UCL Phonetics & Linguistics

DEPARTMENT OF SPEECH, HEARING & PHONETIC SCIENCES
UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences


RECENT EVENT: INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON WORD MEANING, CONCEPTS AND COMMUNICATION Cumberland Lodge (UK) 16-18 September 2005

 

Welcome to the Lexical Pragmatics' Website
Department of Phonetics and Linguistics, UCL


 How red is a 'red apple'/ is a 'red apple' red?
When I sleep on 'an empty stomach', is my stomach truly empty?
Is a man with one hair 'bald'? How about a man with a few hairs? Is he still bald?
My dentist said the injection would be 'painless' but I did feel some pain. Was my dentist lying?




This is the virtual home of the research project 'a Unified Theory of Lexical Pragmatics' funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) - Grant Number AR16356. The project has now been running for two years and has three methodological strands: theoretical investigation, experimental work and corpus analysis.


Lexical Pragmatics is a rapidly developing branch of linguistics which investigates the processes by which linguistically-specified ('literal') word meanings are modified in use. Our OBJECTIVES include:

a) to develop a unified, cognitively plausible account of lexical-pragmatic processes and compare it with some alternative accounts.
b) to consider how far lexical-pragmatic processes are governed by general pragmatic principles which apply at both word and sentence  level.
c) to consider the implications of our account for the traditional notion of literal meaning.
d) to investigate whether creative, occassion-specific uses (often found in literary works) involve the same processes as more conventional uses.


Project description

Bibliography (with downloadable papers)

Corpus


Members of the project

The investigators, Deirdre Wilson and Robyn Carston collaborate on all topics. The postdoctoral research assistant Tim Wharton works with them on both tehoretical and pragmatical aspects of the project. The research assistants, Patricia Kolaiti and Rosa E. Vega Moreno, work mainly on carrying out the corpus work and on the maintenance of this website.