5 Varieties of Meaning, Context and the Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction

Recall that this book started out from the observation that although the terms literal meaning and non-literal meaning are extensively used in the semantics and pragmatics literature, usually there is no clear indication of what kinds of meaning aspects these two terms are actually assumed to pick out. Moreover, although there seem to be some sort of standard characterisations for the two terms, they are not used consistently with those characterisations and – what is worse –those characterisations can be shown to be inappropriate for the description of the phenomena the two terms are intuitively taken to pick out. Since, traditionally, the two terms were used to differentiate ...

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