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Bibliography: Relevance and the Question Under Discussion

Section: Lexical Meaning

This section is really just a stub at this point, intended to suggest the potential interest of bringing this framework to bear on lexical semantics and pragmatics. As noted in the Afterword, I believe Relevance to the QUD would shed light on lexical coercion; on scalarity, vagueness, and standards (in predicates of personal taste); and on the context-sensitivity of the meanings of modal auxiliaries (see the appeal to relevance in Roberts 1989,1996 (section 11 below), and Portner’s (2010) discussion of the role of imperatives in restricting the domains of deontic modals (section 5 above)).


1. Disambiguation

Consider the work on disambiguation carried out by computer scientists using Planning Theory, one of the sources for the theory proposed by Roberts 1996.

DeVault, David & Matthew Stone (2006) Scorekeeping in an uncertain language game. In Proceedings of the 10th Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue (SemDial-10), pages 139–146.

Devault, David & Matthew Stone (2007) Managing ambiguities across utterances in dialogue. In Ron Artstein & Laure Vieu (eds.) DECALOG: The 2007 Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue.

Horvitz, E. & T. Paek (2001) Harnessing models of users’ goals to mediate clarification dialog in spoken language systems. In User Modeling Conference, pages 3–13.


2. Discourse particles

Discourse particles arguably contribute to discourse cohesion by helping to track speaker assumptions about context. This is by no means a complete bibliography on the semantics of discourse particles, but only cites work which pertains to relevance and the QUD. See the papers by McCready, Potts, and Zimmermann for a number of other important references. The work cited here is closely related to that on focus-sensitive expressions like only and too, discussed in section 2, and accordingly to the work on projection in section 8.

Davis, Christopher (2009) Decisions, dynamics, and the Japanese particle yo. (2009) Journal of semantics 26(4):329-366.

McCready, Eric (2005) The Dynamics of Particles. Ph.D. thesis, UTexas-Austin.

McCready, Eric (2006) Japanese yo: Its semantics and pragmatics. Sprache und Datenverarbeitung 30:25–34.

McCready, Eric (2008) What Man Does. Linguistics and Philosophy 31(6):671-724.

McCready, Eric (to appear) Particles: Dynamics vs. utility. In Y. Takubo (ed.) Japanese/Korean Linguistics 16. CSLI.

Potts, Chris (2007) The expressive dimension. Theoretical Linguistics 33:165-198.

Umbach, C. (2004) On the Notion of Contrast in Information Structure and Discourse Structure Journal of Semantics, Volume 21, Issue 2, 1 - 21.

Umbach, C. (2005) Contrast and Information Structure: A focus-based analysis of but. Linguistics. Vol 43-1, 207 - 232.

Zeevat, Henk (2005) A dynamic approach to discourse particles. In: K. Fischer (ed.). Discourse Particles. Studies in Pragmatics 1. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 133–148.

Zimmermann, Malte (2011) Contrastive discourse particles in German: Effects of information-structure and modality. Handout from a talk at MOSS 2, Institute of Russian Language at the Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, April 22-24, 2011.

Zimmermann, Malte (in press) Discourse particles. In C. Maienborn, K. von Heusinger, and P. Portner (eds), Semantics: an international handbook of natural language meaning. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.