The Pragmatics of Referential and Attributive Expressions

  • Alessandro Capone
Part of the Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology book series (PEPRPHPS, volume 22)


In this chapter I deal with the attributive/referential distinction. After reviewing the literature on the issue, I adopt Jaszczolt’s view based on default semantics. I relate her view to Sperber & Wilson’s Principle of Relevance. I argue in favour of the modularity hypothesis in connection with pragmatic interpretations. I also discuss the issue of modularization à la Karmiloff-Smith in connection with default inferences and, in particular, the referential readings of NPs. I then reply to some considerations by Cummings and use data from the referential/attributive uses of NPs to show that the modularity hypothesis is defensible.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandro Capone
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cognitive ScienceUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly

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