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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Default Semantics offers a model of discourse interpretation which can be classified as neo-Gricean and contextualist. It is founded on the recognition of the Model Speaker’s intention by the Model Addressee and applies the tool of truth conditions to the conceptual representation of utterances. Default Semantics identifies sources of information about meaning and the types of processes that interact to produce a representation of utterance meaning called merger representation S. The interaction obeys the principles of pragmatic compositionality and allows for formalization in the amended and extended language of Discourse Representation Theory, applied to the ‘pragmatics-rich’ results of the merger. The chapter discusses the principles of the new revised version of Default Semantics and presents two examples of the application of the theory: to definite descriptions and to temporal expressions with future-, present-, and past-time reference. It ends by pointing out the advantages of the model over other post-Gricean accounts.

Keywords: Default Semantics, merger representation, pragmatic compositionality, contextualism, syntactic constraint

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