Speaker meaning and accountability in interaction

Haugh, Michael (2013) Speaker meaning and accountability in interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 48 1: 41-56. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2012.11.009

Author Haugh, Michael
Title Speaker meaning and accountability in interaction
Journal name Journal of Pragmatics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-2166
Publication date 2013-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.pragma.2012.11.009
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 48
Issue 1
Start page 41
End page 56
Total pages 16
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Abstract Speaker meaning is generally defined in pragmatics in terms of the speaker's intentions. The received view is that a speaker means something by intending that the hearer recognise what is meant as intended by the speaker, thereby grounding speaker meaning in a presumed cognitive reality. In this paper it is proposed that speaker meaning can also be conceptualised from a social, deontological perspective where the speaker is held accountable to the moral order for what he or she is taken to mean in interaction. Speaker meaning in this sense encompasses moral or ethical concerns such as rights, obligations, responsibilities, permissibility, and thus is a real-world, consequential concept for participants in interaction. One result of this real-world consequentiality is that the degree of accountability for speaker meanings can be observed to be disputed by participants in both institutional and everyday talk. A second consequence is that the degree of accountability for speaker meanings can be modulated through various meaning-actions that either increase or decrease a speaker's level of accountability for particular meanings. The practice of not-saying is argued to be one relatively neglected meaning-action through which speakers may decrease their level of accountability in interaction. It is concluded that work remains to investigate whether a deontic conceptualisation of speaker meaning can be reconciled with the received view.
Keyword Meaning
Moral order
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Languages and Cultures Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 23 May 2016, 15:24:33 EST by Ms Katrina Hume on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures