In this paper, we explore the interaction between lexical semantics and pragmatics. We argue that linguistic processing is informationally encapsulated and utilizes relatively simple ‘taxonomic’ lexical semantic knowledge. On this basis, defeasible lexical generalisations deliver defeasible parts of logical form. In contrast, pragmatic inference is open-ended and involves arbitrary real-world knowledge. Two axioms specify when pragmatic defaults override lexical ones. We demonstrate that modelling this interaction allows us to achieve a more refined interpretation of words in a discourse context than either the lexicon or pragmatics could do on their own.
|Number of pages||26|
|Journal||Journal of Linguistics|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|