LSRL 50: Pragmatics and Relevance in Spanish

Product no.: ISBN 9783895868801
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Pragmatics and Relevance in Spanish

Utterance Interpretation and Communication

Xosé Rosales Sequeiros
University of Hertfordshire

This book explores current pragmatic theory applied to Spanish, focussing on a number of key aspects within utterance interpretation, communication and cognition. It involves applications of pragmatic theory to various areas of Spanish language mentioned below. In doing so, it critically considers earlier approaches to the study of pragmatic interpretation, including, particularly, the Gricean approach to linguistic communication.

The book argues that this earlier approach to pragmatics does not measure up to critical analysis and is thus subject to a number of counterexamples. In particular, the evidence shows that Gricean pragmatics doesn’t provide either a sufficient or necessary basis for a comprehensive and unified account of utterance interpretation.

An alternative approach is then discussed based on the notion of relevance, as developed within Relevance Theory, which integrates the role of context and cognition within linguistic communication. This alternative view shows that it is possible to provide a unified account of pragmatics by taking into account two fundamental aspects about human cognition: processing effort and cognitive effects. The interaction between these aspects and communicative cognition provides the basis for a comprehensive account of utterance interpretation, which resolves many of the problems encountered by earlier approaches. In applying and developing these pragmatic concepts, a number of areas are covered within Spanish. Firstly, the current framework is considered as a general approach to Spanish pragmatics. Secondly, the distinction between explicit and implicit meaning is applied to a range of constructions in Spanish. Thirdly, there is a discussion on the role of pragmatics in disambiguation processes in Spanish. Finally, the new approach is applied to irony and metaphor in Spanish, including a discussion on the new research area of lexical pragmatics.

ISBN 9783895868801. LINCOM Studies in Romance Linguistics 50. 302pp. 2010.

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