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  •  A linguistics approach (1+ / 0-)
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    isabelle hayes

    "That's an idiotic argument" is not the same thing as "You're an idiot!!"

    You are obviously right as a matter of surface grammar. But do they transform into an identity at some deeper level of language processing?

    Overliteralness of interpretation is clearly not the correct approach. "You're an idiot!!" means something other than the literal interpretation.

    I'd stress context as vital to linguistic interpretation. Parsing meanings without knowing context lacks strength.

    In context of an idiotic argument, and given that "You're an idiot!!" must mean something other than what it says, I'd suggest that "That's an idiotic argument" and "You're an idiot!!" might mean very nearly the same thing.

    (If you are objecting to what I say, please reconsider my points claiming that literalness of interpretation does not work, that meaning is deep in the mind and not in the surface grammar.)

    Claiming to be a hillbilly of late.

    by Garrett on Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 01:14:30 AM PDT

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