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Abstract

The focus of the first part of this book was on the phenomenon of meaningful linguistic expressions whose semantics cannot be captured in traditional truth-conditional terms. I argued that: (a) the notion of truth conditions is neither a necessary nor a sufficient tool in accounting for linguistic meaning; and (b) there is no such thing as a semantic distinction between ‘truth-conditional’ and ‘non-truth-conditional’ expression types. Instead, I claimed, linguistic meaning should be accounted for in the cognitive terms proposed by Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory. On that approach, there is a cognitive distinction between types of linguistic meaning: conceptual expressions map on to mental representations; procedural expressions encode constraints on mental computations. I showed in Section 3.6 that not all allegedly ‘non-truth-conditional’ expressions fall on the same side of the conceptual/procedural distinction: some of them encode conceptual information, while a large majority encode procedural information. In the second part of the book, I examined a small subset of ‘non-truthconditional’ expressions, namely the ‘concessives’ but, although and even if, all of which I analysed in procedural terms.

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Copyright information

© Corinne Iten 2005

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  • Corinne Iten

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