Pragmatics and Ontology

Authored by: Laurent Prévot

The Routledge Handbook of Pragmatics

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415531412
eBook ISBN: 9781315668925
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315668925-36

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Abstract

Ontology, the study of ‘what exists’, and pragmatics, the study of ‘language use’, have little in common. When applied to natural language, ontology mainly belongs to the realm of semantics, traditionally understood as the relation between language and the world. Language use and contextual dependence seem far away from the taxonomic organisations usually associated with conceptual structures of ontological knowledge representation. However, there are at least two domains in which the two disciplines interact fruitfully: ontological analysis of linguistic communication (involving ontologies of pragmatics) and pragmatic ontologies.

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