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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

(p.177) 7 Loose Talk, Tight Worlds
Becoming Human

Jennifer Greenwood

The MIT Press

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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