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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Academic Paper


Title: 'Shared assumptions: Semantic minimalism and Relevance Theory'
Author: DanielWedgwood
Institution: 'University of Edinburgh'
Linguistic Field: 'Linguistic Theories; Philosophy of Language; Semantics'
Abstract: Cappelen & Lepore (2005, 2006a, 2007) note that linguistic communication requires ‘shared content’ and claim that Relevance Theory makes content sharing impossible. This criticism rests upon two important errors. The first is a flawed understanding of Relevance Theory, shown in the application of an omniscient third party perspective to parts of Relevance Theory that depend only upon subjective judgements made by the addressee of an utterance. The second is confusion about different definitions of content. Cappelen & Lepore's evidence actually involves the communication of what they term Speech Act content, which need not be perfectly ‘shared’ according to their own position. Looking beyond this flawed criticism, a general comparison of Relevance Theory with Cappelen & Lepore's semantic minimalism reveals significant parallels, pointing to a notable convergence of two distinct approaches – one cognitive-pragmatic, the other philosophical-semantic – on the rejection of currently dominant assumptions in linguistic semantics. The key remaining difference is Cappelen & Lepore's claim that shared content is propositional. This contradicts other claims made for such content and in any case plays no active role in the explanation of communication. Cappelen & Lepore's position thus poses no threat to Relevance Theory; rather, Relevance Theory can benefit from their philosophical analysis of the state of semantic theory.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Linguistics Vol. 43, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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