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Cover Art
Author Clark, Herbert H.

Title Arenas of language use / Herbert H. Clark.

Published [Chicago, Ill.] : University of Chicago Press ; [Stanford, Calif.] : Center for the Study of Language and Information, 1993.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  302.346 AREN    AVAILABLE
Physical description xviii, 419 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 381-401) and index.
Contents Part I Common Ground and Language Use 1 -- 1 Definite Reference and Mutual Knowledge 9 -- 2 Context for Comprehension 60 -- 3 Common Ground and the Understanding of Demonstrative Reference 78 -- Part II Discourse as a Collaborative Process 101 -- 4 Referring as a Collaborative Process 107 -- 5 Contributing to Discourse 144 -- 6 Understanding by Addressees and Overhearers 176 -- Part III Audience Design in Language Use 199 -- 7 Hearers and Speech Acts 205 -- 8 Dealing with Overhearers 248 -- 9 Concealing One's Meaning from Overhearers 275 -- Part IV Coordination of Meaning 299 -- 10 Making Sense of Nonce Sense 305 -- 11 Understanding Old Words with New Meanings 341 -- 12 Words, the World, and Their Possibilities 366.
Summary When we think of the ways we use language, we think of face-to-face conversations, telephone conversations, reading and writing, and even talking to oneself. These are arenas of language use -- theaters of action in which people do things with language. But what exactly are they doing with language? What are their goals and intentions? By what processes do they achieve these goals? In these twelve essays, Herbert H. Clark and his colleagues discuss the collective nature of language -- the ways in which people coordinate the ground with each other for determining the meaning of what they say.
According to Clark, in order for one person to understand another, there must be a "common ground" of knowledge between them. He shows how people infer this "common ground" from their past conversations, their immediate surroundings, and their shared cultural background. Clark also discusses the means by which speakers design their utterances for particular audiences and coordinate their use of language with other participants in a language arena. He argues that language use in conversation is a collaborative process, where speaker and listener work together to establish that the listener understands the speaker's meaning. Since people often use words to mean something quite different from the dictionary definitions of those words, Clark offers a realistic perspective on how speakers and listeners coordinate on the meanings of words.
This collection presents outstanding examples of Clark's pioneering work on the pragmatics of language use and it will interest psychologists, linguists, computer scientists, and philosophers.
Other author Center for the Study of Language and Information (U.S.)
Subject Conversation.
Oral communication.
ISBN 0226107817 (cloth)
0226107825 (paperback)