Logical Semiotic

  • R. Stalnaker
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 149)


Semiotic was Charles Morris’s term, borrowed from Charles Peirce, for the general theory of signs of communication.1 Morris divided semiotic into three divisions — syntax, semantics, and pragmatics — and this trichotomy has become a standard way of subdividing the study of language and speech. The idea of the division was something like this: syntax concerns relations among linguistic expressions; semantics concerns relations between linguistic expressions and the objects to which they refer; pragmatics concerns relations among expressions, the objects to which they refer, and the users of the expressions. This characterization is vaque and not accurate without qualification. Different theorists have interpreted it in different ways, and some have denied that it reflects any useful division. At best, it is a rough guide for the development of particular syntactic, semantic and pragmatic theories.


Context Dependence Pragmatic Theory Negative Existentials Classical Valuation Pragmatic Presupposition 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Stalnaker
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityUSA

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