UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 14 (2002)

Metaphor, ad hoc concepts and word meaning - more questions than answers



Recent work in relevance-theoretic pragmatics develops the idea that understanding verbal utterances involves processes of ad hoc concept construction. The resulting concepts may be narrower or looser than the lexical concepts which provide the input to the process. Two of the many issues that arise are considered in this paper: (a) the applicability of the idea to the understanding of metaphor, and (b) the extent to which lexical forms are appropriately thought of as encoding concepts.

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