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Title: PROPOSITIONAL UNDERDETERMINACY IN A GRAMMATICAL CONSTRUCTION IN TIGRINYA
Authors: Keffyalew, Gebreslassie
Copyright: 2008
Date Added: 24-Sep-2008
Publisher: Addis Ababa University
Abstract: One important consequence of the Relevance Theoretic view of cognition and communication is that we can communicate many thoughts that our utterances do not encode as we can think many thoughts that our language can not encode (Sperber and Wilson 2002, Carston 1998, Recanati 1993, among many others). In line with this, the Tigrinya data in this paper showed that virtually no sentence encodes a complete thought as there is almost always a discrepancy with what we said and what we mean (Levinson 2000). At the same time the paper made a strong essentialist view of propositional Underdeterminacy. That is, in Tigrinya what is said (the proposition expressed) by an utterance is inevitably not fully determined by the meaning of the linguistic expression or grammatical construction used to convey it. The findings of this short paper deviate from the traditional Gricean view that pragmatically determined aspects of utterance interpretation like enrichment processes have implicatures and not explicatures as their target. However, it supports the arguments of Sperber and Wilson (2002), Carston (1998), and Recanati (1993); though these scholars do differ in their proposals on how the semantic/linguistic interpretations of a speaker’s utterance is “fleshed out” or “enriched” to form our understanding of what is said.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1351
Appears in:ILS Proceedings - The 19th Annual Conference

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