UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 8 (1996)

Enrichment and loosening: complementary processes in deriving the proposition expressed



Within relevance theory the two local pragmatic processes of enrichment and loosening of linguistically encoded conceptual material have been given quite distinct treatments. Enrichments of various sorts, including those which involve a logical strengthening of a lexical concept, contribute to the proposition expressed by the utterance, hence to its truth-conditions. Loosenings, including metaphorical uses, do not enter into the proposition expressed by the utterance or affect its truth-conditions; they stand in a relation of 'interpretive resemblance' with the linguistically encoded concept used to represent them. This asymmetric treatment is questioned here, arguments are given for an account which reflects the complementarity of these processes and several alternative symmetrical treatments are explored.

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