14 votes
Accepted

What do "titles" and "Beijing" stand for?

The word "titles" here is being used to mean books, which could be considered an instance of synecdoche (a type of metonymy where a part of a thing stands for the whole of the thing—a title ...
user avatar
  • 51k
7 votes

How do languages with negative concord express the actual negation of negative polarity items?

First off, let's take a broader look at multiple negation. Van der Wouden (1994a) describes four different classes of how multiple negation can be interpreted: double negation (DN), e.g. Standard ...
user avatar
  • 5,543
5 votes

What is the difference between implicature and entailment?

An entailment is a necessary implication: an inference from an utterance which must be true if the utterance is true. An implicature is a cancellable implication: an inference from an utterance ...
user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning difference between have+V versus bare V?

There's lots of work on the semantics of the English perfect constructions. A recentish (2002) paper by Kiparsky which could get you started is here.
user avatar
  • 10.5k
5 votes
Accepted

Are implications said to be "accommodated" by listeners?

An utterance like Isn't Henry staying at his girlfriend's? presupposes, as you say, the proposition Henry has a girlfriend: its felicity depends on that proposition being part of the common ground ...
user avatar
  • 10.5k
4 votes

What is the difference between assertive and non-assertive words?

Other terms for assertive and non-assertive in this context are realis and irrealis as well as positive and negative polarity. When using some, somebody etc. the existence of the entity in question ...
user avatar
  • 4,229
4 votes

Is the usage of sarcasm or irony dependent on the language and its structure?

Short answer: There are probably no languages "which because of their structure do not allow for the use of sarcasm or irony" since much sarcasm doesn't depend on certain features/structures. But it ...
user avatar
  • 196
4 votes

What triggers the presuppositions in these sentences?

Most sentences contain presuppositions. For instance: (1) a. Tom's sister left. Depending on the situation, this sentence can be true or false. But regardless of whether it is true or false, it ...
user avatar
  • 5,280
4 votes

What are different types of signs?

These are the creation of Charles Sanders Peirce. From an encyclopedia entry on Peirce's Theory of Signs: By 1903, for reasons related to his work on phenomenology, Peirce thought the central ...
user avatar
  • 9,607
4 votes

What is the meaning difference between have+V versus bare V?

The classic statement of the meanings of the perfect construction is McCawley, “Tense and time reference in English”, in Langendoen & Fillmore, Studies in linguistic semantics, 1971. (McCawley ...
user avatar
4 votes

To what extent does this image accurately express the modularity of linguistic units?

I find it more accurate to see the world as follows: IMO it's not very accuate to depict semantics as an extension of syntax. There is a crucial difference in what phonology, morphology and syntax do ...
user avatar
  • 6,120
4 votes

How does a field linguist record rare, unknown features of an undocumented language? Is it likely for him/her to miss the details?

I got some money from one of my teachers (Cathy Callahan) to drive out to California to do some field work on Yawelmani (a well-documented American Indian language). But the only Yawelmani speaker I ...
user avatar
  • 12.3k
4 votes

Why did Grice claim that the implicature is not “a part of what is said”?

Grice claims that implicature is separate from what is said, since it can only come from a surrounding context: sarcasm, for example, can't be understood in a vacuum. Others say that the dichotomy ...
user avatar
  • 51k
4 votes

Pragmatics Wastebasket

"Pragmatics wastebasket" may refer to the view that there is no legitimate field of pragmatics, but rather calling a phenomenon "pragmatic" is just used by some grammarians as an excuse for not giving ...
user avatar
  • 12.3k
4 votes

Have pronoun introductions spread to non-English-speaking communities/languages?

A gender-neutral pronoun, hen, has recently found its way into the official dictionary of Swedish. It is a loanword from Finnish, proposed in 1966 and popularised in the 2000s. Transfeminism seems to ...
user avatar
  • 1,733
4 votes
Accepted

What is the relation among connotation, semantics, and pragmatics?

The study of meaning is usually divided into two sub-areas, semantics and pragmatics, where semantics is about literal, denotative meaning (looking only at the linguistic form) and pragmatics is about ...
user avatar
  • 66.7k
3 votes

Can an indefinite article trigger a presupposition?

While the definite article is assumed to exhibit both an existence and a uniqueness presupposition, combining to an "exactly one" presupposition: I saw the bear yesterday → There is a bear → ...
user avatar
  • 6,120
3 votes

What is the difference between Semantics and Pragmatics?

If we raise issues concerning the people who are communicating, that's doing pragmatics. If we don't need to raise such issues, we can stick to discussing semantics. In your example, if I were to ...
user avatar
  • 12.3k
3 votes

A question about pragmatics

The problem with using Grice to interpret actual discourse as if we could easily map each item exactly onto one of those maxims is that it's going beyond the original intention. Grice did not base it ...
user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between assertive and non-assertive words?

Unfortunately, you have been misled. (BTW, misled is the past form of mislead) The "English grammar" site that you have been looking at is, in a word, junk. It's full of incorrect and misleading ...
user avatar
  • 9,607
3 votes

To what extent does this image accurately express the modularity of linguistic units?

It represents something similar to “made up of”, though more accurately, it means “logically depends on, when analyzing”. It is the logical onion of classical taxonomic analysis – you would be ...
user avatar
  • 66.7k
3 votes

How does a field linguist record rare, unknown features of an undocumented language? Is it likely for him/her to miss the details?

It is possible to record rare features of a language because it is possible to encounter such a feature, and it is possible to record. It is up to the linguist to take appropriate note of the feature, ...
user avatar
  • 66.7k
3 votes
Accepted

Different ways to interpret stressed words in a sentence

Stress in English often marks Focus, often some kind of contrastive focus. Your paraphrase is what would be meant by a neutral version of that sentence with no emphasised words. John is easy to ...
user avatar
  • 5,416
3 votes

Why did Grice claim that the implicature is not “a part of what is said”?

Grice was writing in the 1950s and '60s and he was a philosopher, not a linguist. Thus his views of "what is said" are not linguistic ones, and indeed they're not all that clear to his readers. There ...
user avatar
  • 9,607
3 votes
Accepted

Ambiguous active/passive interpretations

The term passive is a grammatical one relating to syntax and morphology. It does not relate to a verb having a 'passive' meaning. The English metalinguistic term passive is unfortunate and ...
user avatar
3 votes

What do "titles" and "Beijing" stand for?

Beijing: PLACE FOR TIME titles: In fact, I don't see metonymy here, titles is just the standard jargon for "kinds of books" (the bookshop can hold more than one copy of a certain title, so ...
user avatar
2 votes

Is there a good introduction to subjectivity in language?

I think you'll probably find Alexandra Aikhenvald and her book on evidentiality a good starting point on the cross linguistic front. But of course, subjectivity is much more complex than the ...
user avatar
2 votes

Is there a good introduction to subjectivity in language?

A good introduction is Heiko Narrog's Modality, subjectivity, and semantic change. This link accesses the Japanese amazon site, where you can, if you're quick, have a look inside. Just click on the ...
user avatar
  • 1,404
2 votes

Difference between discourse analysis and pragmatics

Considering the example given in user3072's answer: Discourse Analysis: When we want to know that "what time" refers to what, it could be answered by discourse analysis. Only by looking at ...
user avatar
2 votes

What divides semantics from pragmatics?

To make it explicit, Consider the following sentence: "Hey, How you doin'?" In Semantics the sentence just asks about how the other person is doing, Or how he/she feels etc. But pragmatics says ...
user avatar
  • 1,229

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible