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Experimental Pragmatics
The Making of a Cognitive Science


  • Author: Ira Noveck, Institut des Sciences Cognitives – Marc Jeannerod
  • Date Published: October 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107084902

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About the Authors
  • How does a listener understand a sarcastic 'That was a wonderful speech' when the words point to a positive review? Why do students of introductory logic interpret 'Some cabs are yellow' as 'Not all cabs are yellow' when the meaning of 'some' is compatible with 'all'? Pragmatics aims to explain how listeners draw out a speaker's meaning from utterances, an astonishing feat when one considers that the words in a sentence hardly suffice for fully comprehending what the speaker intended. Given the nature of pragmatics, it is going to take the interdisciplinary firepower of many cognitive sciences - including philosophy, experimental psychology, linguistics and neuroscience - to fully appreciate this uniquely human ability. In this book, Ira Noveck, a leading pioneer in experimental pragmatics, engagingly walks the reader through the phenomena, the theoretical debates, the experiments as well as the historical development of this growing academic discipline.

    • Goes beyond 'armchair theorizing' to explain how one can test the veracity of novel ideas
    • Enables readers to understand a wide range of new material whilst appreciating how the field came about
    • Includes practical summaries of the issues from experimental pragmatics since its founding, including implicature, reference and irony
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This richly illuminating guide by one of the pioneers of experimental pragmatics offers a unique insider's view of the origins, current state and future prospects of the field. Brilliantly enjoyable, accessible and fair-minded.' Deirdre Wilson, University College London

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107084902
    • length: 274 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 22 b/w illus. 6 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Defining pragmatics: the what, the how and areas of disagreement
    2. Grice's monumental proposal and reactions to it
    3. The experimentalist's mindset
    4. A consideration of experimental techniques
    5. Early experimental pragmatics
    6. How logical terms can be enriched: exposing semantic-pragmatic divergences
    7. Grammatical or semantic approaches to scalar implicatures
    8. Conditionals
    9. Referring
    10. Speaking falsely and getting away with it: post-Gricean accounts of metaphor and other lexical adjustments
    11. Irony: shifting attention and reading intentions
    12. Pragmatic abilities among those with autism
    13. More topics for experimental pragmatics: an all you can eat buffet
    14. Opinionated conclusions and considerations for the future.

  • Author

    Ira Noveck, Institut des Sciences Cognitives – Marc Jeannerod
    Ira Noveck is a Research Director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique's Institut des Sciences Cognitives in Lyon. He is co-editor of the first volume on Experimental Pragmatics (2004), is responsible for creating a European research network of experimental pragmatists (called Euro-xprag), and consults with regional networks, such as and

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