A Glossary of Semantics and Pragmatics

A Glossary of Semantics and Pragmatics

A Glossary of Semantics and Pragmatics

A Glossary of Semantics and Pragmatics


This alphabetic guide introduces terms referring to key concepts in semantics and pragmatics. The study of meaning as it is conveyed through language - the domain of semantics and pragmatics - is one of the central concerns of linguistics, and its importance cannot be exaggerated. Written by an author well-known in the field of semantics, the glossary provides clear and accessible explanations of terms drawn from a wide range of theoretical approaches. Key features
• A handy and easily understandable reference book for students beginning the study of semantics or pragmatics
• Supplies numerous cross-references to related terms
• Contains an introduction which provides an overview of the field
• Covers traditional terminology as well as terms relating to more recent approaches, such as Cognitive Semantics
• Includes an annotated bibliography with suggestions for further reading.


This Glossary was written with beginning students of linguistics in mind, typically first-year undergraduates, with little or no prior knowledge of any of the topics. However, it should also be useful for more advanced students who are beginners as far as semantics and pragmatics are concerned, especially in the early stages of a course.

What is it for?

The aim of the Glossary is to provide, in a convenient format, concise explanations of concepts likely to be encountered by beginning students in semantics and pragmatics. Entries typically give more information than is usually found in an encyclopaedia entry, but of course there is less than would be expected in a chapter or chapter section of a textbook. Some terms can be given a concise definition, but with broader topics, such as a particular theory, this is not possible, and the aim has been to indicate what sort of thing the theory is about, rather than to give an exposition that can stand on its own. The handy size of the Glossary means that it can be easily carried around and frequently referred to.

What does it cover?

The areas of language study covered in this book are those which conventionally fall under the headings of semantics . . .

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