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Arenas of Language Use - Herbert H. Clark

Arenas of Language Use

Paperback Published: 1st January 1993
ISBN: 9780226107820
Number Of Pages: 440

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When we think of the ways we use language, we think of face-to-face conversations, telephone conversations, reading and writing, and even talking to oneself. These are arenas of language use--theaters of action in which people do things with language. But what exactly "are" they doing with language? What are their goals and intentions? By what processes do they achieve these goals? In these twelve essays, Herbert H. Clark and his colleagues discuss the collective nature of language--the ways in which people coordinate with each other to determine the meaning of what they say.
According to Clark, in order for one person to understand another, there must be a "common ground" of knowledge between them. He shows how people infer this "common ground" from their past conversations, their immediate surroundings, and their shared cultural background. Clark also discusses the means by which speakers design their utterances for particular audiences and coordinate their use of language with other participants in a language arena. He argues that language use in conversation is a collaborative process, where speaker and listener work together to establish that the listener understands the speaker's meaning. Since people often use words to mean something quite different from the dictionary definitions of those words, Clark offers a realistic perspective on how speakers and listeners coordinate on the meanings of words.
This collection presents outstanding examples of Clark's pioneering work on the pragmatics of language use and it will interest psychologists, linguists, computer scientists, and philosophers.

Introductionp. xi
Common Ground and Language Usep. 1
Definite Reference and Mutual Knowledgep. 9
Context for Comprehensionp. 60
Common Ground and the Understanding of Demonstrative Referencep. 78
Discourse as a Collaborative Processp. 101
Referring as a Collaborative Processp. 107
Contributing to Discoursep. 144
Understanding by Addressees and Overhearersp. 176
Audience Design in Language Usep. 199
Hearers and Speech Actsp. 205
Dealing with Overhearersp. 248
Concealing One's Meaning from Overhearersp. 275
Coordination of Meaningp. 299
Making Sense of Nonce Sensep. 305
Understanding Old Words with New Meaningsp. 341
Words, the World, and Their Possibilitiesp. 366
Bibliographyp. 381
Name Indexp. 402
Subject Indexp. 407
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226107820
ISBN-10: 0226107825
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 440
Published: 1st January 1993
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.6 x 15.1  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.62