'Sogenannt' ('so-called’) and the lexicon-pragmatics interface
Holden Härtl
June 2016

Quotation is a device that is used to refer to the particular linguistic shape of an expression. An instance are name-mentioning constructions involving 'sogenannt' in German as in 'sogenannte Sepsis' ('so-called sepsis'). The present paper examines the varying interpretations a 'sogenannt'-construction can adopt. In contrast to 'Sepsis', a noun like 'Hotel', for example, as in 'sogenanntes Hotel' ('so-called hotel') gives rise to a 'distanced' interpretation of the construction rather than one informing about a concept's name. A unitary semantic analysis will be proposed for 'sogenannt', where the individual readings emerge from an interplay between lexical factors like the head nominal's establishedness, on the one hand, and pragmatic implicatures rooted in relevance- as well as manner-based principles, on the other. From a compositional perspective, the 'so' in 'sogenannt' will be reasoned to be identical in function to quotation marks as a means to refer to a linguistic shape through demonstration. The different interpretations of the construction will be coupled with the type of binding of the agent-argument variable as well as the event variable of the verbal root 'nenn-' ('call') of 'sogenannt'.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003017
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Ms. Universität Kassel. Revised version published in Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 37-2, 139–169 [https://kurzlink.de/aVS7LTWrR]
keywords: name, quotation, lexicon, pragmatics, establishedness, frequency, semantics, morphology
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