Tim Wharton

Tim Wharton
University of Brighton · School of Humanities

PhD

About

30
Publications
55,326
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888
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2012 - present
University of Brighton
Position
  • Research Leader Linguistics
September 1999 - August 2007
University College London
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (30)
Article
Full-text available
This editorial provides an overview of some of the new horizons that are visible from the pragmatic framework of relevance theory. While its roots lie firmly in linguistic pragmatics, the influence of relevance theory has spread – indeed, continues to spread – to a range of disciplines, some of which might be said to lie beyond its original domain....
Article
Full-text available
Deirdre Wilson (2018) provides a reflective overview of a volume devoted to the historic application of relevance-theoretic ideas to literary studies. She maintains a view argued elsewhere that the putative non-propositional nature of (among other things) literary effects are an illusion, a view which dates to Sperber and Wilson ( 1986/1995 : 224):...
Article
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Research over the past decades has demonstrated the explanatory power of emotions, feelings, motivations, moods, and other affective processes when trying to understand and predict how we think and behave. In this consensus article, we ask: has the increasingly recognized impact of affective phenomena ushered in a new era, the era of affectivism?
Article
The potential for pragmatic insights to be enriched, and even generated, from investigation of people with communication disabilities has been vastly underutilised in theoretical pragmatics. An adequate pragmatic theory must account for the full range of human communication, including that of people with communication disabilities. A similar argume...
Article
Full-text available
A central diagnostic and anecdotal feature of autism is difficulty with social communication. We take the position that communication is a two-way, intersubjective phenomenon—as described by the double empathy problem—and offer up relevance theory (a cognitive account of utterance interpretation) as a means of explaining such communication difficul...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we argue that the successful integration of expressive acts of communication into an inferential theory of pragmatics faces a major challenge. Most post-Gricean pragmatic theories have worked to develop accounts of the interpretive processes at work in the communication of propositions; the challenge, therefore, is how expressive act...
Chapter
Full-text available
Relevance, Pragmatics and Interpretation - edited by Kate Scott July 2019
Article
Full-text available
Since the communication of information about emotional states clearly plays a central role in human interaction, it might be presumed that pragmatic accounts of linguistic communication would include well developed views on how these states are communicated. However, for a range of reasons, aspects of linguistic communication which feel as if they...
Chapter
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Article
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The “frame” problem in logic presents the following challenge: produce a logical formula that describes the effects of a particular action without having to write corresponding formulae for the trivially obvious noneffects of that action. The problem has epistemological consequences. When processing a new fact, how do we sift through the vast amoun...
Presentation
A nod does not always ‘mean’ yes, a shake of the head sometimes does not mean ‘no’, and eyebrow movements can mean a whole range of things. But when these gestures are linked with prosodic pointing, we usually get what it ‘shows’. How do we do this? And how can we account for the communication of such multimodal phenomena? Pragmatists have largely...
Chapter
Full-text available
The ‘frame’ problem in logic presents the following challenge: produce a logical formula that describes the effects of a particular action without having to write corresponding formulae for the trivially obvious non-effects of that action. The problem has epistemological consequences. When processing a new fact, how do we sift through the vast amou...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
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In this paper, I revisit my own work (2003a,b, 2009) on interjections and non-verbal behaviours and build on Blakemore's (2011) account of the descriptive ineffability of expressive meaning. Whilst I agree with Blakemore's claim that expressives are best explained through an analysis that uses, on the one hand, procedural meaning, and, on the other...
Article
Full-text available
This paper considers the extent to which lexical acquisition is an exercise of an associationist ability, a general mind-reading ability or a specifically pragmatic ability. Particular attention is paid to the role played in word-learning by natural communicative phenomena—gaze direction, facial expression, tone of voice etc.—and to the question of...
Chapter
Full-text available
Early work on the philosophy of language was unconcerned with language as a tool for communication: the pioneers of ‘ideal’ language philosophy were interested in how insights from logical languages might be applied to the study of ‘language’ in a very general sense. This chapter traces the development of a less formalized approach to meaning and c...
Chapter
Full-text available
Prosodic elements such as stress and intonation are generally seen as providing both ‘natural’ and properly linguistic input to utterance comprehension. They typically create impressions, convey information about emotions or attitudes or alter the salience of linguistically possible interpretations, rather than conveying distinct propositions or co...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores recipes and food writing from the perspective of linguistics—or, more specifically, pragmatics. It looks briefly at the discourse of recipes, at how they work and what kinds of linguistic structures are typically involved. The main theme of the paper, however, is that the best food writing is as much about the images and feeling...
Book
The way we say the words we say helps us convey our intended meanings. Indeed, the tone of voice we use, the facial expressions and bodily gestures we adopt while we are talking, often add entirely new layers of meaning to those words. How the natural non-verbal properties of utterances interact with linguistic ones is a question that is often larg...
Article
Full-text available
A much discussed feature of Grice's (1957) account of intentional communication is the line he drew between showing and meaningNN, where meaningNN typically involves a linguistic convention or code. This distinction has had substantial effects on the development of pragmatics: pragmatists have focused on the notion of meaningNN and abstracted away...
Article
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This article accounts for the biological evolution of the cognitive capacity that underlies the human ability to recognize and interpret communicative intentions. It looks at how communication among humans works and articulates what precisely the pragmatic capacity is: this articulation involves an exploration of the kind of behavior it has involve...
Article
Full-text available
Prosodic elements such as stress and intonation are generally seen as providing both ‘natural’ and properly linguistic input to utterance comprehension. They contribute not only to overt communication but to more covert or accidental forms of information transmission. They typically create impressions, convey information about emotions or attitudes...
Article
Grice (1957) drew a distinction between natural(N) and non–natural(NN) meaning, and showed how the latter might be characterised in terms of intentions and the recognition of intentions. Focussing on the role of natural signs and natural behaviours in communication, this paper makes two main points. First, verbal communication often involves a mixt...
Article
Full-text available
Historically, interjections have been treated in two different ways: as part of language, or as non-words signifying feelings or states of mind. In this paper, I assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of two contemporary approaches that reflect the historical dichotomy, and suggest a new analysis which preserves the insights of both. Interjec...
Article
Full-text available
The notions of 'saying' and 'what is said' are fundamental to Paul Grice's work. This paper argues, however, that the versions of these notions most often attributed to Grice may not be the ones he intended. To support this claim, I examine the original typescripts of Grice's William James Lectures, and discuss comparisons made by fellow Gricean re...

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
Cross-disciplinary research has radically reshaped the Arts & Humanities (A&H) by drawing extensively on insights from the Empirical and Cognitive Sciences (e.g. cognitive and affective science, neuroscience, psychology, evolutionary biology) but the A&H have had little impact on scientific theory development. Even in the ground-breaking area of scholarly investigation referred to as the ‘cognitive turn’, which looks into the interface of the A&H and the sciences of mind, attempts to explore what humanistic disciplines could offer the Sciences have been infrequent and dispersed, and cognitively aware A&H scholars have been with the weight falling mainly interested oin how pertinent scientific enquiry can be of use to the A&H. Outstandingly transformative for the A&H, the Composite Organism reverses this picture. The project focusses on how the characteristic mind-set of Arts & Humanities thinkers and the distinct phenomena they grapple with (e.g., literature and art) might re-interpret, remix, disrupt and radically reinstate findings and questions in empirical domains, making decisive contributions to scientific enquiry. In collaboration with major A&H scholars and leading scientists, our vision is we aim to build momentum for a programme of transformational cross-disciplinary research initiatives and an intellectually robust A&H in the 21st century that will frame the A&H and the Empirical and Cognitive Sciences not only draw on but also seek to affect theory formation in the Empirical and Cognitive Sciences as mutually beneficial and mutually informative modes of exploration..
Project
The focus of the project is the development of a pedagogy based on exposure to ‘prosodic pointing’, i.e. a multimodal phenomenon encompassing contrastive stress and synchronised paralinguistic behaviour (e.g. co-pointing gestures, bodily actions, facial expressions, head movements). The main goal of the project is to create a digital platform aimed at raising awareness of the gestural aspect of L2 prosody and thereby enhancing the development of pragmatic competence in L2 oral interpreters. The project, and its dedicated platform, is also aimed at assisting the teaching and learning of L2 prosody.