Cognitive Pragmatics

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Speakers tend to compose their utterances in such a way that the message they want to get across is hardly ever fully encoded by the meanings of the words and the grammar they use. Instead speakers rely on hearers adding conceptual and emotive content while interpreting the contextually appropriate meanings and intentions behind utterances. This insight, which is of course particularly relevant in all kinds of indirect, figurative or humorous talk, lies at the heart of the linguistic discipline of pragmatics. If pragmatics is the study of meaning-in-context, then cognitive pragmatics can be broadly defined as encompassing the study of the cognitive principles and processes involved in the construal of meaning-in-context. This volume is the first to systematically survey this terrain from a wide range of perspectives. It collects state-of-the-art contributions by leading experts from the fields of pragmatics, psycholinguistics, cognitive linguistics, clinical linguistics and historical linguistics.