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The Targeting System of Language$
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Leonard Talmy

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036979

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036979.001.0001

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Targetive Cues to a Target

Targetive Cues to a Target

(p.345) 7 Targetive Cues to a Target
The Targeting System of Language

Leonard Talmy

The MIT Press

Targetive cues are properties exhibited by a speaker’s intended target itself. They help guide the hearer toward singling that target out. Where the target is speech-external, the targetive cues are sensory stimuli that the target produces and that the hearer perceives. Where the target is speech-internal, the targetive cues are phonetic, syntactic, semantic, or pragmatic properties of the target that the hearer either perceives or apprehends and then holds in short-term memory. There are three types of targetive cues, and the character of the lexical cues in the speaker’s utterance determines which one is relevant. In one case, the lexical cues ascribe features to the target that are definitive for its determination. They evoke in the hearer a category that is effective for recognizing instances of the target. The hearer under-takes a feature search over her perceivable environment to find the corresponding targetive feature cues.

Keywords:   targetive cue, feature search, salience search, criterion search, sensitization, category checking, perceptual ease

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