Pragmatics, Modularity and Mind-reading

Abstract : The central problem for pragmatics is that sentence meaning vastly underdetermines speaker's meaning. The goal of pragmatics is to explain how the gap between sentence meaning and speaker's meaning is bridged. This paper defends the broadly Gricean view that pragmatic interpretation is ultimately an exercise in mind-reading, involving the inferential attribution of intentions. We argue, however, that the interpretation process does not simply consist in applying general mind-reading abilities to a particular (communicative) domain. Rather, it involves a dedicated comprehension module, with its own special principles and mechanisms. We show how such a metacommunicative module might have evolved, and what principles and mechanisms it might contain.
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Contributeur : Dan Sperber <>
Soumis le : lundi 27 mai 2002 - 14:18:55
Dernière modification le : samedi 21 avril 2018 - 16:26:01
Document(s) archivé(s) le : samedi 3 avril 2010 - 20:04:29

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  • HAL Id : ijn_00000002, version 1

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Dan Sperber, Deirdre Wilson. Pragmatics, Modularity and Mind-reading. Mind and Language, Wiley, 2002, 17 (1), pp.3-33. 〈ijn_00000002〉

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