By Hans-Christian Schmitz

Hans-Christian Schmitz argues speaker has to utter a sentence in a manner that makes the hearer understand at the very least these phrases which are enough for knowing the total sentence. In spoken language the speaker has to intensify those phrases. Semantics results of accentuation seem as epi-phenomena in their pragmatic functionality. the writer defines a proper version for the translation of incompletely famous sentences and derives a context-sensitive rule of accentuation. the guideline of accentuation is experimentally evaluated.

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Additional resources for Accentuation and Active Interpretation (Palgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Languages and Cognition)

Sample text

They sometimes presuppose less than they tentatively could. This is especially the case with small talk, when the point is not to inform oneself effectively, but rather to simulate an informative conversation. Let me take stock. An assertion can alter the presupposed common ground of the discourse participants. According to the conversational maxims, assertions must be informative; discourse participants should not assert anything that they feel is already part of the common ground. 11 In addition, the discourse participants should only claim what they know themselves.

Nothing speaks against the assumption that they can equally reconstruct sentences that have been uttered completely but were recognised only in19 In order to prevent a possible misunderstanding: according to the hypothesis of objection 2, speakers adjust themselves to what the recipient requires for recognising a linguistic expression. The requirements for recognition are related to the relative predictability of the utterance. In contrast, according to the model developed in Chapters 3 and 4, the requirements for the reconstruction of a message (which is what in my hypothesis the speaker adjusts himself to) are not related to the relative predictability of the message.

Expanding on the objection: according to the hypothesis of optimal accentuation, a speaker adjusts himself to what the recipient requires for the reconstruction a message. 19 It is not impossible that both hypotheses – the hypothesis of optimal accentuation and the competing hypothesis of objection 2 – lead to the same predictions with respect to accentuation. According to Greenberg (1999), words with a high information content are accentuated. Words with high information content must be recognised in order to understand the utterance, and are moreover difficult to anticipate.

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