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Becoming Human"The Ontogenesis, Metaphysics, and Expression of Human Emotionality"$
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Jennifer Greenwood

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029780

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029780.001.0001

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Loose Talk, Tight Worlds

Loose Talk, Tight Worlds

Chapter:
(p.177) 7 Loose Talk, Tight Worlds
Source:
Becoming Human
Author(s):

Jennifer Greenwood

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262029780.003.0007

This chapter focuses on the common processing mechanisms of literal, metaphorical and loose talk. It is argued that the processing involved is inferential because it is always context-dependent. Analyses demonstrate that language production and comprehension is always context-dependent and that the tighter the world that interlocutors jointly inhabit, the looser their talk can afford to be. Sperber and Wilson’s relevance-theoretic approach is adopted as the primary analytic device. Relevance theory construes all verbal communication as governed by a principle of relevance and not the conventional construal of governance by maxim, rule or convention of truthfulness. Analyses suggest that all verbal communication is a transcranial achievement.

Keywords:   Relevance theory, Loose talk, Metaphor

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