A Contextual Problem of Ad Hoc Concepts in Utterance Interpretation: A Relevance Theoretic Account

Abstract

AbstractAd hoc concepts comprise a set of linguistic words thought to be apart (in meaning) from the propositional content of the utterances where they occur. Their real meaning in a sentence cannot be understood unless they are studied in a theory. Actually, they have been deeply studied in Relevance Theory; therefore, a somewhat detailed account of this theory will be presented first, and then everything about ‘ad hoc concepts’ will be facilitated. It is hypothesized that the contextual information are the only keys that guide a hearer to give the real interpretation of a given ad hoc concept even if he/she arrives at a pragmatic level of comprehension. The main aim of this study is to show the treatment of those concepts in Relevance Theory, and to prove that they are difficult to be interpreted without any contextual information about the utterances which contain them.