chapter  3
16 Pages

Saying Things

This chapter explores the nature of the content of a linguistic expression, thing. It is concerned with linguistic expressions serving as the vehicles of speech acts. The chapter distinguishes three components in the content of a sentence: specification of the conceptual event, contextualization and modality. The specification of the conceptual event consists of the specification of an abstract event or situation. The contextualization consists of indications as to how this conceptual event is connected to some thing or things within the ken of the intended audience how it fits into some ongoing discourse. The modality component consists of a specification on the authority of the sayer of the condition of instantiation of the conceptual event in the envisaged context. The saying is the issuance of the linguistic expression under the authorization of a sayer who assumes responsibility for its content. Each language has a system of syntactic rules which provide for the combination of lexical items to produce sentences.