Free pragmatic enrichment, expansion, saturation, completion: a view from linguistics

Ilse Depraetere, Raphael Salkie

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The notions of saturation and free pragmatic enrichment (otherwise known as completion and expansion) have played a central but controversial role in recent work on the philosophy of language. We try to get a better insight into these concepts by linking them with the lexical semantic distinction between ambiguity and underspecification. We argue that the crucial problems in both domains cluster around the distinction between linguistic meaning and meaning in context.We argue that the notion meaning in context is semantic, as opposed to what we call ‘what is communicated’, which involves semantic and pragmatic information. We then propose that saturation and lexical ambiguity are alike in that they both involve the semantic relation between linguistic meaning and meaning in context, whereas free pragmatic enrichment and the resolution of lexical underspecification have to do with the pragmatic relation between meaning in context and what is communicated.We show that this proposal sheds new light on two long-standing empirical problems in linguistics: English modals, and the present perfect tense.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSemantics and pragmatics: drawing a Line
EditorsIlse Depraetere, Raphael Salkie
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9783319322452
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2017

Publication series

NameLogic, Argumentation & Reasoning Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Sciences

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