Relevance: Communication and Cognition

Front Cover
Wiley, 1995 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 326 pages
6 Reviews
Relevance, first published in 1986, was named as one of the most important and influential books of the decade in the Times Higher Educational Supplement. This revised edition includes a new Preface outlining developments in Relevance Theory since 1986, discussing the more serious criticisms of the theory, and envisaging possible revisions or extensions.

The book sets out to lay the foundation for a unified theory of cognitive science. The authors argue than human cognition has a goal: we pay attention only to information which seems to us relevant. To communicate is to claim someone's attention, and hence to imply that the information communicated is relevant. Thus, a single property - relevance is seen as the key to human communication and cognition.

A second important feature of the book is its approach to the study of reasoning. It elucidates the role of background or contextual information in spontaneous inference, and shows that non-demonstrative inference processes can be fruitfully analysed as a form of suitably constrained guesswork. It directly challenges recent claims that human central thought processes are likely to remain a mystery for some time to come.

Thirdly, the authors offer new insight into language and literature, radically revising current view on the nature and goals of verbal comprehension, and in particular on metaphor, irony, style, speech acts, presupposition and implicature.

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Review: Relevance

User Review  - Joecolelife - Goodreads

The study of pragmatics has tended to be the poor cousin of linguistics, largely because it has had such weak theoretical underpinnings. Either it has been studied by those who deny that there's ... Read full review

Review: Relevance

User Review  - Daniela - Goodreads

although hard to follow in places, the book is illuminating as to relevance-focused aspects of cgnition - a simple truth couched in an emblellished argumentative scaffolding! Read full review

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References from web pages

JSTOR: Relevance: Communication and Cognition
Relevance: Communication and Cognition. DAN SPERBER and DEIRDRE WILSON. Cam- bridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986. viii + 279 pp., figures, notes, ... sici?sici=0094-0496(198711)14%3A4%3C806%3ARCAC%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Z

SPERBER,WILSON -- Relevance: Communication and Cognition -- 1986
Sperber, D. and Wilson, D., 1986, Relevance: Communication and cognition, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 2003, -, The Evolution of Communication Systems by ... ~amag/ langev/ cited2/ sperberwillevancecommunicdcognition.html

Precis of Relevance
Summarizes the present authors' book, Relevance: Communication and Cognition, which outlines an approach to the study of human communication based on a ... Abstracts/ Sperber_Wilson_87.html

Multiple Review
Relevance: Communication and Cognition. By DAN SPERBER and DEIRDRE WILSON. 3. RALPH cs WALKER. This is an interesting and worthwhile book, though ... doi/ abs/ 10.1111/ j.1468-0017.1989.tb00248.x

Pragmatics and Critical Thinking George Yoos Sperber and Wilson's ...
Sperber and Wilson's work Relevance: Communication and Cognition ..... Excerpted from Dan Sperber and Deidre Wilson, Relevance: Communication and Cognition. ... inquiry/ summ95/ yoos.html

Language in Action
Ken introduces Dan Sperber, a social and cognitive scientists who published a landmark work in pragmatics, "Relevance: Communication and Cognition. ... pastShows/ LanguageInAction.html

anthrosource | American Ethnologist - 14(4):806 - Citation
Relevance: Communication and Cognition . Dan Sperber , Deirdre Wilson . Review by Edmund R. Leach · rightslink Logo Reprints & Permissions, |, Full-Text on ... doi/ abs/ 10.1525/ ae.1987.14.4.02a00400

A theoretical account of translation - without a translation ...
Sperber, Dan and Deirdre Wilson (1987), 'Précis of Relevance: Communication and Cognition'. Behavioural And Brain Sciences vol. 10, pp. 697-754. ... 2597/

Dan Sperber - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
... Rethinking Symbolism (Cambridge UP 1975); On Anthropological Knowledge (Cambridge UP 1985); Relevance. Communication and Cognition (with Deirdre Wilson, ... wiki/ Dan_Sperber

PII: S0378-2166(97)88003-4
Relevance: Communication and cognition. Oxford: Blackwell). Journal of Linguistics 25: 455-472. Mey, Jacob, 1993. Pragmatics. An introduction. ... retrieve/ pii/ S0378216697880034

About the author (1995)

Dan Sperber of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, and the Université de Paris X, is author of Rethinking Symbolism and On Anthropological Knowledge.

Dierdre Wilson is Reader in Linguistics at University College London, and the author of Presuppositions and Non-Truth-Conditional Semantics and Modern Linguistics: The Results of Chomsky's Revolution.

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