An Introduction to English Semantics and Pragmatics

Patrick Griffiths, Christopher Cummins

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract / Description of output

A clear and accessible introduction to the linguistic study of meaning

Providing a clear and accessible introduction to the linguistic study of meaning, the second edition of this bestselling textbook outlines the meaning potential (semantics) of English and how language knowledge is put to use (pragmatics). As well as gaining a systematic overview of meaning in English, readers can learn how to argue for analyses. Among the significant concepts introduced are denotation, sense relations, event types, explicature, implicature, presupposition, metaphor, reference, speech acts and (at an elementary level) Generalised Quantifier Theory. Sense relations - such as antonymy and hyponymy - are presented as summarising patterns of entailment. The sense of a word is seen as the contributions it makes to the entailments carried by sentences.
The chapters cover adjective, noun and verb meanings, situation types, figurative language, tense, aspect, modality, quantification, topic and focus. Explanations of entailment, compositionality and scope provide a foundation for subsequent study of formal semantics.

The new edition of this successful textbook is compact and self-contained, offering:

Accessible style and clear structure
A theoretically informed approach
Expanded exercises at the end of each chapter
Expanded coverage of English pragmatics both at the sentence and discourse level
A new chapter on sense relations

The first edition of An Introduction to English Semantics and Pragmatics was written by Patrick Griffiths. The second edition has been revised by Christopher Cummins.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages192
ISBN (Electronic)9781474412827, 9781474412841
ISBN (Print)9781474412810, 9781474412834
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Publication series

NameEdinburgh Textbooks on the English Language


Dive into the research topics of 'An Introduction to English Semantics and Pragmatics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this