Conditions of Use
This is a comprehensive textbook on semantics and pragmatics. The approximately 500 pages cover a wide range of topics from the meanings of words to the meanings of grammatical morphemes. read more
This is a comprehensive textbook on semantics and pragmatics. The approximately 500 pages cover a wide range of topics from the meanings of words to the meanings of grammatical morphemes.
This text is a survey of topics in semantics and pragmatics, both of which are broad disciplines in and of themselves. As such, the overview of how meanings are made in human languages seems accurate, thorough, and unbiased.
The references provided in this introductory text range from as early as 1892 to 2017. The text is written in a way that seems relatively easy to update.
This text seems to be written in a manner that is accessible to a broad readership, upper level undergraduate to graduate level readers. Not only is this text readable by those who are interested in languages and linguistics, but it also seems understandable and accessible to readers in a wide range of subject areas.
As an introductory text, this book provides a broad range of topics and includes an extensive range of terminology. This breadth makes sense for an introductory textbook.
The text is written in such a way that references are made to previous chapters. This may be difficult for some instructors who choose to assign chapters out of sequence.
Topics are organized in logical ways. References to other parts of the text are easy to follow.
This book is easy to navigate.
As a reader, I am extremely sensitive to small grammatical and stylistic errors. I found this text to be mechanically and stylistically easy to read.
This text uses a broad range of linguistic and world language examples.
At the end of most chapters, there is a list of further readings and discussion or homework exercises. These are time-saving and expeditious for the busy instructor, as well as will be helpful to them in regard to built-in opportunities to assess student comprehension, opportunities for reflection and critical thinking, and to assess teaching effectiveness. These activities are helpful to students by reinforcing and verifying understanding. Students can also use these as study-guides before reading the chapters.
Table of Contents
I. Foundational concepts
- Chapter 1: The meaning of meaning
- Chapter 2: Referring, denoting, and expressing
- Chapter 3: Truth and inference
- Chapter 4: The logic of truth
II. Word meanings
- Chapter 5: Word senses
- Chapter 6: Lexical sense relations
- Chapter 7: Components of lexical meaning
- Chapter 8: Grice's theory of Implicature
- Chapter 9: Pragmatic inference after Grice
- Chapter 10: Indirect Speech Acts
- Chapter 11: Conventional implicature and use-conditional meaning
IV. Compositional semantics
- Chapter 12: How meanings are composed
- Chapter 13: Modeling compositionality
- Chapter 14: Quantifiers
- Chapter 15: Intensional contexts
V. Modals, conditionals, and causation
- Chapter 16: Modality
- Chapter 17: Evidentiality
- Chapter 18: Because
- Chapter 19: Conditionals
VI. Tense & aspect
- Chapter 20: Aspect and Aktionsart
- Chapter 21: Tense
- Cahpter 22: Varieties of the Perfect
About the Book
This book provides an introduction to the study of meaning in human language, from a linguistic perspective. It covers a fairly broad range of topics, including lexical semantics, compositional semantics, and pragmatics. The chapters are organized into six units: (1) Foundational concepts; (2) Word meanings; (3) Implicature (including indirect speech acts); (4) Compositional semantics; (5) Modals, conditionals, and causation; (6) Tense & aspect.
Most of the chapters include exercises which can be used for class discussion and/or homework assignments, and each chapter contains references for additional reading on the topics covered.
As the title indicates, this book is truly an INTRODUCTION: it provides a solid foundation which will prepare students to take more advanced and specialized courses in semantics and/or pragmatics. It is also intended as a reference for fieldworkers doing primary research on under-documented languages, to help them write grammatical descriptions that deal carefully and clearly with semantic issues. The approach adopted here is largely descriptive and non-formal (or, in some places, semi-formal), although some basic logical notation is introduced. The book is written at level which should be appropriate for advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate students. It presupposes some previous coursework in linguistics, but does not presuppose any background in formal logic or set theory.
About the Contributors
Paul Kroeger is a Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics in Dallas, Texas, and a Senior Linguistic Consultant for SIL International. He is the author of Phrase structure and grammatical relations in Tagalog (1993, CSLI); Analyzing syntax: a lexical-functional approach (2004, Cambridge University Press); and Analyzing grammar: an introduction (2005, Cambridge University Press). He holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Stanford University. His research has focused primarily on the syntax and semantics of Western Malayo-Polynesian languages, with a particular interest in languages of Borneo.