Varieties of Tone
Frege, Dummett and the Shades of Meaning
|Publication Date||November 2013|
|Formats||Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF)|
Today's leading theories of meaning, chiefly those of Michael Dummett and Donald Davidson, depend crucially upon Gottlob Frege's distinctions between sense and reference, sense and utterance-force, and sense and tone. But while the notions of reference, sense, and force have dominated the discussion, the subtle workings of tone have received scant attention. Long overdue, this is the first comprehensive study of tone. Careful analysis of the more than two dozen varieties identified by Frege and Dummett reveals serious weaknesses in their explanatory framework. The author sketches a broader conception in terms of speakers correctly making things out to be a certain way, a formulation that avoids the demonstrated shortcomings of Fregean truth-conditional accounts while capturing the representational character of meaning as this applies right across the language–not only to words and sentences, but to discreet linguistic components such as word-order, mood of the verb, and patterns of intonation and stress.