The Logic of Pragmatics

This work investigates the Logic that permeates our talk exchanges, that normally fall in the realm of Pragmatics. Two linguistic phenomena are specifically investigated in this dissertation: scalar implicatures and donkey anaphora. At first glance, these seem two distant, unrelated phenomena. At a closer look, however, they reveal some similarities that are specifically addressed and highlighted in this dissertation. In particular, the experimental findings discussed here converge on the revelation of a general interpretative strategy, which is captured in the title of this work: in our ordinary conversations, we seem to appeal to Logic consistently. This, in turn, suggests a more systematic way to analyze, even experimentally, the way we deal with the interpretation of pronouns or the computation of pragmatic inferences in our ordinary conversations, revealing Logic underneath Pragmatics.

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