In spite of their differences, Two-level Conceptual Semantics, Generative Lexicon Theory and Relevance Theory also have similarities with respect to treatment of the relation of word meanings and contexts. Therefore, the three theories can be considered as complementing each other in analysing word meanings in utterances. In the present paper I will outline a conception of lexical pragmatics which critically amalgamates the views of these theories and has more explanatory power than each theory does separately. Such a lexical pragmatic conception accepts lexical-semantic representations which can be radically underspecified and allow for other methods of meaning description than componential analysis. As words have underspecified meaning representations, they reach their full meanings in corresponding contexts (immediate or extended) through considerable pragmatic inference. The Cognitive Principle of Relevance regulates the way in which the utterance meaning is construed.
Authors:Károly Bibok, Julia Coryell, and Saihua Xia
Book reviews of the following works: Istvan Kecskes: Situation-bound utterances in L1 and L2 (Studies on language acquisition, vol. 19). Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin & New York, 2003; Enikő Németh T. and Károly Bibok (eds): Pragmatics and the flexibility of word meaning} (Current research in the semantics\per pragmatics interface, vol. 8). Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2001.