UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 11 (1999)

Metarepresentation in linguistic communication


This paper is designed to illustrate and consider the relations between three types of metarepresentational ability used in verbal comprehension: the ability to metarepresent attributed thoughts, the ability to metarepresent attributed utterances, and the ability to metarepresent abstract, non-attributed representations (e.g. sentence types, utterance types, propositions). Aspects of these abilities have been separately considered in the literatures on "theory of mind", Gricean pragmatics and quotation. The aim of this paper is to show how the results of these separate strands of research might be integrated with an empirically plausible pragmatic theory.

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