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By Alan Cruse

This easy-to-use advisor illuminates key thoughts and phrases in semantics and pragmatics and the learn of that means because it is conveyed via language.

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Like-this . . notnim give kama . . some . . asu . . did . . (Ariel 1990). Given the availability of cliticized pronouns for Hebrew hem ‘they’, it is the avoidance of the shorter forms in the second and fourth references that is puzzling on any inferential pragmatic theory. Minimizing processing cost should have prompted the speaker to use the reduced pronouns throughout according to Relevance theory, for the same interpretation is made available by the two forms (see especially Reboul, 1997).

Accessibility theory can account for this asymmetric paradigm by noting that unlike the speaker and the addressee, third person referents are not consistently highly accessible in discourse (see the statistics in Ariel, 2000). Hence, third person pronouns do not get reduced consistently enough to trigger a gradual process of cliticization. In sum, typological/historical analyses set out from pragmatically motivated pressures (the need to mark a marked coreference, the tendency to reduce referring expressions denoting highly accessible referents) and explain the grammaticized pattern as resulting from an unintended series of small and gradual changes, starting with optional choices, going through preferred discourse patterns, and ending with an entrenchment whereby the discourse pattern is translated into an obligatory grammatical convention.

Any pragmatically inferred interpretation is a full-fledged pragmatic inference, which should count as one. The fact that many of these are needed to develop the encoded Logical Form of the speaker’s utterance into a complete proposition doesn’t alter their pragmatic status. Instead of the minimally enriched “what is said,” Sperber and Wilson offer the pragmatically richer explicature (the idea being that the pragmatic inferences needed to complete the speaker’s encoded meaning into a full proposition count as part of the explicit message).

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