Quotation Marks and Kinds of Meaning. Arguments in Favor of a Pragmatic Account

In Elke Brendel, Jörg Meibauer & Markus Steinbach (eds.), Understanding Quotation. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 161-194 (2011)
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Abstract

The strategy of this paper is twofold: First, we carry out a systematic investigation of the question of what specific kind of meaning quotation marks contribute to the overall meaning of an utterance. We consider the following kinds of meaning: literal meaning (§ 2.1), conventional implicature (§ 2.2), presupposition (§ 2.3), and conversational implicature (§ 2.4). We present arguments in favor of a pragmatic analysis of quotation marks, claiming that the notion of conversational implicature seems to be the most promising alternative: All general features of this kind of meaning are met by quotational constructions. Nonetheless, an approach based on conversational implicatures faces some problems when taking direct and pure quotations into account, namely effects on truth-conditions and, allegedly, on grammaticality. Thus, our second aim is to propose acceptable solutions to these criticisms in § 3. Finally, in § 4, we consider how a radical pragmatic account of quotation could be integrated into a Neo-Gricean architecture of the semantics/pragmatics-interface.

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