Pragmatik pp 103-127 | Cite as

Enrichment and Loosening: Complementary Processes in Deriving the Proposition Expressed?

  • Robyn Carston
Part of the Linguistische Berichte book series (LINGB)


One important consequence of the relevance-theoretic view of cognition and communication is the following: we can think many thoughts that our language cannot encode, and we can communicate many thoughts that our utterances do not encode. Strictly speaking, virtually no sentence encodes a complete thought; certain processes of contextual filling-in are required before anything of a propositional nature emerges at all. However, that more basic point is not my primary concern in this short paper. The idea is that, even given such processes of propositional completion, a great many of our thoughts are of a much finer grain than that of the minimal propositions which result from these processes. It follows that there are many more concepts (construed as constituents of thoughts) than there are words in the language.


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robyn Carston
    • 1
  1. 1.LondonUK

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