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Journal Article

On the Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction

Brendan S. Gillon
Synthese
Vol. 165, No. 3 (Dec., 2008), pp. 373-384
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40271122
Page Count: 12

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Topics: Words, Noun phrases, Verbs, Semantics, Pragmatics, Sentences, Lexical quantifiers, Language, Lectures
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On the Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction
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Abstract

This paper addresses two questions: what is the distinction between semantics and pragmatics? And why is this distinction important? These questions are discussed in light of the central explanatory goal of linguistics and in relation to the phenomenon of context sensitivity, as illustrated by relational words with implicit arguments and by so-called quantifier domain restriction. It is concluded that context sensitivity is, in the former case, grammatical or lexical and, in the latter case, neither.

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