Essay

The following passage contains examples of all of the semantic and pragmatic phenomena discussed in the module:
There was a knock on the door. Jim stared at the mirror, examining the bags round his eyes. Three towns to go, he

thought. Just three. His gaze still fixed on the mirror, he cupped his hands under the running water and splashed his

face. The veins on his temples continued to throb. Another knock on the door. “Jim? Is everything alright? We need to

make tracks if we are going to catch the churchgoers coming out of the Sunday service.” It was Martin, Jim’s special

adviser, or ‘spad’ as he liked to call him. Jim didn’t like ‘special adviser.’ It sounded pathetic. He didn’t need an

adviser, he needed an assistant. Martin was nice, but useless. He should have left him at the offices in Edinburgh and

brought Angela. Angela might have been better with the elderly. She always manages to get a laugh out of them. “Just a

second Martin.” He grabbed the irn bru crates begrudgingly, banging them off the radiator. The bang left a mark. If they

notice it I’ll bill the party, he thought. “The papers are saying you want the leadership,” Martin said, panting

slightly. “Johann has rubbishedit,andEdhasclaimednothingischangingtoo. Angelahasbeengettingseveralcalls every hour. Most

are coming from the Murdoch press.” “Is The Daily Mail running with it?” asked Jim. He had to be on top of the Mail. He

had their chief political reporter in his pocket, but no journalist can be trusted. Martin shook his head. “Right, tell

Angela to keep on top of that.” They approached the supermarket where they were to set up shop today. It was quiet, even

for 10am on a Sunday. This is pointless, he thought. I should have gone home for the weekend. No one would have noticed.

No one is keeping count of how many towns I visit. The action is all in the cities, in Glasgow and Edinburgh and Dundee.

“Jim! Jim! Jim!” He looked round, but couldn’t see who was shouting. Then he emerged from behind a white van. “Jim! Jim

Murphy! Fancy meeting you here in Angus.” Jim dropped the plastic crates, then shook himself. It was Eric Joyce, the MP

for Falkirk. Once a good guy to have around, now one more fight away from prison. He couldn’t be seen with him, the press

would have a field day. “Why are you carrying Irn Bru crates?” Joyce stared at Jim’s face. Jim couldn’t believe it. Is

Joyce that disconnected, or has this tour been a complete waste of time? Then he noticed Joyce’s appearance. He was

wearing a shellsuit and Doc Marten boots. The shellsuit was a kind he hadn’t seen since the 80s, and the boots were

scuffed and dirty. He needed a shave too. Clearly Joyce was not keeping up with the news.

Using examples from the text above, write an essay on semantics, pragmatics and the role of context in determining

linguistic meaning. Specifically, identify examples of four specific linguistic phenomena – (i) at least one sentence

containing a quantificational determiner, (ii)at least one sentence containing a modalised expression, (iii) at least one

sentence which gives rise to a presupposition, and (iv) at least one sentence which give rise to an implicature – and on

the basis of these examples, write an essay which describes how linguistic information (the denotations of linguistic

expressions) and non-linguistic information (context) combine to create meaning in linguistic communication. In this

essay you should demonstrate your understanding of the key issues in semantics and pragmatics as outlined in the module,

and you should show a clear understanding of what each of the phenomena listed above are, what properties they share in

common or distinguish them (where appropriate), and how they interact with each other. The essay should be 3000-4000

words long

. Identify a quantificational determiner in the text and give its set-theoretic denotation. Indicate whether it is

proportional or cardinal and describe any contextual restrictions that apply to the restriction of the determiner.

. Identify at least one sentence in the text which gives rise to a presupposition, and identify that presupposition

clearly in a predicate logic formula (with an appropriate key). Provide evidence for analysing this as a presupposition,

rather than an entailment.
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