Semantics


Meaning and discourse

In interpreting and producing utterances, people understand and communicate more than the literal meaning of words. Thus, we can refer to utterances as spoken, written or gestured contributions within a particular social context that derive their meaning partly from discourse. Referring to the extralinguistic context, a core notion to deal with is the term deixis. The study of contextual meaning also involves the investigation of the intention of the speaker as well as the interpretation of the utterance by the addressee. These aspects are dealt with in the approaches of speech act theory and conversational implicature. Finally, pre-existing knowledge for interpreting events, usually referred to as a schema or a script, plays an important role in analysing meaning in discourse.


Deixis
Speech acts
Conversational implicature
Schemata and scripts