Human communication is basically the exchange of information. How can this be realized? Each communicant proceeds from a subjective perception of an objective reality; however in order to exchange information relating to this reality communicants are obliged to coordinate their perceptions. Each of us entertains personal experiences based on individual impressions and associations. But communication presupposes the presence of a common experience and the possibility of the coordination of subjective perceptions. It is presumed that communicants share common experiences: this seems to be the natural premise of communication.
How is this possible? How can I be certain, for example, that my interlocutor understands the words in the same way I do? How can we correlate our understanding? It seems obvious that the necessary condition of communication is an agreement between the communicants. But how can this agreement be reached? Where is the initial point of the coordination of individual experience of different persons?
The present book deals with this and related questions. Special attention is given to the role of deixis in the process of communication and to the mechanisms of linguistic comprehension.