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On the Meaning of Fictional Texts

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Chapter Summary

Various disciplines have investigated meanings of texts, and accordingly different things can be meant by 'the meaning of a text'. This chapter focuses on fictional texts and the notions of meaning from linguistics and from literary studies. It shows how the subjective meaning is related to the grammatical meaning. There is a lot of work on conditionals, including counterfactuals and various other particular problems in intensional semantics. All the linguistic work is about the compositional interpretation of natural language sentences. The chapter provides some simple general background in possible world semantics. It also provides some general background in literary theory and the discussion of the meaning of fictional texts, and investigates the pragmatics of fictional texts. The interest in the connection between grammatical meaning and subjective meaning for the literary scholar lies in the fact that grammatical meaning provides a basis and constraints for possible subjective meanings.

Keywords: fictional texts; grammatical meaning; intensional semantics; literary studies; subjective meaning



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