The phrasal implicature theory of metaphors and slurs
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This thesis develops a pragmatic theory of metaphors and slurs. In the pragmatic literature, theorists mostly hold the view that the framework developed by Grice is only applicable to the sentence-level pragmatic phenomena, whereas the subsentential pragmatic phenomena require a different approach. In this thesis, I argue against this view and claim that the Gricean framework, after some plausible revisions, can explain subsentential pragmatic phenomena, such as metaphors and slurs. In the first chapter, I introduce three basic theses I will defend and give an outline of the argument I will develop. The second chapter discusses three claims on metaphor that are widely discussed in the literature. There I state my aim to present a theory of metaphor which can accommodate these three claims. Chapter 3 introduces the notion of "phrasal implicature", which will be used to explain phrase-level pragmatic phenomena with a Gricean approach. In Chapter 4, I present my theory of metaphor, which I call "phrasal implicature theory of metaphor" and discuss certain aspects of the theory. The notion of phrasal implicature enables a new conception of what-is-said and a different approach to the semantics-pragmatics distinction. Chapter 5 looks into these issues. In Chapter 6, I compare my theory of metaphor with three other theories. Finally, in Chapter 7, I develop a phrasal implicature theory of slurs, which I argue outperforms its rivals in explaining various uses of slurs.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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