Meaning is a marvelous and dreadful matter, as it is neither totally intelligible nor totally unintelligible. It cannot be considered as an univocal, closed and fixed entity, atomic in nature, universally shared and invariable in time. Rather, meaning has a complex design, composed by different facets: a referential, an inferential, and a differential one. This standpoint, which overcomes the truth-conditional semantics as well as the structural one, entails that meaning is patterned in nature, based on the encyclopaedic knowledge and connected with mental concepts. The meaning dilemma between variability and stability is crucial for every semantic theory, as meaning flexibility, grounded on the daily experience, displays a large range of linguistic phenomena like the defeasibility of semantic traits, fuzzy boundaries, radial categorization, semantic gradualness and polysemy, the interconnection between the literal and non-literal semantic domain as well as the context dependence. The semantic variability calls for an inferential process, as modal meaning is not an immediate and fully evident datum; rather, it is generated by communicators during their interaction in a dynamic way in the light of the principle of semantic and pragmatic synchrony. At the same time, meaning shows stability over time owing to its conventional nature. Without semantic stability it would be ungraspable. As patterned, meaning is coded in some way and follows at least some standard features to be taken by default. Presumptive meanings basically depend on context regularity and communicative formats. On this platform the meaning compositionality appears to be a critical issue. Traditionally, such compositionality has been faced by the feature semantics in which meaning is composed by a finite set of necessary and sufficient conditions. More recently, the prototype theory in its extended version afforded another explication of meaning compositionality by proposing the distinction between essential and typical features. In the present chapter a new model based on the T-patterns detection has been briefly advanced and illustrated, as, based on empirical observations extracted from the flow of communicative events, it seems to arrange quite well both with the variability and the stability of meaning. The detection of T-patterns enables to appreciate the hidden design of meaning encompassed in an utterance or in a nonverbal item not generally and in an abstract way but locally and in a contingent manner. The attention is focused on the local management of meaning, as each moment communicators have the opportunity of organizing, regulating, managing and monitoring their communicative interaction through the most effective choice between different semantic routes.”

Anolli, L. (2005). The detection of the hidden design of meaning. In L.M. Anolli, S. Duncan, M.S. Magnusson, G. Riva (a cura di), The hidden structure of interaction. From neurons to culture patterns (pp. 23-50). Amsterdam : IOS.

The detection of the hidden design of meaning

ANOLLI, LUIGI MARIA
2005

Abstract

Meaning is a marvelous and dreadful matter, as it is neither totally intelligible nor totally unintelligible. It cannot be considered as an univocal, closed and fixed entity, atomic in nature, universally shared and invariable in time. Rather, meaning has a complex design, composed by different facets: a referential, an inferential, and a differential one. This standpoint, which overcomes the truth-conditional semantics as well as the structural one, entails that meaning is patterned in nature, based on the encyclopaedic knowledge and connected with mental concepts. The meaning dilemma between variability and stability is crucial for every semantic theory, as meaning flexibility, grounded on the daily experience, displays a large range of linguistic phenomena like the defeasibility of semantic traits, fuzzy boundaries, radial categorization, semantic gradualness and polysemy, the interconnection between the literal and non-literal semantic domain as well as the context dependence. The semantic variability calls for an inferential process, as modal meaning is not an immediate and fully evident datum; rather, it is generated by communicators during their interaction in a dynamic way in the light of the principle of semantic and pragmatic synchrony. At the same time, meaning shows stability over time owing to its conventional nature. Without semantic stability it would be ungraspable. As patterned, meaning is coded in some way and follows at least some standard features to be taken by default. Presumptive meanings basically depend on context regularity and communicative formats. On this platform the meaning compositionality appears to be a critical issue. Traditionally, such compositionality has been faced by the feature semantics in which meaning is composed by a finite set of necessary and sufficient conditions. More recently, the prototype theory in its extended version afforded another explication of meaning compositionality by proposing the distinction between essential and typical features. In the present chapter a new model based on the T-patterns detection has been briefly advanced and illustrated, as, based on empirical observations extracted from the flow of communicative events, it seems to arrange quite well both with the variability and the stability of meaning. The detection of T-patterns enables to appreciate the hidden design of meaning encompassed in an utterance or in a nonverbal item not generally and in an abstract way but locally and in a contingent manner. The attention is focused on the local management of meaning, as each moment communicators have the opportunity of organizing, regulating, managing and monitoring their communicative interaction through the most effective choice between different semantic routes.”
Capitolo o saggio
interazione, comunicazione non verbale, comunicazione; interaction, nonverbal communciation, communication
English
The hidden structure of interaction. From neurons to culture patterns
1586035096
Anolli, L. (2005). The detection of the hidden design of meaning. In L.M. Anolli, S. Duncan, M.S. Magnusson, G. Riva (a cura di), The hidden structure of interaction. From neurons to culture patterns (pp. 23-50). Amsterdam : IOS.
Anolli, L
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/2824
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