Relevance Theory and ‘Non-Truth-Conditional’ Meaning

  • Corinne Iten
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Language and Cognition book series (PSPLC)


In Chapter 1, I discussed various linguistic expressions that have been classed as having ‘non-truth-conditional’ meaning and, in Chapter 2, I looked at the ways in which some theorists have attempted to accommodate them in their still essentially truth-conditional frameworks. The conclusion I reached was that the notion of ‘non-truth-conditional’ meaning doesn’t cover a natural class of expressions and that calling an expression ‘non-truth-conditional’ isn’t a theoretically useful way of describing it. In this chapter I’ll introduce the cognitive pragmatic framework of Relevance Theory (RT). I will show that this framework enables us to account for the meaning of all linguistic expressions regardless of whether (and when) they contribute to the truth-conditional content of the utterances in which they occur.


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© Corinne Iten 2005

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  • Corinne Iten

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