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The meaning of theories and theories of meaning

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{The editor thinks this is not a conclusion or even a summary but rather a repetition, and suggests that it be deleted.

In the last three sections of this article, I have tried to present an alternative to the view that arises from Jackson's criticisms on the model of equivalence that was exposed in the first part. I will now summarize this alternative view by putting forward a number of claims (as I promised at the beginning of the article). The claims are the following:

  • —Concepts, models and theories of equivalence and meaning are tools that allow us to describe

    — and to make sense of

    — part of the world that surrounds us.

    —The material that is being studied can (and should) influence the choice of an adequate theoretical model of equivalence.

    —Models of meaning and equivalence should be adapted to the material and not the other way round.

    —If a simple model can serve our purpose, the use of a more refined model should be avoided.

    —It is more useful to judge models and theories of equivalence and of meaning in terms of being “more or less useful for a specific case” than following the lines “true or not true”.

    —It is not useful to strive for an all-encompassing mega-theory of meaning or equivalence that covers all linguistic data.

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Volman, Y. The meaning of theories and theories of meaning. Int J Semiot Law 8, 87–102 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01677091

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  • Theoretical Model
  • Simple Model
  • Alternative View
  • Refined Model
  • Apply Linguistics