Use-conditional meaning and the semantics of pragmaticalization

  • Christopher Davis
  • Daniel Gutzmann

Abstract

Pragmaticalization is the diachronic process by which propositional, truth-conditional semantic content develops into expressive, use-conditional content. Against the background of a multidimensional hybrid semantics, which employs both truth- and use-conditions to capture the entire conventional meaning of natural language expressions, this change can be understood as a diachronic type shift from truth-conditional to use-conditional meaning.We suggest that in general such shifts do not happen directly, but via an intermediate stage in which a 2-dimensional expression with mixed content is formed, which in a final stage may develop into pure use-conditional content. These concepts are applied to two cases of pragmaticalization: the antihonorific aspectual marker shimau in Japanese, and the expressive negation marker neenu in Miyara Yaeyaman, a related language of the Southern Ryukyus. As the second case study shows, pragmaticalization may also involve a process which we call pragmatic fission, in which a mixed expression splits into two separate items, leading to a lexical ambiguity between a plain truth-conditional expression and a purely use-conditional item.
How to Cite
Davis, C., & Gutzmann, D. (1). Use-conditional meaning and the semantics of pragmaticalization. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 19, 197-213. Retrieved from https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/sub/index.php/sub/article/view/229

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