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Series Editors: Klaus von Heusinger (University of Cologne) & Ken Turner (University of Brighton)
Publisher: BRILL

The aim of this series is to focus upon the relationship between semantic and pragmatic theoriesfor a variety of natural language constructions.The boundary between semantics and pragmatics can be drawn in many various ways; the relative benefits of each have given rise to a vivid theoretical dispute in the literature in the last three decades. As a side effect, this variety has produced a certain degree of confusion and absence of purpose in the extant publications on the topic. This series provides a forum where the confusion within the existing literature can be removed and the issues raised by different positions can be discussed with a renewed sense of purpose. The editors intend the contributions to this series to take further steps towards clarity and cautious consensus. For further information see Brill.com.

We invite monographs and edited volumes on this topic.
Please contact Klaus von Heusinger & Ken Turner


Vol. 41: Enthymemes and Topoi in Dialogue

In Enthymemes and Topoi in Dialogue, Ellen Breitholtz presents a novel and precise account of reasoning from an interactional perspective. The account draws on the concepts of enthymemes and topoi, originating in Aristotelian rhetoric and dialectic, and integrates these in a formal dialogue semantic account using TTR, a type theory with records. 
Argumentation analysis and formal approaches to reasoning often focus the logical validity of arguments on inferences made in discourse from a god’s-eye perspective. In contrast, Breitholtz’s account emphasises the individual perspectives of interlocutors and the function and acceptability of their reasoning in context. This provides an analysis of interactions where interlocutors have access to different topoi and therefore make different inferences. For further information click here

Author: Ellen Breitholtz
Copyright year: 2020 (to appear)

Vol. 39: Evidentials and Modals

Evidentials and Modals offers an in-depth account of the meaning of grammatical elements representing evidentiality in connection to modality, focusing on theoretical/formal perspectives by eminent pioneers in the field and on recently discovered phenomena in Korean evidential markers by native scholars in particular. Evidentiality became a hot topic in semantics and pragmatics, trying to see what kind of evidential justification is provided by evidentials to support or be related to the ‘at-issue’ prejacent propositions. This book aims to provide a deeper understanding of such evidentiality in discourse contexts in a broad range of languages such as American Indian, Korean and Japanese, Turkish and African languages over the world. In addition, an introduction to the concept of evidentiality and theoretical perspectives and recent issues is also provided. For further information click here

Editors: Chungmin Lee & Jinho Park
Copyright year: 2020 (to appear)

Vol. 38: Something out of Nothing: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Implicit Quantification

Some sentences contain no overt quantifier, yet are interpreted quantificationally, e.g., Plumbers are available(entailing that some plumbers are available), or Plumbers are intelligent (whose entailment is less clear, but seems to be saying that a large number of plumbers are intelligent). Where does the quantifier come from? In this book, Ariel Cohen makes the novel proposal that the quantifier is not simply an empty category, but is generated by reinterpretations mechanisms, which are governed by well specified principles. He demonstrates how the puzzling and sometimes mysterious properties of such sentences can be naturally derived from the reinterpretation mechanisms that generate them. The resulting picture has substantial implications that language contains hidden elements, underlying its surface structure. For further information click here

Author: Ariel Cohen
Copyright year: 2020

Vol. 37: Secondary Content. The Semantics and Pragmatics of Side Issues

In addition to expressing some main content, utterances often convey secondary content, which is content that is not their “main point”, but which rather provides side or background information, is less prominent than the main content, and shows distinctive behavior with respect to its role in discourse structure and which discourse moves it licenses. This volume collects original research papers on the semantics and pragmatics of secondary content. By covering a broad variety of linguistic phenomena that convey secondary content – including expressives, various particles, adverbials, pronouns, quotations, and dogwhistle language – the contributions show that secondary content is pervasive throughout different aspects of natural language and provide new insight into the nature of secondary content through new semantic and pragmatic analyses. For further information click here

Editors: Daniel Gutzmann & Katharina Turgay
Copyright year: 2019

Vol. 36: Questions in Discourse. Vol. 2: Pragmatics

The volume Questions in Discourse - Vol. 2 Pragmatics collects original research on the role of questions in understanding text structure and discourse pragmatics. The in-depth studies discuss the effects of focus, questions and givenness in unalternative semantics, as well as the role of scalar particles, question-answer pairs and prosody from the perspective of Questions under Discussion. Two contributions compare the discourse-structuring potential of Questions under Discussion and rhetorical relations, whereas another adds a perspective from inquisitive semantics. Some contributions also look at understudied languages. Together, the contributions allow for a better understanding of question-related pragmatic and discourse-semantic phenomena, and they offer new perspectives on the structure of texts and discourses. For further information click here.

Editors: Malte Zimmermann, Klaus von Heusinger & Edgar Onea
Copyright year: 2019


Vol. 35: Questions in Discourse. Volume 1: Semantics

The volume Questions in Discourse - Vol. 1 Semantics contains a comprehensive overview of the semantic analysis of questions and their role in structuring discourse, next to a series of in-depth contributions on individual aspects of question meanings. The expert contributions offer novel accounts of semantic phenomena such as negation and biased questions, question embedding, exhaustivity, disjunction in alternative questions, and superlative quantification particles in questions. Some accounts are modelled in the framework of inquisitive semantics, whereas others employ alternative semantics, and yet others point to the discourse-structuring potential of marked questions. All contributions are easily accessible against the background of the general introduction. Together, they give an excellent overview of current trends in question semantics. For further information click here.

Editors: Klaus von Heusinger, Malte Zimmermann & Edgar Onea
Copyright year: 2019


Vol. 34: Pragmatics, Truth and Underspecification

The concept of meaning, since Frege initiated the linguistic turn in 1884, has been the subject of numerous theories, hypotheses, methodologies and distinctions. One distinction of considerable strategic value relates to the location of meaning: some aspects of meaning can be found in language and are modelled with semantic values of various kinds; some aspects of meaning can be found in communicative processes and are modelled with pragmatic inferences of one sort or another. One hypothesis of great heuristic utility concerns the relationship that is assumed between the semantic and the pragmatic. This collection of especially commissioned papers examines current thinking on the plausible nature of the semantic, the possible character of the pragmatic and the mechanics of their intersection. For further information click here.

Editors: Ken Turner and Laurence Horn
Copyright year: 2018


Vol. 33: Potential Questions at the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface

In Potential Questions at the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface Edgar Onea proposes a novel component for question under discussion based discourse pragmatic theories thereby combining such theories with new ideas from inquisitive semantics. He shows how potential questions account for an entire range of grammatical phenomena. These phenomena include the semantics of indefinite determiners, the meaning contribution of nominal appositives, specificational constructions and non restrictive relative clauses. For further information click here.

Author: Edgar Onea
Copyright year: 2016