FictionalAssert and Implicatures

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Dokumentart: ConferenceObject
Date: 2017-08
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Allgemeine u. vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft
DDC Classifikation: 400 - Language and Linguistics
420 - English and Old English
Keywords: Linguistik
Other Keywords:
Formal Semantics
Formal pragmatics
Literary Analysis
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In this paper, we present interdisciplinary work of linguists and literary scholars on the emergence of implicatures in fictional, here particularly lyrical texts. By systematically analysing a small corpus of poems by Emily Dickinson, John Donne, and other poets not discussed here, we show that, due to specific characteristics of the text type, an additional effect of pragmatic interpretation occurs that we call apparent flouting: in poetry, the pragmatic interpretation of the text is achieved in a more complex way than in non-fictional discourse. It requires a speech act operator that is different from Assert (Krifka 1995), which applies to the text as a whole and does not assert its actual truth. Because the pragmatic interpretation of poetry is more complex, cases of ambiguity that put forward several possible readings, for example, are not resolved right away. Rather, all possible readings contribute to the overall meaning of the poem.

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