Descriptive meaning

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The descriptive meaning of an expression is that aspect of meaning which only concerns the relationship between a given sign and its denotation. It contrasts with non-descriptive meaning, which concerns attitudes held by speakers towards a given denotation (e.g. emotive meaning, social meaning).

Alternative terms: ideational, referential, logical, propositional meaning


  • Cruse, A. 2004. Meaning in Language. An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.