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
. 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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