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Composition, Values, and Interpretation

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Chapter Summary

A semantic theory always stands in relation to other disciplines of linguistic theorizing. This introductory chapter looks at these relationships and sketches an account of how one should think about the interrelatedness of semantic theory with other disciplines of linguistics, as well as with related domains of investigation like ontology, epistemology and logic. It presents two perspectives on semantic theories. One resembles most textbook characterizations of semantics and should sound very familiar. The other one emphasizes the role of interfaces as a relevant factor in the characterization of semantic theories as such. The chapter examines this second perspective in more detail, where examples of seemingly different semantic theories are provided that turn out to be equally well suited to answer the demands posed by pragmatics. It reviews a more realistic example, which sheds light on the relation between semantics and pragmatics. Finally, the implications of this concrete example are scrutinized.

Keywords: epistemology; linguistic theorizing; ontology; semantic theory

10.1163/9789004279377_002
/content/books/b9789004279377_002
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