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Relevance, Pragmatics and Interpretation
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Book description

Bringing together work by leading scholars in relevance theory, this volume showcases cutting-edge research within the theory, and demonstrates its influence across a range of fields including linguistics, pragmatics, philosophy of language, literary studies, developmental psychology and cognitive science. Organised into broad thematic strands that represent the latest research and debates, the volume shows the depth of analysis now possible after nearly forty years of intensive work in developing and applying the principles of relevance theory. The breadth of influence of the framework is reflected in the chapters of the volume, in some cases moving beyond the traditional realms of semantics and pragmatics to include discourse analysis, language acquisition, media and education. The volume will be essential reading for researchers in these fields, as well as for those already working within relevance theory or with other pragmatic theories.


'Three decades ago, relevance theory promised an exciting approach to the intricate relation between the linguistic and the extralinguistic. Putting pragmatics centre stage, the theory soon moved beyond Grice to develop into a whole new research programme. This volume provides rich evidence that relevance theory has made good on its promise.'

Mira Ariel - Tel Aviv University

'This is a glittering array of perspectives on communication and cognition. Readers familiar with relevance theory will discover an indispensable contribution to their library, and readers who are new to relevance theory will welcome the clarity and focus with which each of these short chapters offers new ways of thinking about language and thought.'

Nigel Fabb - University of Strathclyde

'This volume is a testament to relevance theory's impact and to its capacity to continually provide new insights with respect to communication and cognition.'

Ira Noveck - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

‘The vast impact that Deirdre Wilson's ideas, teaching, and mentorship have had on the field of pragmatics is clear throughout this book. At the same time, this collection is a testament to the health of the field of pragmatics at this moment in its development. The breadth and depth of linguistic, philosophical, and psychological enquiries into our capacity to interpret and understand each other's communicative behaviour in context are all on robust display here.’

Catherine Wearing Source: Journal of Pragmatics

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