This volume presents the author's view of the scope of linguistic description, insofar as the field of linguistics touches on questions of the meanings of sentences. Fillmore takes the subject matter of linguistics, in its grammatical, semantic and pragmatic sub-divisions, to include the full catalogue of knowledge which the speakers of a language can be said to possess about the structure of the sentences in their language, and their knowledge about the appropriate use of these sentences. In the author's view, the special explanatory task of linguistics is to discover the principles which underlie such knowledge. Fillmore chooses to study the range of information which the speakers of a language possess about the sentences in their language by thoroughly examining one simple English sentence.
1. 'May we come in?'; 2. Space; 3. Time; 4. Deixis I; 5. Coming and going; 6. Deixis II.
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