The present volume demonstrates the multifaceted potential of Relevance Theory, which, for more than two decades now, has been inspiring studies of the relationship between human communication and cognition. In the Mind and across Minds reflects the main strands of relevance-theoretic research, by expanding, evaluating and revising the researchers' ideas in a collection of papers by an international array of scholars. The papers explore various aspects of communication including such issues as non-literal meaning with the focus on irony and metaphor, the construction of ad hoc concepts, the conceptual-procedural meaning distinction, metarepresentation, context and politeness as well as test the applicability of Relevance Theory to the domain of translation. A set of readings on varied linguistic and sociocultural phenomena, this book will be a valuable resource for scholars and students investigating meaning in natural language and an insightful reference for those interested in relevance-theoretic pragmatics, or pragmatics in general, semantics, sociolinguistics and Translation Studies.
Ewa Walaszewska, Marta Kisielewska-Krysiuk and Agnieszka Piskorska work at the Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw as Assistant Professors. They pursue their individual research connected with Relevance Theory and jointly organise a biennial conference Interpreting for Relevance: Discourse and Translation.
"In the Mind and Across Minds: a Relevance-Theoretic Perspective on Communication and Translation, a new volume of Interpreting for Relevance Conference related series, deserves publication for at least three reasons. (1) It presents a wide array of very up-to-date relevance-theoretic papers originating in a variety of academic circles world-wide and prepared by researchers of different levels of academic career advancement, which gives a representative survey of the state-of-the-art in relevance-theoretic research. (2) It covers a broad range of topics undertaken (mental versus occasion-specific concepts, conceptual versus procedural meaning, context construction, the role of metarepresentation ability, irony, relevance-theoretic view on translation, contrastive relevance-theoretic pragmatic analyses) and problems tackled, which provides useful guidelines to the current focus of relevance-theoretic studies. (3) Interesting solutions are offered and provoking questions are posed, concerning the status of ad hoc concepts and free enrichment, (mental) context construction, relevance-theoretic view on propositional attitudes and relevance-theoretic interpretation of contrastive stress. Discussions on irony and metarepresentation are continued. The choice of the papers and book construction make the volume an important voice in the on-going debate on the potential of Relevance Theory." -Ewa Mioduszewska, Institute of English Studies, Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities "Each of the eighteen chapters in this volume puts Relevance Theory to the test by exploring its scope or probing its foundations. About half of the papers address topics not previously much considered in Relevance-theoretic pragmatics: taboos, blind children's use of shape-related concepts, the semantics of 'they', negative imperatives, indirect complaints, banter, the translation of pronominal expressions, the translation of Parables, the cultural translation of Montaigne's essays, and the relation between word order and stress in the pragmatics of English and Polish. Other chapters address well-known issues in Relevance Theory: pragmatic enrichment of linguistic meaning, the relation between literalness and metaphor, the relation between metaphor and truth-conditional meaning, the interpretation of 'but', the problem of context selection, the interpretation of speaker attitude, the processing of ironical utterances, and the importance of providing a theoretical pragmatic foundation of translation. The range of topics and the depth of analyses presented make this book a valuable source of information on current research in modern pragmatics, and essential reading for all those wanting to keep abreast of developments in Relevance Theory." -Vladimir Zegarac, Reader in Language and Communication, University of Bedfordshire