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ICLC 5, K.U. Leuven, 9 July 2008 Meaning Merger: An Object of Study for Contrastive Semantics and Pragmatics? Kasia M. Jaszczolt University of Cambridge,

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Presentation on theme: "ICLC 5, K.U. Leuven, 9 July 2008 Meaning Merger: An Object of Study for Contrastive Semantics and Pragmatics? Kasia M. Jaszczolt University of Cambridge,"— Presentation transcript:

1 ICLC 5, K.U. Leuven, 9 July 2008 Meaning Merger: An Object of Study for Contrastive Semantics and Pragmatics? Kasia M. Jaszczolt University of Cambridge, U. K.

2 2 (1) m 3 ae:r 3 i: I kh 2 iann 3 iy 3 ai: Marywritenovel

3 3 (1) (a) Mary wrote a novel. (b) Mary was writing a novel. (c) Mary started writing a novel but did not finish it. (d) Mary has written a novel. (e) Mary has been writing a novel. (f) Mary writes novels. / Mary is a novelist. (g) Mary is writing a novel. (h) Mary will write a novel. (i) Mary will be writing a novel. Srioutai (2006: 45)

4 4 (2) f 3 ont 1 ok rain fall (a) It is raining. (default meaning) (b) It was raining. (possible intended meaning)

5 5 Object of study of contrastive semantics and pragmatics

6 6  Discourse meaning intended by Model Speaker and recovered by Model Addressee (primary meaning)

7 7 Object of study of contrastive semantics and pragmatics  Discourse meaning intended by Model Speaker and recovered by Model Addressee (primary meaning) Unit of analysis

8 8 Object of study of contrastive semantics and pragmatics  Discourse meaning intended by Model Speaker and recovered by Model Addressee (primary meaning) Unit of analysis  tertium comparationis for representation of discourse

9 9 Object of study of contrastive semantics and pragmatics  Discourse meaning intended by Model Speaker and recovered by Model Addressee (primary meaning) Unit of analysis  tertium comparationis for representation of discourse Theory of discourse meaning which models this object of study

10 10 Object of study of contrastive semantics and pragmatics  Discourse meaning intended by Model Speaker and recovered by Model Addressee (primary meaning) Unit of analysis  tertium comparationis for representation of discourse Theory of discourse meaning which models this object of study  Default Semantics (Jaszczolt 2005; forthcoming a)

11 11 Post-Gricean theory of utterance/ discourse meaning radical pragmatics sense-generalitycontextualism

12 12 (3)Some British people like cricket. (3a)Some but not all British people like cricket. (4)Tom dropped a camera and it broke. (4a)Tom dropped a camera and as a result it broke. (5)Everybody came to Leuven. (5a)Every speaker registered for ICLC 5 came to Leuven.

13 13 Semantic analysis takes us only part of the way towards the recovery of utterance meaning. Pragmatic enrichment completes the process. Enrichment: and +> and then, and as a result some +> some but not all everybody +> everybody in the room, every acquaintance of the speaker, etc.

14 14 Modulation (Recanati 2004, 2005): The logical form becomes enriched/modulated as a result of pragmatic inference and the entire semantic/pragmatic product becomes subjected to the truth-conditional analysis.

15 15  What is said (Recanati)  Primary meaning (Jaszczolt)

16 16  What is said (Recanati)  Primary meaning (Jaszczolt) ? Question: How far can the logical form be extended? ‘How much pragmatics’ is allowed in the semantic representation?

17 17 Aspects of meaning are added to the truth-conditional content (‘what is said’) when they conform to our pre- theoretic intuitions. Availability Principle (Recanati).

18 18 The logical form of the sentence can not only be extended but also replaced by a new semantic representation when the primary, intended meaning demands it. Such extensions or substitutions are primary meanings and their representations are merger representations in Default Semantics (Jaszczolt). There is no syntactic constraint on merger representations.

19 19 (6)You are not going to die, Peter. (6a)There is no future time at which you will die, Peter. (6b)You are not going to die from this cut, Peter. (6c)There is nothing to worry about, Peter. Default Semantics: (6c) – substituted proposition (primary meaning)

20 20 Summary so far The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined.

21 21 Summary so far The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined. This pragmatically modified representation is an object of study of a theory of meaning (contextualism: Default Semantics).

22 22 Summary so far The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined. This pragmatically modified representation is an object of study of a theory of meaning (contextualism: Default Semantics). There is no syntactic constraint on the object of study.

23 23 Summary so far The output of syntactic processing often leaves the meaning underdetermined. This pragmatically modified representation is an object of study of a theory of meaning (contextualism: Default Semantics). There is no syntactic constraint on the object of study. Discourse meaning is construed as meaning intended by the Model Speaker and recovered by Model Addressee.

24 24 Tertium Comparationis The main problem of Theoretical Contrastive Studies: what criterion of measurement should we use to contrast languages? Platform of reference/ comparison, tertium comparationis (Krzeszowski 1990)

25 25 Pragmatic tertium comparationis: illocutionary force (7)English: A: How nice you look today. B:Thank you. (8)Polish: A: Jak ładnie dzisiaj wyglądasz. B: To tylko stara sukienka. (It’s only an old dress.)

26 26 Main problems with speech act as tertium comparationis: Cognitive reality of speech act types Speech acts trigger different uptake in different cultures Speech-act type – situation mismatch Illocution – perlocution boundary problem

27 27 Faithful translation: translating the author’s intentions, assumptions, rather than structure and style (Nida 1964; Gentzler 1993; de Beaugrande 1980)

28 28 Faithful translation: translating the author’s intentions, assumptions, rather than structure and style (Nida 1964; Gentzler 1993; de Beaugrande 1980) ‘…the equivalence between a text and its translation can be neither in form nor lexical meanings, but only in the experience of text receivers.’ de Beaugrande (1980: 291).

29 29 Hypotheses in Jaszczolt (2003: 444): H1 Semantic equivalence is the equivalence of what is said. H2 Pragmatic equivalence is the equivalence of what is implicitly communicated.

30 30 H1 Semantic equivalence is the equivalence of what is said.  adequate, contextualist definition of what is said: primary meaning of Default Semantics

31 31 H1 Semantic equivalence is the equivalence of what is said.  adequate, contextualist definition of what is said: primary meaning of Default Semantics H2 Pragmatic equivalence is the equivalence of what is implicitly communicated.  Pragmatic equivalence is the equivalence of both primary and secondary meanings.

32 32 Primary Meanings of Default Semantics Default Semantics (DS, Jaszczolt, e.g. 2005, forthcoming a, b) is a radical contextualist theory. Objective: to model utterance meaning as intended by the Model Speaker and recovered by the Model Addressee.

33 33 Going beyond contextualism: DS does not recognize the level of meaning at which the logical form is pragmatically developed/modulated as a real, interesting, and cognitively justified construct. To do so would be to assume that syntax plays a privileged role among various carriers of information (contextualists’ mistake).

34 34 (9)Child: Can I go punting? Mother: You are too small. (A) The child is too small to go punting. (B) The child can’t go punting.

35 35 (9)Child: Can I go punting? Mother: You are too small. (A) The child is too small to go punting. (B) The child can’t go punting. (6)Situation: A little boy cuts his finger and cries. Mother: You are not going to die. (A) The boy is not going to die from the cut. (B1) There is nothing to worry about. (B2) It’s not a big deal.

36 36 (9)Child: Can I go punting? Mother: You are too small. (A)The child is too small to go punting. (B) The child can’t go punting. (6)Situation: A little boy cuts his finger and cries. Mother: You are not going to die. (A) The boy is not going to die from the cut. (B1) There is nothing to worry about. (B2) It’s not a big deal.

37 37 DS takes as its object of semantic representation the primary, salient, intended meanings and hence allows for the B interpretations to be modelled. Interlocutors frequently communicate their main intended content through a proposition which is not syntactically restricted.  The representation of the primary meaning need not be isomorphic with the representation of the uttered sentence or with a development of that syntactic form. It need not constitute an enrichment/modulation of the proposition expressed in the sentence.

38 38 The syntactic constraint of post-Gricean contextualism is rejected. The kind of meaning that is modelled in the theory of meaning is the primary meaning. The primary meaning is the main message intended by the Model Speaker and recovered by the Model Addressee.

39 39 Experimental evidence: Nicolle and Clark 1999 Pitts 2005 Sysoeva and Jaszczolt 2007 & forthcoming

40 40 Merger Representation  Primary meanings are modelled as the so-called merger representations.

41 41 Merger Representation  Primary meanings are modelled as the so-called merger representations. The outputs of sources of information about meaning merge and all the outputs are treated on an equal footing. The syntactic constraint is abandoned.

42 42 Merger Representation  Primary meanings are modelled as the so-called merger representations. The outputs of sources of information about meaning merge and all the outputs are treated on an equal footing. The syntactic constraint is abandoned. Merger representations have the status of mental representations.

43 43 Merger Representation  Primary meanings are modelled as the so-called merger representations. The outputs of sources of information about meaning merge and all the outputs are treated on an equal footing. The syntactic constraint is abandoned. Merger representations have the status of mental representations. They have a compositional structure: they are proposition-like, truth-conditionally evaluable constructs, integrating information coming from various sources that interacts according to the principles established by the intentional character of discourse.

44 44 Sources of information for  : (i) world knowledge (WK); (ii) word meaning and sentence structure (WS); (iii) situation of discourse (SD); (iv) properties of the human inferential system (IS); (v) stereotypes and presumptions about society and culture (SC).

45 45 SC (10)A Botticelli was stolen from the Uffizi last week. (10a)A painting by Botticelli was stolen from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence last week.

46 46 WS – lexicon and grammar SD – context-dependent inference

47 47 WK (11)The temperature fell below -10 degrees Celsius and the lake froze. (11a)The temperature fell below -10 degrees Celsius and as a result the lake froze.

48 48 IS (12)The author of Cloud Atlas has breathtaking sensitivity and imagination. (12a)David Mitchell has breathtaking sensitivity and imagination.

49

50 50 The model of sources of information can be mapped onto types of processes that produce the merger representation  of the primary meaning and the additional (secondary) meanings.

51

52 52 Mapping between sources and processes WK  SCWD or CPI SC  SCWD or CPI WS  WS (logical form) SD  CPI IS  CD In building merger representations DS makes use of the processing model and it indexes the components of  with a subscript standing for the type of processing.

53 53 Unresolved question: What counts as effortful processing (CPI) vis-à-vis automatic utilization of knowledge of culture and society (SCWD)?

54 54 Unresolved question: What counts as effortful processing (CPI) vis-à-vis automatic utilization of knowledge of culture and society (SCWD)? Assumption: utterance interpretation makes use of automatic, default interpretations which figure as salient and strong interpretative probabilities unless the context dictates otherwise.

55 55 There is a need to distinguish the two kinds of processes: the conscious, inferential one and the automatic, subdoxastic one. Cf.: Levinson’s (2000) presumptive meanings & Recanati’s (2002, 2004) truth-conditional pragmatics retain the common intuition that the primary meaning is built both out of automatic, associative, unreflective components and conscious, inferential ones.

56 56 Compositionality of Primary Meanings Schiffer (e. g. 1991, 1994, 2003): compositionality is not a necessary property of semantics; composition of meaning may simply reflect compositional reality. Meaning supervenes on the structure of the world. Recanati (2004): compositionality belongs to enriched, modulated propositions. ‘Interactionist’, ‘Gestaltist’ approach to compositionality. DS: compositionality utterance meaning rather than sentence meaning.

57 57 Merger representations are compositional structures.

58 58 Compositionality is a necessary prerequisite for any theory of meaning. Compositionality should not be seen as a methodological requirement on the syntax and semantics of sentences. DS agrees with Jackendoff (2002: 293) that there is no ‘strictly linguistic meaning’.

59 59 Default and inferential interpretations are construed in DS as operating on a unit that is adequate for the case at hand, ranging from a morpheme to the entire discourse.

60 60 Selected applications of DS Origins: Jaszczolt 1992, Parsimony of Levels (POL) Principle: Levels of senses are not to be multiplied beyond necessity. First applications: definite descriptions, proper names, and belief reports (Jaszczolt 1997, 1999); negation and discourse connectives (Lee 2002). Recent applications: presupposition, sentential connectives, number terms, temporality, and modality (Jaszczolt 2005; forthcoming a; Srioutai 2004, 2006; Jaszczolt and Srioutai forthcoming; Engemann 2008); syntactic constraint on primary meaning (Sysoeva and Jaszczolt 2007 and forthcoming).

61 61 Languages: English, Korean, Thai, Russian, French, German

62 62 Definite NPs in English (13)The architect of this church was an eccentric. (13a)The architect of Sagrada Família (whoever he was) was an eccentric. (13b)Antoni Gaudí was an eccentric. (13c)Simon Guggenheim was an eccentric.

63 63 Degrees of Intentions (DI) Principle: Intentions and intentionality allow for degrees. Primary Intention (PI) Principle: The primary role of intention in communication is to secure the referent of the speaker’s utterance. Jaszczolt (1999: xix)

64  Fig. 3: Merger representation for the default referential reading of example (13)

65  Fig. 4: Merger representation for the referential mistake reading of example (13)

66  Fig. 5: Merger representation for the attributive reading of example (13)

67 67 Future-time reference (14) Lidia will play in a concert tomorrow evening. (15) Lidia will be playing in a concert tomorrow evening. (16)Lidia is going to play in a concert tomorrow evening. (17) Lidia is playing in a concert tomorrow evening. (18) Lidia plays in a concert tomorrow evening.

68 68 (19) Lidia must be playing in a concert tomorrow evening. (20) Lidia ought to/should be playing in a concert tomorrow evening. (21) Lidia may play/be playing in a concert tomorrow evening. (22) Lidia might play/be playing in a concert tomorrow evening.

69 69 ACC Δ ├ Σ ‘it is acceptable to the degree Δ that Σ is true’

70 

71  

72  

73 73 will and c 1 a (23) Mary will be in the opera now. (23a)m 3 ae:r 3 i: I kh 3 ongc 1 ad 1 u:  1 op 1 e:r 3 a: I Marymayc 1 aseeopera y 3 u: I t 1 o’:nn 3 i: II y 3 u: I now

74 74 (24)Mary will sometimes go to the opera in her tracksuit. (24a) b 1 a:ngkh 3 r 3 ang II m 3 ae:r 3 i: I c 1 a p 1 ay 1 sometimesMaryc 1 ago d 1 u:  1 op 1 e:r 3 a: I n 3 ay 2 ch 3 udw 3 o’m see operaintracksuit

75 75 (25)k 1 r 3 eml 3 in c 1 a c 1 ap ng 3 u: Gremlinc 1 acatch snake (25a)Gremlin will catch a snake (default meaning) (25b)Gremlin would have caught a snake (contextually inferred meaning) Srioutai (2006: 242-4)

76   Fig. 9:  for ‘Gremlin will catch a snake.’ (default reading: CD)

77  Fig. 10:  for ‘Gremlin would have caught a snake.’ (non-default reading, CPI)

78 78 (1) m 3 ae:r 3 i: I kh 2 iann 3 iy 3 ai: Marywritenovel

79 Fig. 11:  for ‘Mary wrote a novel’ (regular past, CPI) 

80 80 Present-time reference in English (26) Lidia is playing in a concert now. (27) Lidia will be playing in a concert now. (28) Lidia must be playing in a concert now. (29) Lidia may be playing in a concert now. (30) Lidia might be playing in a concert now. (31) Lidia will always play the piano when she is upset.(dispositional necessity present) upset.(dispositional necessity present)

81 81 Past-time reference in English (32) Lidia played in a concert yesterday evening. (33) Lidia was playing in a concert yesterday evening. (34) Lidia would have been playing in a concert then. (35) Lidia must have been playing in a concert yesterday evening. (36) Lidia may have been playing in a concert yesterday evening. (37) Lidia might have been playing in a concert yesterday evening.

82 82 Conclusion: Merger representation of Default Semantics can successfully function as a unit of analysis for a contrastive study of discourse meaning = tertium comparationis for contrastive semantics and pragmatics

83 83 Main advantages of merger representations: Accounting for cross-linguistic differences in sources of information (e.g. lexicon vs. pragmatic inference) Modelling of the main, intended meaning. Psychology of utterance processing: no syntactic constraint on . Pragmatic compositionality: accounting for the interaction of meaning coming from different sources.

84 84 Future prospects: Algorithm for the compositional interaction of lexicon, syntax, pragmatics (WS, WK, SD, SC, IS) The default/inference boundary Application to more types of constructions and to languages which substantially rely on pragmatic inference.

85 85 Thank you!

86 86 References de Beaugrande, R Text, Discourse, and Process: Toward a Multidisciplinary Science of Texts. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Engemann, H ‘The concept of futurity: A study with reference to English, French and German’. M.Phil. thesis, University of Cambridge. Gentzler, E Contemporary Translation Theories. London: Routledge. Grice, H. P Meaning. Philosophical Review 66. Reprinted in: H. P. Grice Studies in the Way of Words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, Grice, H. P Utterer’s meaning and intentions. Philosophical Review 78. Reprinted in: H. P. Grice Studies in the Way of Words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, Grice, H. P Logic and conversation. In: P. Cole & J. L. Morgan (eds). Syntax and Semantics. Vol. 3. New York: Academic Press. Reprinted in: H. P. Grice Studies in the Way of Words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press,

87 87 Jackendoff, R Foundations of Language: Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jaszczolt, K. M Belief Sentences and the Semantics of Propositional Attitudes. D.Phil. thesis. University of Oxford. Jaszczolt, K. M ‘The Default De Re Principle for the interpretation of belief utterances’. Journal of Pragmatics Jaszczolt, K. M Discourse, Beliefs, and Intentions: Semantic Defaults and Propositional Attitude Ascription. Oxford: Elsevier Science. Jaszczolt, K. M ‘On translating what is said: Tertium comparationis in contrastive semantics and pragmatics’. In: K. M. Jaszczolt and K. Turner (eds). Meaninig Through Language Contrast. Vol. 2. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins Jaszczolt, K. M Default Semantics: Foundations of a Compositional Theory of Acts of Communication. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jaszczolt, K. M ‘Variadic function and pragmatics-rich representations of belief reports’. Journal of Pragmatics

88 88 Jaszczolt, K. M. forthcoming a. Representing Time: An Essay on Temporality as Modality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jaszczolt, K. M. forthcoming b. ‘Default Semantics’. In: B. Heine and H. Narrog (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jaszczolt, K. M. and J. Srioutai. forthcoming. ‘Communicating about the past through modality in English and Thai’ In: F. Brisard and T. Mortelmans (eds). Cognitive Approaches to Tense, Aspect and Modality’. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins. Kamp, H. and U. Reyle From Discourse to Logic: Introduction to Modeltheoretic Semantics of Natural Language, Formal Logic and Discourse Representation Theory. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Krzeszowski, T. P Contrasting Languages: The Scope of Contrastive Linguistics. Berlin: Mouton. Lee, H.-K The Semantics and Pragmatics of Connectives with Reference to English and Korean. PhD dissertation, University of Cambridge.

89 89 Levinson, S. C Presumptive Meanings: The Theory of Generalized Conversational Implicature. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Nicolle, S. and B. Clark ‘Experimental pragmatics and what is said: A response to Gibbs and Moise’. Cognition Nida, E. A Toward a Science of Translating: With Special Reference to Principles and Procedures Involved in Bible Translating. Leiden: E. J. Brill. Pitts, A ‘Assessing the evidence for intuitions about what is said’. M.Phil. thesis, University of Cambridge. Recanati, F ‘Unarticulated constituents’. Linguistics and Philosophy Recanati, F Literal Meaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Recanati, F Literalism and contextualism: Some varieties. In: G. Preyer & G. Peter (eds). Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth. Oxford: Clarendon Press

90 90 Schiffer, S ‘Does Mentalese have a compositional semantics?’. In: B. Loewer and G. Rey (eds) Meaning in Mind: Fodor and his Critics. Oxford: Blackwell Schiffer, S ‘A paradox of meaning’. Noûs Schiffer, S The Things We Mean. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Srioutai, J ‘The Thai c1a: A marker of tense or modality?’ In: E. Daskalaki et. al. (eds). Second CamLing Proceedings. University of Cambridge Srioutai, J Time Conceptualization in Thai with Special Reference to D1ay1II, Kh3oe:y, K1aml3ang, Y3u:I and C1a. PhD thesis. University of Cambridge. Sysoeva, A. and K. Jaszczolt ‘Composing utterance meaning: An interface between pragmatics and psychology’. Paper presented at the 10th International Pragmatics Conference, Göteborg. Sysoeva, A. and K. Jaszczolt. forthcoming. ‘More than radical pragmatics: Primary meaning without syntactic constraint’.


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