The Idea of a Text and the Nature of Textual Meaning

Anders Pettersson | Umeå University Sweden
ISBN 9789027201348 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
ISBN 9789027266019 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
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In his account of text and textual meaning, Pettersson demonstrates that a text as commonly conceived is not only a verbal structure but also a physical entity, two kinds of phenomena which do not in fact add up to a unitary object. He describes this current notion of text as convenient enough for many practical purposes, but inadequate in discussions of a theoretically more demanding nature. Having clearly demonstrated its intellectual drawbacks, he develops an alternative, boldly revisionary way of thinking about text and textual meaning. His careful argument is in challenging dialogue with assumptions about language-in-use to be found in a wide range of present-day literary theory, linguistics, philosophical aesthetics, and philosophy of language.
[FILLM Studies in Languages and Literatures, 7] 2017.  xiii, 196 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“I usually dread dry semantic theory. But I deeply admired and enjoyed this book. Pettersson is a very learned, lucid and careful thinker, often drily amusing. More important, Pettersson actually brings important news, powerfully stated, especially for those of us who have struggled to establish some model of intention in literary texts. Pettersson’s cluster theory of the text establishes the necessity of elaborating three dimensions for the text—a description of the physical properties of the texts as utterance, a consideration of how it bears sender’s meaning to communicate, and, best of all, the work of the receiver to provide a wider perspective on the sender’s meaning. I still quarrel with treating literature as communication rather than expression, but I am utterly persuaded that we need his three aspects of text in order to have both intention and this wider perspective situating the intention in various larger contexts. This is significant thinking.”
“In this lucid and provocative study, Pettersson challenges our most basic assumptions about the nature of texts and textual meaning. Its point of departure is a critical analysis of the popular conception of the text: the view that a text is a unitary entity made up of both physical objects and abstract verbal structures. Pettersson convincingly argues for the incoherence of this model as a foundation for intellectual discussion, showing how it permeates disciplines as diverse as linguistics, philosophy, literary theory, and aesthetics. This book is a rigorously argued plea for conceptual clarity in our engagement with the meanings of texts of all kinds.”
“In The Idea of a Text and the Nature of Textual Meaning, Anders Pettersson offers a new conception of texts and textual meaning. In contrast with many other views about linguistic communication, for Pettersson, texts are clusters of objects and meanings cease to be independent of the interpretations of senders and receivers. This is a terrific new work that anyone interested in language, meaning, or interpretation should read.”
Cited by

Cited by 5 other publications

Haapaniemi, Riku
2023. How production and distribution processes shape translations in organisations. Translation Spaces 12:1  pp. 74 ff. DOI logo
Haapaniemi, Riku
2024. Translation as meaning-construction under co-textual and contextual constraints: A model for a material approach to translation. Translation Studies 17:1  pp. 20 ff. DOI logo
Pettersson, Anders
2022. On literary meaning. Neohelicon 49:1  pp. 167 ff. DOI logo
Tevdoradze, Nino
2021. The Complexity of the Concept of Literary Autonomy. Theoria 87:6  pp. 1380 ff. DOI logo
Valuyskaya, Olga, S. Cindori, O. Larouk, E.Yu. Malushko, L.N. Rebrina & N.L. Shamne
2018. Textual Deepness and Its Representation. SHS Web of Conferences 50  pp. 01193 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 12 april 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009030: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Pragmatics
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2016057189 | Marc record