Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Tautologies at the interfaces: Wer kann, der kann


Sonnenhauser, Barbara (2017). Tautologies at the interfaces: Wer kann, der kann. Journal of Pragmatics, (117):16-28.

Abstract

Tautologies are among the prime examples to demonstrate the contribution of pragmatic principles to the interpretation of utterances that would be uninformative from a strictly logical and truth-conditional perspective. While traditionally the focus has been on nominal tautologies (a is a), the present paper is concerned with the hitherto lesser-studied subtype of headless relatives (what p, p). On the example of German wer kann, der kann (lit.: ‘he who can, can’) it will be illustrated how semantics (polysemy of können ‘can’), syntax (correlative free relative clause) and pragmatics (Q- and R-principles) interact to yield the specific communicative effects associated with this tautology. Exhibiting one-to-one correspondences (in lexical, structural and functional terms) in some languages, such as Slovene, but not in others, such as Russian and English, wer kann, der kann at the same time serves as a test case for the ‘radically pragmatic’ and ‘radically semantic’ approaches to tautologies.

Abstract

Tautologies are among the prime examples to demonstrate the contribution of pragmatic principles to the interpretation of utterances that would be uninformative from a strictly logical and truth-conditional perspective. While traditionally the focus has been on nominal tautologies (a is a), the present paper is concerned with the hitherto lesser-studied subtype of headless relatives (what p, p). On the example of German wer kann, der kann (lit.: ‘he who can, can’) it will be illustrated how semantics (polysemy of können ‘can’), syntax (correlative free relative clause) and pragmatics (Q- and R-principles) interact to yield the specific communicative effects associated with this tautology. Exhibiting one-to-one correspondences (in lexical, structural and functional terms) in some languages, such as Slovene, but not in others, such as Russian and English, wer kann, der kann at the same time serves as a test case for the ‘radically pragmatic’ and ‘radically semantic’ approaches to tautologies.

Statistics

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 20 Jun 2017
1 download since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Slavonic Studies
06 Faculty of Arts > Center for Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
410 Linguistics
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:20 Jun 2017 15:37
Last Modified:20 Jun 2017 15:38
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0378-2166
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2017.05.010

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 513kB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations