MEANING AND INTERPRETATION

MEANING AND INTERPRETATION Semiotica 16:2, pp. 115-128. ©Mouton Publishers, 1976. JACK BILMES MEANING AND INTERPRETATION* In writing this article, I have three objectives. The first (and the foremost) is to propose a model of interpretation. Second, I want to demonstrate that the model of interpretation places limitations on what can be accepted as an adequate notion of 'meaning'. Finally, I will suggest a broad basis for the construction of an adequate conception of meaning. We can place definitions of meaning into two broad categories. One type of definition locates the meaning of an utterance in some state of affairs external to the utterance. An example is Bloomfield's (1933) definition of "the meaning of a linguistic form as the situation in which the speaker utters it and the response which it calls forth in the hearer" (139). The second type of definition finds meaning in the word itself. That is, given a word, with no (or minimal) specification of situation or response, the meaning of the word can be stated. Componential analysis is one approach which seeks to elaborate this 'internal' meaning. Finally, there are heterogeneous definitions, which combine elements of both of the above types. I believe that the issues involved http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Semiotica - Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique de Gruyter

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Walter de Gruyter
ISSN
0037-1998
eISSN
1613-3692
DOI
10.1515/semi.1976.16.2.115
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Semiotica 16:2, pp. 115-128. ©Mouton Publishers, 1976. JACK BILMES MEANING AND INTERPRETATION* In writing this article, I have three objectives. The first (and the foremost) is to propose a model of interpretation. Second, I want to demonstrate that the model of interpretation places limitations on what can be accepted as an adequate notion of 'meaning'. Finally, I will suggest a broad basis for the construction of an adequate conception of meaning. We can place definitions of meaning into two broad categories. One type of definition locates the meaning of an utterance in some state of affairs external to the utterance. An example is Bloomfield's (1933) definition of "the meaning of a linguistic form as the situation in which the speaker utters it and the response which it calls forth in the hearer" (139). The second type of definition finds meaning in the word itself. That is, given a word, with no (or minimal) specification of situation or response, the meaning of the word can be stated. Componential analysis is one approach which seeks to elaborate this 'internal' meaning. Finally, there are heterogeneous definitions, which combine elements of both of the above types. I believe that the issues involved

Journal

Semiotica - Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotiquede Gruyter

Published: Jan 1, 1976

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