Gutzmann, Daniel & Jan Köpping & Cécile Meier (eds.): Approaches to Meaning. Composition, Values, and Interpretation. Current Research in the Semantics Pragmatics-Interface (CRiSPI) 32. Leiden: Brill.


The basic claims of traditional truth-conditional semantics are that the semantic interpretation of a sentence is connected to the truth of that sentence in a situation, and that the meaning of the sentence is derived compositionally from the semantic values meaning of its constituents and the rules that combine them. Both claims have been subject to an intense debate in linguistics and philosophy of language. The original research papers collected in this volume test the boundaries of this classic view from a linguistic and a philosophical point of view by investigating the foundational notions of composition, values and interpretation and their relation to the interfaces to other disciplines. They take the classical theories one step further and closer to a realistic semantic theory that covers speaker’s intentions, the knowledge of discourse participants, meaning of fiction and literature, as well as vague and paradoxical utterances.

Ede Zimmermann is a pioneering researcher in semantics whose students, friends, and colleagues have collected in this volume an impressive set of studies at the interfaces of semantics. How do meanings interact with the context and with intentions and beliefs of the people conversing? How do meanings interact with other meanings in an extended discourse? How can there be paradoxical meanings? Researchers interested in semantics, pragmatics, philosophy of language, anyone interested in foundational and empirical issues of meaning, will find inspiration and instruction in this wonderful volume.
Kai von Fintel, MIT Department of Linguistics