Volume 19, Issue 3, 2019
Making Meaning Manifest
In recent work Sperber and Wilson expand on ideas initially presented in Relevance (1986) and flesh out continuua between showing and meaning, and determinate and indeterminate content. Drawing on Sperber and Wilson’s work, and at points defending it from what I see as potential objections, I present a Schema of Communicative Acts (SCA) that includes an additional third continuum between linguistic and non-linguistic content. The SCA clears the way for consideration of what exactly is meant by showing, the motivations of speakers, how affect impacts expression, and metaphor. The SCA allows us to consider not only how but why we engage in certain forms of communicative behavior, and captures the incredible nuance of human interactions: said and meant, linguistic and non-linguistic, determinate and indeterminate.