Conversational Implicatures In Pragmatics

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In pragmatics, an implicature is a message conveyed by an utterance despite not having been stated explicitly or literally. Implicatures can be divided into two main groups: conventional implicatures and conversational implicatures. Conventional implicatures are characterized by having an overt and concrete lexical item responsible for the implicature. In (1) this lexical item is even, removing it from the sentence also removes the implicature, making these implicatures detachable. (1) Even Chris knows it’s unethical → Chris is the least likely person in a contextually determined population to know it’s unethical. The other group contains conversational implicatures based on conversational principles and is itself divisible into…show more content…
Conversational implicatures are not detachable like conventional implicatures are, but unlike conventinoal implicatures they are cancellable. The implicatures as stated in (2) and (3) are cancelled in (4) and (5) respectively: (4) The atmosphere was great, and so was the food. (5) The dog is in its basket or in the garden, or actually, I see it lying in its basket. A property of both conversational and conventional implicatures is the fact that they’re non-truthconditional. Although, an implicature is inferred from an sentence, it is not a condition for the truth of that sentence. One analysis of the pragmatics underlying implicatures is Grice’s well-known Cooperative Principle. In short, a speaker will always try to make their message as informative as possible and a listener will always assume that a speaker does so. This principle is strongly associated with Grice’s four maxims: i. The maxim of quality: One tries to be truthful and does not give false information ii. The maxim of quantity: One tries to be as informative as possible and give the exact amount of information needed, and no more. iii. The maxim of relation: One tries to be relevant and says things that are pertinent to the…show more content…
The first one, availability, refers to the assumption the listener makes about the speaker’s knowledge of other members of the scale. After all, listener would not infer a scalar implicature for the word warm if they assume the speaker is unaware of stronger words like hot. Experiments looking at this factor did not yield significant results. The other factor, distinctness, refers to the perceived semantic difference between the members of the scale. The boundedness of implicational scales was also considered; scales can either be bounded or unbounded, with bounded scales having a clearly defined maximum (e.g. (-- removed HTML --) , (-- removed HTML --) ) and unbounded scales potentially having infinitely many more informative terms (e.g. (-- removed HTML --) ). Van Tiel et al. (2014) found that bounded scaler were more likely to give rise to a scalar implicature. Rather frustratingly, their findings rather frustratingly only account for a small part of the observed

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