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.
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