Download Asking Questions: Using meaningful structures to imply by Robert Fiengo PDF

By Robert Fiengo

Asking Questions examines a principal phenomenon of language -- using sentences to invite questions. even supposing there's a large literature at the syntax and semantics of interrogatives, the common sense of "questions", and the speech act of wondering, nobody has attempted to place the syntax and semantics including the speech acts over the entire diversity of phenomena we pretheoretically contemplate as asking questions. Robert Fiengo not just does this, but in addition takes up a few extra foundational matters within the conception of language.By positioning the findings of up to date grammatical theorizing in the greater area of language use, Fiengo demanding situations the use theorist to recognize the significance of grammatical shape and the grammarian to recognize the significance of use. as well as constructing an Austinian contrast among 4 wondering speech-acts, and an offer about the philosophy of language, Asking Questions encompasses a important dialogue of the type-token contrast and the way use of language compares with use of different issues. Fiengo additionally considers the character of a number of questions, revealing what one needs to be aware of to invite them, and what speech acts one may perhaps practice while asking them.Asking Questions advances our realizing of quite a lot of matters in a few very important respects. students and scholars of linguistics and philosophy will locate lots to curiosity them during this pioneering paintings.

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Additional info for Asking Questions: Using meaningful structures to imply ignorance

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4 Knowing how to talk to others An instrumental approach to talking requires that people, if they know how to talk, know how to decide what sentence-type to use, and know how to determine what speech-act can be performed by using a sentence-type. If they do not know how to do these things, they just do not know how to talk. On top of this, people make these decisions in what is, from any human perspective, an unlimited number of situations, and speakers have an unlimited number of (personal) tools at their disposal.

Either we have a theory of use which is distinct from a theory of meaning or we have a theory of use which is a theory of meaning. ¹² If we wish to understand the speech-act of questioning, the problem is not how to tag sentence-types for use. The use of a sentence-type is not part of the structure of a sentence-type any more than the use of any tool is part of the structure of that tool: it makes no sense to say that the use of a fork is in the structure of a fork. It does make sense to say that because the structure of a fork is as it is, it can be used to perform a wide variety of activities, including picking up a bean, or puncturing small holes in a pie crust.

What this shows is that we neither use pronunciation-tokens nor pronunciation-types. As already pointed out, it is just impossible for two speakers to use (or utter) the same pronunciation token, what we now see is that we do not use pronunciations at all. And there is a further conclusion we may draw. While pronunciation-tokens, the things we utter, do not have syntactic structure or meanings, the types that they belong to, the things we use, do have syntactic structure and meanings. The reason we cannot say that A and B used the same sentence where both uttered Flying planes can be dangerous (with different meanings) is that the sentence-type that A used is different in structure (and meaning) from the sentence-type that B used.

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