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ReferenceInterdisciplinary Perspectives$
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Jeanette Gundel and Nancy Hedberg

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331639

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331639.001.0001

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On Referring and Not Referring

On Referring and Not Referring

Chapter:
(p.13) 2 On Referring and Not Referring
Source:
Reference
Author(s):

Kent Bach (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331639.003.0002

The notions of linguistic reference and speaker reference are commonly used very loosely. In many cases what passes for reference falls short of it, and in many other cases a speaker uses an expression to refer without the expression itself referring. Indexicals, demonstratives, proper names, and definite descriptions (and even indefinites) can all be used to refer, but they can all be used non-referentially as well. This chapter sets out criteria on the topic of what it takes for an expression to refer and for a speaker to refer in using an expression. It sketches out what is involved in conveying a reference and in understanding one, by explaining the roles of the speaker's intention, the hearer's inference, and the context of utterance.

Keywords:   context, definite description, demonstratives, indexicals, intention, linguistic reference, proper names, speaker reference

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