To the Question of Denotative and Connotative Meanings.
The concepts of denotation and connotation refer practically to the same distinction as that between conceptual or descriptive and evaluative or emotive meaning. The connotation is, then, what is implied apart from what is explicitly named or described. It is the subsidiary meaning of a word of which the conceptual or descriptive meaning is of primary significance. It may also be the case, that only the emotive or evaluative meaning of a word or phrase is important, and that it has no, or only a vague, conceptual meaning. In that case the term connotation does not properly express the essentially evaluative nature of the word or phrase concerned. The distinction between conceptual and evaluative meaning is also present where it is said that linguistic symbols are not only related to concepts in a narrow sense but also to so-called 'stereotypes'. These 'stereotypes' then underly the emotive meanings of terms.
The majority of scholars believed that the relations between the denotative and the connotative meanings were of an exclusive character, and it was T.G. Vinokur who launched an idea that these connections are intermediate by their nature. The general conclusion is that there are no hard and fast lines between the denotative and the connotative meanings. They are indeed interchangeable sometimes.
2. Pragmaticsas a Branch of Science is concerned with bridging the explanatory gap between sentence meaning and speaker's meaning. The study of how context influences the interpretation is then crucial. In this setting, context refers to any factor — linguistic, objective, or subjective — that affects the actual interpretation of signs and expressions.
Pragmatics is interested predominantly in utterances, usually in the context of conversations.
A distinction is made in pragmatics between sentence meaning and speaker meaning. Sentence meaning is the literal meaning of the sentence, while the speaker meaning is the piece of information (or proposition) that the speaker is trying to convey.
The ability to understand another speaker's intended meaning is called pragmatic competence.
Pragmatics reacted to the structuralist linguistics outlined by Ferdinand de Saussure. In many cases, it expanded upon his idea that language has a structure to be analyzed, made up of parts that can be defined in relation to others. It engages in synchronic study, as opposed to examining the historical development of language.
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