Simon Winter: Expectations and Linguistic Meaning
This is the frontpage of my Ph.D. dissertation. Here you find short introductions to each of the five chapters, and below is the Abstract of the thesis. The complete text is available for download.
Please refer to the thesis as:
Please do not quote from the web pages, but only from the downloaded files.
Download and order Go: Up Intro One Two Three Four Five Refs
What is the relation between the words in language and our everyday actions? Are linguistic structures dependent on our actions, or does language function on its own?
This thesis deals with the pragmatic foundations of language and proposes a model of meaning in language that is based on our expectations about the world and about other people. On this view, language is seen as composed of three functional layers of pragmatics, semantics and morpho-syntax, with each layer having a certain autonomy: semantics captures useful generalizations from the pragmatic level, and morpho-syntax captures generalizations from the semantic level.
The thesis consists of an introduction and five papers that examine different aspects of this overarching model.