3 Utterance Meaning and the Literal/Non-literalDistinction

In chapter 2, I argued for a characterisation of the terms sentence meaning and literal meaning along the following lines. Whereas sentence meaning is compositional, context-independent and (more often than not) sub-propositional, literal meaning is a particular type of meaning a sentence (or complex expressions generally) may have when used in a context. Thus, literal meaning is a term applicable at a level of meaning, at least partly resulting from context-sensitive processes. The question is which factors have to hold for the thus resulting meaning to be literal. Before this question can be answered, however, the more basic question needs to be addressed of how such a context-sensitive ...

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