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Palgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Language and Cognition

Context, Cognition and Conditionals

Authors: Elder, Chi-Hé

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  • Foregrounds the importance of analysing meaning in interaction at the level of thought, using conditionals as a case study
  • Offers a fresh perspective on the way that conditionality should be conceptualised by focusing on the way that conditionals are used and expressed in ordinary discourse
  • Proposes a semantic theory of conditionals that can account for variability in usages of conditional sentences, including both conditional sentences of the form 'if p, q' and conditional expressions which don't use 'if'
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eBook 51,16 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-13799-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 83,19 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-13798-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
About this book

This book proposes a semantic theory of conditionals that can account for (i) the variability in usages that conditional sentences can be put; and (ii) both conditional sentences of the form ‘if p, q’ and those conditional thoughts that are expressed without using ‘if’. It presents theoretical arguments as well as empirical evidence from English and other languages in support of the thesis that an adequate study of conditionals has to go beyond an analysis of specific sentence forms or lexical items. The resulting perspective on conditionals is one in which conditionality is located at a higher level than that of the sentence; namely, at the level of thought. The author argues that it is only through adopting such a perspective, and with it, a commitment to context-dependent semantics, that we can successfully represent conditional utterances as they are used and understood by ordinary language users. It will be of interest to students and scholars working on the semantics of conditionals in the fields of linguistics (especially semantics and pragmatics) and philosophy of language.


About the authors

Chi-Hé Elder is Lecturer in Linguistics in the School of Politics, Philosophy and Language and Communication Studies at the University of East Anglia, UK. Her research interests lie in the relationship between post-Gricean pragmatics and interactional pragmatics, with a particular focus on the semantics and pragmatics of conditionals.

Reviews

“Chi-Hé Elder’s pragmatic and cognitively-oriented account of conditionals develops an important new perspective on long-standing debates in linguistics. Her move to ensure such theoretical debates accord with empirical reality and situate the representation of meanings at the level of thought has far-reaching implications for how we might more productively work at the intersection of semantics and pragmatics. Readers will be rewarded with an exemplar par excellence of an empirically-grounded approach to theorisation in linguistics.” (Michael Haugh, University of Queensland, Australia)

“Conditionals used to be easy. It was just a matter of IF and THEN. Nowadays it’s a zoo… IFs without a consequent, IFs that don’t provide a condition for the THEN, and all manner of WHENs and whatnots, or even conditionals with no connective at all. You want a conditional? There’s one right here. Chi-Hé Elder’s Context, Cognition and Conditionals presents a new and detailed study of naturally occurring corpus data, unique in coverage and unmatched in systematicity, and a new account which focuses not on conditional sentences, but on conditional thoughts. The corpus study alone, with its detailed taxonomy of conditional types and both qualitative and quantitative results, would be essential reading for anyone working on conditionals in the future. But Elder goes much further: using the framework of Default Semantics, she shows how we weave different elements of conventional meaning and contextual information together, revealing the ways in which conditional and non-conditional sentences alike may or may not express conditional thoughts. You want a great book on conditionals? Here it is!” (David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin, USA)

 

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 51,16 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-13799-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 83,19 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-13798-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Context, Cognition and Conditionals
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Language and Cognition
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-13799-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-13799-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-13798-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 279
Number of Illustrations
7 b/w illustrations
Topics