Chi-He Elder

Chi-He Elder
University of East Anglia | UEA · Language and Communication Studies

PhD in Linguistics

About

20
Publications
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79
Citations
Citations since 2016
19 Research Items
78 Citations
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Introduction
Chi-Hé Elder is currently a Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of East Anglia, UK. Her research interests lie in the field of pragmatics, with a particular interest in how patterns of interaction can be captured in a formal semantic/pragmatic theory of meaning. She received her PhD from the University of Cambridge on the semantics and pragmatics of conditionals in ordinary discourse. She has recently published a monograph on that topic, 'Context, Cognition and Conditionals', with Palgrave Macmillan.

Publications

Publications (20)
Article
In this paper, we present the benefits of regarding conditionality as a pragmatic phenomenon as compared with approaches based on the syntactic category of a conditional sentence. We propose a pragmatic category of conditionality and justify it using theoretical arguments supported with examples from our database collected from the International Co...
Article
Full-text available
Dominant accounts of “speaker meaning” in post-Gricean contextualist pragmatics tend to focus on single utterances, making the theoretical assumption that the object of pragmatic analysis is restricted to cases where speakers and hearers agree on utterance meanings, leaving instances of misunderstandings out of their scope. However, we know that di...
Book
This book proposes a semantic theory of conditionals that can account for (i) the variability in usages that conditional sentences can be put; and (ii) both conditional sentences of the form ‘if p, q’ and those conditional thoughts that are expressed without using ‘if’. It presents theoretical arguments as well as empirical evidence from English an...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter contributes to the study of stance in political discourse by demonstrating how implicatures-as implicit aspects of meaning inferable from a given utterance-can be publicly targeted as the object of a stance act to promote one's own political stance. Focusing on the institutional context of political debate, it identifies different ways...
Article
Full-text available
This paper aims to bridge the relationship between metalinguistic ‘if you like’ as a non-propositional discourse marker and its conditional counterparts. This paper claims that metalinguistic ‘if you like’ is polysemous between a hedge that denotes the speaker’s reduced commitment to some aspect of the main clause, and an optional yet potential con...
Article
Full-text available
We introduce a framework for studying repair initiation in the face of miscommunication. Our aim is to seed development of models that both predict when conversational repair is a likely communicative strategy and explain why interlocutors would not engage in repair in the face of conversational difficulty. We identify three factors as critical to...
Article
Full-text available
This paper contributes a pragmatic perspective to the complex question of how to classify microaggressions that are committed via linguistic means. Given that microaggressions are often communicated implicitly, two key questions arise: (i) on what linguistic grounds is a recipient licensed to infer that a microaggression has been committed, and (ii...
Chapter
Full-text available
Building on Grice's seminal work on 'speaker meaning', this chapter explores three different approaches to meaning in communication in light of how they view the relationship between 'speaker meanings' and 'speaker commitments': (i) inferential accounts of intentional meaning (stemming from Relevance Theory), (ii) normative commitment-based approac...
Book
My latest book: Positioning and Stance in Political Discourse: The Individual, the Party, and the Party Line (Vernon Press, 2020) Available at 24% discount (using code CFC17270844B on checkout): https://vernonpress.com/book/948 or on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Positioning-Stance-Political-Discourse-Individual/dp/1622738853/
Chapter
This chapter proposes a pragmatic definition for the class of conditional thoughts that includes conditional sentences expressing conditional or non-conditional thoughts, and non-conditional sentences expressing conditional thoughts. Two criteria are offered for inclusion in the pragmatic category using the notions of restriction and remoteness. Cr...
Chapter
This chapter discusses ‘biscuit conditionals’: a species of conditional in which the consequent is conditionally independent from the antecedent. It identifies a number of criteria by which biscuit conditionals are typically distinguished, before examining various types of biscuit conditionals, including conditional speech acts, metalinguistic cond...
Chapter
The conclusion brings together the key findings identified in the analysis of if-conditionals, restating the complexities of meanings that can emerge from the single sentence form ‘if p, q’. It summarises the main arguments that these key findings lead to, including the role of the conditional sentence in relation to the broader conceptual category...
Chapter
This chapter argues that in order to develop a semantics that encompasses conditionals both with and without ‘if’, an explanatorily adequate semantic theory of conditionals in discourse has to kick the object of semantic study beyond that of the sentence to the level of speech acts. It provides a brief history of the debate regarding the degree to...
Chapter
This chapter aims to identify some linguistic and contextual constraints on the kinds of speech acts that conditional sentences can be used to communicate. It proposes a six-way classification of conditional if-sentences as they are used in discourse. The classification maintains the familiar ‘hypothetical’ versus ‘biscuit’ conditional division, bu...
Chapter
This chapter aims to provide greater systematicity to the relationship between the two dimensions of the classification offered in Chapter 5 using the theoretical tools of Default Semantics. It starts by specifying the main sources of information that take us from an if-conditional to its primary meaning in discourse. It then moves to familiar deba...
Chapter
Two key questions that have plagued philosophical and linguistic debates on the meanings of conditionals are: (i) do conditionals have truth conditions? And if so, (ii) what are these truth conditions? This chapter begins by revisiting familiar arguments against the material conditional as a psychologically plausible basis for the semantics of cond...
Chapter
Full-text available
In post-Gricean pragmatics, communication is said to be successful when a hearer recovers a speaker’s intended message. On this assumption, proposals for ‘what is said’ - the semantic, propositional meaning of a speaker’s utterance - are typically centred around the content the speaker aimed to communicate. However, these proposals tend not to acco...
Article
Full-text available
This paper is concerned with conditional thoughts that are expressed via ‘incomplete conditionals’ in which an if-clause is uttered with no corresponding main clause, and yet still succeeds at communicating a fully-fledged conditional proposition. Incomplete conditionals pose a puzzle for the semantics and pragmatics of conditionals as in one respe...

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