The interpretation of language is a complex phenomenon. One of the best established models maintains that language interpretation arises from the interaction of two major components. On the one hand, sentences are assigned truth conditions, which provide a characterization of propositional content and constitute the domain of semantics. On the other hand, use of propositional content (i.e., truth conditions) in concrete communication is governed by pragmatic norms. In speaking, not only do we pay attention to truth conditional content, we also aim at being cooperative and at saying something relevant to the situation. One way to study this intricate interplay between semantics and pragmatics is by looking at the way adults and children interpret logical words, e.g., connectives and quantifiers. In particular, we would like to concentrate on Scalar Implicatures, inferences that we draw when we interpret sentences including certain logical words and that allow one to go beyond what is literally said in the sentence. For example, following Grice and much literature inspired by him, it can be argued that if a speaker says “Some students passed the exam” the hearer is likely to assume that the speaker intended to convey that “Some students passed the exam, but not all did”. The addition of “but not all did” is not, however, part of the truth conditions, but an implicature, that arises from the way we use language. Literally speaking, or as far as semantics is concerned, a sentence like “Some student passed the exam” can be true in a situation where, in fact, all students passed the exam. In this article, our goal is twofold. First, we would like to present a model, the Semantic Core Model, that challenges a way of interpreting Grice's proposal that has come to be dominant in the field. According to the dominant view, one first retrieves the semantics of a whole root sentence and then processes the implicatures associated with it (in a strictly modular way). The Semantic Core Model proposes, instead, that semantic and pragmatic processing takes place in tandem. Implicatures are factored in recursively, in parallel with truth conditions. Our second goal is to present experimental evidence from adults and children that is consistent with this new model.

Chierchia, G., Guasti, M., Gualmini, A., Meroni, L., Crain, S., Foppolo, F. (2004). Semantic and Pragmatic Competence in Children's and Adults' Comprehension of Or. In I.A. Noveck, D. Sperber (a cura di), Experimental Pragmatics (pp. 283-300). New York : Palgrave Macmillan.

Semantic and Pragmatic Competence in Children's and Adults' Comprehension of Or

GUASTI, MARIA TERESA;FOPPOLO, FRANCESCA
2004

Abstract

The interpretation of language is a complex phenomenon. One of the best established models maintains that language interpretation arises from the interaction of two major components. On the one hand, sentences are assigned truth conditions, which provide a characterization of propositional content and constitute the domain of semantics. On the other hand, use of propositional content (i.e., truth conditions) in concrete communication is governed by pragmatic norms. In speaking, not only do we pay attention to truth conditional content, we also aim at being cooperative and at saying something relevant to the situation. One way to study this intricate interplay between semantics and pragmatics is by looking at the way adults and children interpret logical words, e.g., connectives and quantifiers. In particular, we would like to concentrate on Scalar Implicatures, inferences that we draw when we interpret sentences including certain logical words and that allow one to go beyond what is literally said in the sentence. For example, following Grice and much literature inspired by him, it can be argued that if a speaker says “Some students passed the exam” the hearer is likely to assume that the speaker intended to convey that “Some students passed the exam, but not all did”. The addition of “but not all did” is not, however, part of the truth conditions, but an implicature, that arises from the way we use language. Literally speaking, or as far as semantics is concerned, a sentence like “Some student passed the exam” can be true in a situation where, in fact, all students passed the exam. In this article, our goal is twofold. First, we would like to present a model, the Semantic Core Model, that challenges a way of interpreting Grice's proposal that has come to be dominant in the field. According to the dominant view, one first retrieves the semantics of a whole root sentence and then processes the implicatures associated with it (in a strictly modular way). The Semantic Core Model proposes, instead, that semantic and pragmatic processing takes place in tandem. Implicatures are factored in recursively, in parallel with truth conditions. Our second goal is to present experimental evidence from adults and children that is consistent with this new model.
Capitolo o saggio
semantic/pragmatic interface, scalar implicatures
English
Experimental Pragmatics
9781403903501
Chierchia, G., Guasti, M., Gualmini, A., Meroni, L., Crain, S., Foppolo, F. (2004). Semantic and Pragmatic Competence in Children's and Adults' Comprehension of Or. In I.A. Noveck, D. Sperber (a cura di), Experimental Pragmatics (pp. 283-300). New York : Palgrave Macmillan.
Chierchia, G; Guasti, M; Gualmini, A; Meroni, L; Crain, S; Foppolo, F
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/9953
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