Indeterminacy and negotiation

Mara Sofia T. ZanottoHeronides M. Melo Moura
Table of contents

Linguistic meaning has been considered as determined not only by common sense but also by the mainstream paradigm in language studies which rests on an often implicit postulate of determinacy, according to which a unique meaning should correspond to a given linguistic form. This paradigm has been challenged both by those who refuse to consider linguistic meaning as an objective representation of the world (e.g. Putnam 1981; Johnson 1987), and by those who analyse human communication as involving an interactional effort to produce meaning (e.g. Mey 1987; Sarangi & Slembrouck 1992; Thomas 1995; Verschueren 1999).

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