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New Work on Speech Acts$
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Daniel Fogal, Daniel W. Harris, and Matt Moss

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198738831

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198738831.001.0001

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Explicit Indirection

Explicit Indirection

(p.165) 7 Explicit Indirection
New Work on Speech Acts

Ernie Lepore

Matthew Stone

Oxford University Press

Our goal in this chapter is to contest the traditional view of indirection in utterances such as, ‘Can you pass the salt?’ by developing a very different way of characterizing the interpretations involved. We argue that the felt “indirection” of such utterances reflects the kind of meaning the utterances have, rather than the way that meaning is derived. So understood, there is no presumption that indirect meanings involve the pragmatic derivation of enriched contents froma literal interpretation; rather, we argue that indirect meanings are explicitly encoded in grammar. We build on recent work on formalizing declarative, interrogative, and imperative meanings as distinct but compatible kinds of content for utterances.

Keywords:   Grice, Searle, Starr, indirect speech acts, convention, imperatives, coherence, intention recognition

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