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LINGUISTIX&LOGIK, Tony Marmo's blog
Sunday, 2 October 2005

Topic: PRAGMATICS

Integrated pragmatic values


By Christopher Potts

I adapt recent results by Merin, Blutner, Jaeger, Krifka, van Rooy, and others to obtain integrated pragmatic values for utterances, thereby moving towards a precise definition of pragmatic felicity. I model speakers' perspectives with probability distributions over the set of possible worlds. The *quality-rating* of an utterance is an exponent of the speaker's probability value for its propositional content. An utterance's *quantity-rating* is the informativity of its content relative to the addressee's probabilities. I ensure that quality-ratings act as a check on quantity-ratings by taking the product of the two. I employ the notion of *relevance to a question* to further articulate these pragmatic values and arrive at a notion of *maximally felicitous utterance* (in context).

Keywords: pragmatics, probability, decision-theory, discourse particles, quality, quantity, relevance, litotes, pragmatic halos


Source: Semantics Archive

Posted by Tony Marmo at 10:17 BST
Tuesday, 9 November 2004

Topic: PRAGMATICS

On the pragmatics of vagueness


By Robert Williams

I outline the notion of an ?equivalence puzzle? and discuss how pragmatic explanations can help resolve them. I focus particularly on an equivalence puzzle given by Cian Dorr, and discuss the application of pragmatic accounts favoured by Dorr and Weatherson to this case. I conclude that a modification of the kind of account that Weatherson suggests is the best candidate for dealing with the puzzle.

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Posted by Tony Marmo at 07:58 GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 9 November 2004 08:04 GMT

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