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Re: Order & meaning in a proposition

From: Lemming <thiswillbounce_at_bumblbee.demon.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 06 Apr 2004 17:57:56 +0100
Message-ID: <d9o570hhmusbj3h64kpbim49o5e97ofi77@4ax.com>


On Tue, 6 Apr 2004 11:33:40 -0500, "Dawn M. Wolthuis" <dwolt_at_tincat-group.com> wrote:

>"Lemming" <thiswillbounce_at_bumblbee.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:p9m570l8m4orquis3a9ndi7h4ojnfhhg06_at_4ax.com...
>> On Tue, 6 Apr 2004 08:46:19 -0700, "Tom Hester" <$$tom_at_metadata.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>> >
>> >"Lemming" <thiswillbounce_at_bumblbee.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>> >news:o1i570dni7ed6aa7me49npn6h31278lqie_at_4ax.com...
>> >> On Tue, 6 Apr 2004 08:06:25 -0700, "Tom Hester" <$$tom_at_metadata.com>
>> >> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> >"Lemming" <thiswillbounce_at_bumblbee.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>> >> >news:dk8570p9lapb8kh7uar9psihtat6ojgh07_at_4ax.com...
>> >> >> On Mon, 5 Apr 2004 19:02:30 -0500, "Dawn M. Wolthuis"
>> >> >> <dwolt_at_tincat-group.com> wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> >> >Pat is the host who seated the President and the Secretary of the
>> >> >Interior
>> >> >Yes, that is called conversational implicature; and it is part of the
>> >> >meaning of the sentence. That is, a hearer may conventionally
>conclude
>> >that
>> >> >the guests were seated in that order.
>> >>
>> >> This "hearer" didn't. I've learned not to make assumptions on the
>> >> basis of statements which are open to interpretation.
>> >What I said was not an assumption but a fact. Read a little pragmatics
>if
>> >you don't believe me.
>>
>> I have to hold my hand up and say I haven't even heard of pragmatics
>> as a discipline, so I hope you'll forgive me if what I say from this
>> point is naive. That said, here goes...
>
>"Pragmantics" as a discipline is both in linguistics and semiotics. I only
>know that because my father is a linguist and my daughter is studying
>semiotics. It gives a perspective to the work of capturing of propositions
>that is not found in logic studies alone.

ok, I've just begun a google-led crash-course in pragmatics :)

From my brief reading I have absolutely no doubt that pragmatics can be used to infer unspoken meaning from statements, my objection here is to the inference of "facts" such as time ordering from the specific phrase being discussed.

The point of contention seems to be that since the President was mentioned in the statement before the Secretary of the Interior, then the President must have been seated first. It could simply be though that the writer felt that the President is more important than the Secretary, and so should be mentioned first. The writer need not even have known the order of seating in order for the statement to be written exactly as is.

Lemming

-- 
Curiosity *may* have killed Schrodinger's cat.
Received on Tue Apr 06 2004 - 11:57:56 CDT

Original text of this message

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