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MetaphorIts Cognitive Force and Linguistic Structure$
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Eva Feder Kittay

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198242468

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198242468.001.0001

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An Interlude concerning Context: A Relational Theory of Meaning

An Interlude concerning Context: A Relational Theory of Meaning

(p.96) 3 An Interlude concerning Context: A Relational Theory of Meaning


Oxford University Press

Some aspects of language meaning as well as aspects of language use, are at work in people’s comprehension and production of metaphor. This chapter argues that both word and sentence meaning depend on context in systematic and rule-governed ways. But if a theory of meaning is to be a theory of understanding, then all these dependences cannot be bracketed and cannot consider meaning being context-free. The ways in which words and sentences depend on contextual considerations are crucial to what is understood when meaning is understood, whatever that meaning may be. Another assertion is that metaphors serve to intimate similarities and as such, they become one of the endless devices that people use to draw attention to similarities in things.

Keywords:   language meaning, comprehension, metaphor, theory of understanding, similarities, relational theory, literal language

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