Approaches to meaning — Daniel

Truth conditional Semantics

Truth-conditional semantics is based on the notion that the core meaning of any sentence (any statement) is its truth conditions. Any speaker of the language knows these conditions. If a sentence is true (or false), what other sentences, expressing partly the same,
partly different conditions, can be judged by this sentence? If a given sentence is true, does this make another sentence also true, or does it falsify the other sentence, or is there no truth relation? Matters of truth and logic are of more importance in truth-conditional semantics than meanings of lexemes per se.
We are not yet finished with the dimensions of meaning. Often we derive more meaning from what we hear or read than what is actually in the message. Perhaps this is due to an intuition we have or to the fact that the speaker or writer infers something—hints at some further meaning. In semantics we are not interested in intuitions or hints but we are interested in the instances when the language of the message implicates some additional meaning that accounts for our inference.

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