred conception (evidently the currently favoured), semantic attributes are attributed instead to such things as utterances or tokens. The former conception allows for the possibility of widespread and even systematic deviation between what a speaker means or designates (etc.) and what his/her words mean or designate. The latter conception is more reductionist in spirit. The expression centred conception is defended against the alternative conception.

Keywords:   compositionality, context, pragmatics, semantics, speech act, utterance

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