Textual meaning and its place in a theory of language

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Following the development of a framework for critical stylistics (Jeffries 2010) and the explication of some of the theoretical assumptions behind this framework (Jeffries 2014a, 2014b, 2015a, 2015b), the present article attempts to put this framework into a larger theoretical context as a way to approach textual meaning. Using examples from the popular U.S. television show, The Big Bang Theory, I examine the evidence that there is a kind of textual meaning which can be distinguished from the core propositional meaning on the one hand and from contextual, interpersonal meaning on the other. The specific aim, to demonstrate a layer of meaning belonging to text specifically, is set within an argument which claims that progress in linguistics can better be served by adherence to a rigorous scientific discipline.

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