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Context, Thought and Communication

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Chapter Summary

The truth of an utterance depends on facts such as the time and place at which it is made, the identity of speaker and addressee, and accompanying demonstrative acts. Moreover, such context dependence can be located in particular context-sensitive, or 'indexical', linguistic elements, like pronouns, demonstratives, tenses and certain adverbs of space and time. DR Theory is helpful here precisely because it offers an integrated account of language, thought and the ways they interact in communication. Many putatively 'linguistic phenomena are like the distinction between definite and indefinite in that only such a comprehensive framework permits us to articulate both their grammatical and their cognitive aspects and to show how those interconnect; and only thus can we explain how they work or why they occur. Neither semantics nor cognition can be studied fruitfully on its own.

Keywords:communication; context; linguistic; sentence



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