Implicature: Intention, Convention, and Principle in the Failure of Gricean Theory

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back2test.barrica94.cl/tafi-1998-seadoo-gtx.php Defining what Grice means by what is said is important in seeing his distinction between what is said and what is meant or implied, which is one of the main distinguishing features of semantics and pragmatics for Grice and conversational implicatures vs. Neale formulates this in his paper as, V By uttering X, U said6 that p iff 1 by uttering X, part of what U meant was that p 2 X consists of a sequence of elements such as words ordered in a way licensed by a system of rules syntactical rules , and 6 This can be interpreted in some cases as conventionally meant.

Like Neale, some claim that what is said lies in the overlap between utterance meaning and sentence meaning pg. Thus, separating conventional implicature from conversational implicature via the what is said and what is meant distinction by looking at the use of such words and how they relate to the meaning of the sentence. Sometimes it is stated as what is said and what is uttered. Lastly, by saying Grice meant not the mere locutionary act of uttering certain words, he concentrated on the illocutionary act of saying that something is the case Davis pg.

To fill this gap between what is strictly said and what is broadly meant, a Gricean model is built through implicatures and their derivations. The question of how these implicatures are attained, derived, and determined depends on what type of theoretical framework one is using. Grice have a powerful influence on the way people: in this case philosophers, linguists, and cognitive scientists, think about how meaning and communication works Neale pg. Pg This leads Grice to try to provide several more things to account for this distinction. Exactly what counts as an implicature? Alternatively, how do we distinguish between what a person has said and what a person means?

How are these implicatures being formed, derived, implied, or determined? What criteria should take priority when formulating implicatures? Grice and relevance theorist will answer these questions in slightly different ways, and it is from their answers that we can start to see their different approaches to the topic. In answering question one, Grice might give the list of necessary conditions for something being an implicature as Neale does pg. In answer to the second question, Grice would say that we use the conversation maxims and Cooperative Principle to determine what someone may be implying by a given speech act.

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Additionally, the person performing the speech act is assumed to be following the conversational maxims; such as the Maxim of Quantity be informative as required or the Cooperative Principle contribute what is required by the accepted purpose of the conversation , because if she is not, it would be difficult to use the same maxims to determine what she means by a given utterance.

For Grice, the third question can be 17 difficult to answer due to his thoughts that the flaunting of certain maxims is how we get things like irony, but he would say one must follow the Cooperative Principle at minimum, as he stated above. It should be noted that many of the neo-Griceans reformulate or substitute different conversational maxims in an attempt to fix various problems.

Additionally, the theoretical importance of the study of implicatures lies in the fact that to understand a speaker fully one must know what they implicate. To understand fully, one cannot simply know the truth conditions, or in some instances the meaning, of the statement uttered, or as Grice would say what is said Davis pg. To understand a speaker, one must be able to work out what implicatures and extrasentential, or semantic, meanings are contained in the utterance.

The meaning of the words and sentence do not contain an affirmative or negative response; the response is only found in the extrasentential implications. Further, Grice claims that it is a matter of common knowledge that people, for the most part, follow the rules and maxims set out for efficient communication. These rules and maxims can be stated as: 19 Cooperative Principle: Contribute what is required by the accepted purpose of the conversation. Maxim of Quality: Make your contribution to the conversation true; thus, do not impart what you believe to be false or unjustified.

Maxim of Quantity: Be as informative as required9. Maxim of Relation: Be relevant. Maxim of Manner: Be perspicuous; avoid obscurity and ambiguity, and strive for brevity and order. Be clear and concise. In other words, Grice thinks that his principle and maxims not only apply to language but also to human actions as a whole. For example, if I am helping someone build a wall, I will give him nails and a hammer rather than a book on physics relevance , just give him two nails quantity or a toy hammer quality , and I will not take overlong to help him with what he need manner.

Grice claims the principles and maxims are not arbitrary and that they work in all cases of human purposive action. They are not like linguistic conventions for the use of commas, which are arbitrary in the sense that they could work differently by historical accident.

A simple way to view the different kinds of implicatures are conventional vs. At the most basic level, what Grice means by implicature is what a speaker implies, indicates, suggests, or communicates in their utterance beyond what is said. Conversational implicatures are those guided and affected by conversational principles and maxims, among other things. These are related to his maxims and Cooperative Principle in various ways e. In the next sections, we will look at these principles individually and how they relate to one another.

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Further, speaker implicatures can be distinguished by their reliance on conversational context as we have seen in cases pg. The reason one needs both a Calculability and Generative Assumption is that the evidence or way one detects an implicature need not give us any explanation of why that thing is present. Conversely, the reason for why a thing exists do not need to give one any way to recognize when that thing is present.

Thus, the Calculability and Generative Assumptions can be seen as independent and self-sufficient conditions for Gricean theories. For more information see terms and definitions appendix.

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Both word and speaker meaning differ from the natural sense in which smoke means fire. What the evidence we have reviewed shows is that quantity implicatures are not generated in 40 accordance with that assumption. Retrieved September 23, from Encyclopedia. Grice 33 By saying so little, A implicated that Mr. Plane is commonly used by English speakers to mean airplane and wood plane , but not hydrofoil. Indeed, the same reasoning favors postulation of conversational implicatures over conventional implicatures or semantic presuppositions. Conversational rules instead codify social goals motivating intentions and sustaining conventions [].

From this, Grice offers a theoretical conceptualization of conversational implicatures that is defined in terms of the Cooperative Principle Davis pg. However, according to Grice the Theoretical Definition does not capture all the thoughts essential to conversational implicatures. It excludes that conversational implicatures must be identifiable using the conversational principles and maxims. This identifiable nature of conversational implicatures is captured by the Calculability Assumption, Calculability Assumption: Conversational implicates must be capable of being worked out Alternately, if no hearer can come to the implicature given the correct background knowledge15, the principles, and maxims, then it should not be counted as a conversational implicature.

The hearer should be able, given these things, to provide an argument for the implied meaning they feel the speaker has implicated. They have worked out a rational route from the context, the utterance, the meaning of the words etc… to the implied meaning of the utterance.

This leads to the question, how do we work out implicatures? To work out that a particular conversational implicature is present, the hearer will rely on the following data: 1 the conventional meaning of the words used, together with the identity of any references that may be involved; 2 the Cooperative Principle and its maxims; 3 the context, linguistic or otherwise, of the utterance; 4 other items of back ground knowledge; and 5 the fact or supposed fact that all relevant items falling under the previous headings are available to both participants and both participants know or assume this to be the case.

A general pattern for the working-out of a conversational implicature might be given as follows: he has said that q; there is no reason to suppose that he is not observing the maxims, or at least the Cooperative Principle; he could not be doing this unless he thought that p; he knows and knows that I know that he knows that I can see that supposition that he thinks p is required; he has done nothing to stop me thinking p; he intends me to think, or at least willing to allow me to think, that p; and so he has implicated that p Grice pg.

In other words, for one to work out an implicature one has to infer in a special way from the Cooperative Principle along with certain facts such as the sentence uttered and the context in which it is uttered. Davis has condensed this into his interpretation of the working out schema for speaker implicature: P1 S uttered a sentence with a particular meaning, in a given context, etc. Davis lays out the inferences that one might have to take in working out an implicature from an utterance in a given context.

Thus, for Grice, for something to be counted as a conversational implicature one must be able to provide an argument justifying the naming it as an implied meaning in the uttering of a sentence. These failures of differentiation are attributed to the rules of inference used to work out the observed implicatures. These can normally be used to discern nonexistent implicatures as easily as existent ones. For example, take the case of the method of agreement. In other words, if there is an implicature, then it is a result of the Gricean maxims and principles.

Therefore, to falsify this conditional one needs a case in which an implicature is present and the Gricean maxims and principles do not indicate it. Davis, too, shows that Gricean theory fails in that it does not derive implicatures one would say are present from conversational principles. One manifestation of this problem is Quantity Implicatures18 and Gricean principles indicating which larger scalar value is to be negated by the utterance of the lower scalar value. The problem rests with discriminating between all of the scalar values that are higher than what was uttered.

Take 4 above as an example given a proliferation of scalar values see below , we could 18 See terms and definitions appendix for further information about Quantity Implicatures. Hence, the case can be made that quantity implicatures are not a result of the general psychological principles that Grice presents Davis pg.

One can see the Gricean claim that Quantity Implicates result from the Maxim of Quantity as some post hoc reasoning. Let us look at a contrast noted by Grice pg. This contrast can be illustrated by some classic examples: 6 22 a. Davis pg. However, Davis claims, it would be post hoc reasoning to assume 6 a holds because of the Maxim of Quantity. One can see that statements that differ in no relevant way can be seen as implying other quantity implicatures different from one another, see 6 a and 6 b.

There is not part of the Maxim of Quantity that will help one distinguish between the correct stronger scalar value and an incorrect stronger scalar value. Think of the list above involving swimmers and running. Davis claims we cannot and holds this as an example of the problem of differentiation. Keenan provides some cross-cultural evidence that our intuitions about what is an implicature of an utterance may be more a result of our cultural heritage and linguistic cultural conventions then Gricean maxims.

Such a format is simply a conventionalized mode of personal reference pg. How can we attribute the difference to the maxims, as Horn wants, when we have no context to use? According to Davis, we cannot. He states that it would be post hoc reasoning to do so, further illustrating his point.

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The problem for Griceans is there is nothing stated 32 in the Maxims or the Cooperative Principle to account for stress and how it should have a role in generating implicatures Davis pg. Davis also notes other examples, such as the letter of recommendation case parsing by faint damns vs. Calculability Assumption: Every conversational implicature must be capable of being worked out.

Implicature

The first way to think of the problem is that the differentiation problem focuses on the puzzle of false positives for Grice whereas the determinacy problem focuses on false negatives Davis pg. From this failure, as said above, calculability also fails. The background constraints that Grice gives must make this important element of the working-out schema true.

Davis presents several examples where the conventional meaning of words is ignored and the utterance can still satisfy Quality and Relation. In that case, consistency with the Maxim of Quality would require Bob to believe he has a can of gasoline in his trunk, and consistency with the Maxim of Relation would require him to believe Ann can use that gasoline Davis pg. What is important as an operative background constraint is not conventional word meaning but what the speaker meant by the sentence she uttered.

In other words, the Determinacy Requirement is fulfilled by word meaning only as that word meaning serves to show what the speaker 26 The case Davis is using comes from pg. Davis presents several responses to this objection from the Gricean camp. All involve reformulations of the theoretical definition stated above. Once again even in the case most studied by Griceans, quantity implicatures, the theory fails, in this case, the Determinacy Requirement and with it the Calculability Assumptions. The focus is on determinacy. The problem with the Determinacy Requirement, Calculability, and the Theoretical Definition is that they are to weak to weed out the implicatures one does not want so one is left with too many.

This result is unintuitive and runs against basic linguistic intuitions. In other words, determinacy and the Calculability Assumption fails since there is no fact given by the Gricean theory, besides appealing to the implicature itself, which one cannot access, that will rule out that the general is following the Maxim of Quantity by giving information on a need to know basis.

One cannot appeal to the implicature because then one would be in danger of circular reasoning. Lastly, once again Davis uses the Malagasy case presented by Keenan to great effect in illustrating the failure of determinacy Davis p. Gricean theory would say the Malagasy speaker is purporting implicatures that they did not intend, and in this presumption conditions are also satisfied, the Generative Assumption implies that no matter what Peter is saying, he is implicating that he is not talking to little green men on Alpha Centauri, and definition IV [a reformulation of the Theoretical Definition trying to fix problems already encountered, found on Davis p.

Namely, if we are talking about the baseball game last night one would not think that one has to implicate I am not talking to little green men on Alpha Centauri. Davis also talks about how stress in utterances will show a failure in determinacy, and hence the Calculability Assumption The first he presents is the differentiation problem in which Gricean theory will give false positives for implicatures that are not present in a given utterance. Davis uses quantity implicatures as his main case in demonstrating this problem, but he finds this problem in any type of implicature that Griceans discuss.

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Implicature: Intention, Convention, and Principle in the Failure of. Gricean Theory, by Wayne A. Davis. Cambridge: Cambridge University. Press, Pp. viii +. Implicature: Intention, Convention, and Principle in the Failure of Gricean Theory, by Wayne. A. Davis. Cambridge, UK, and New York, NY: Cambridge University.

Once again, Davis uses the quantity implicatures as his main case example, but again this problem is found in any type of implicature the Griceans try to explain. Further, Davis presents other objections to Gricean theory e. Alternately, these problems or ones similar to them will be present in any theories, so an account of these problems will become necessary. One goal, at minimum, of any philosophical theory is to present clear problem cases within the topic area of the theory.

Here I am presenting problems that any theory of natural language and communication will have to account for. Thus, any theory of language will have to account for the puzzles encountered in language. Thus, any theory of language will have to deal with this puzzle of misunderstanding. A component of the evidence for the thought that misunderstanding is an inherent part of linguistic communication is all of the literature published about how others misunderstand an individual or an idea the article describes.

For example, many philosophical articles have misunderstanding in the title. All the seemingly incommensurable interpretations about what Kant, Wittgenstein, Descartes, or many other philosophers are thought to be saying are perfect examples. For example, Kant had certain intentions when writing the Critique, and in all the various interpretations by scholars of what Kant intended to say in his writing, there are tensions and incompatibilities between them. If Kant did not intend those tensions and incompatibilities to be part of his theory, then it seems likely that these scholars are misinterpreting or misunderstanding what Kant is trying to say.

In his writing, Kant had certain extra-sentential meanings in mind, and he intended for the reader to come to understand that he believes p. However, given all the different interpretations over the last years of Kant scholarship, some of the beliefs attributed to Kant are misunderstandings of his writing or miscommunications of some sort between writer and reader.

Further, one may examine the literature of conflict theory,32 which takes as a base assumption that misunderstanding is a part of human communication. Moreover, linguistic and linguistic anthropological literature discusses misunderstanding in speech, ethnography, and communication in general. In the following sections, I will demonstrate that the putting words in your mouth varieties of misunderstanding aligns with the false positives of the differentiation problem, and the missing the point variety is comparable with the false negatives of the determinacy problem.

Some cases of cultural misunderstandings could be akin to either the determinacy or differentiation problems. Davis uses cultural cases as examples to present the problems to the Griceans in his book. Lastly, The present study is not intended as either a refutation of Grice or Davis, nor is it intended to serve as a defense of Grice against specific criticisms from Davis. Moreover, I claim that this ideal type of case can never be realized in any sort of practical way, because in natural language misunderstanding, which we will see represents such false positive and false negative cases, is inherent to communication.

Such an ideal case is hard to imagine, so this inherent ambiguity has an important consequence for theories of implicatures: any complete theory of communication or implicatures will have to account for these problem 42 cases. Many philosophers of language might take it as understood that no theory of implicatures will be entirely complete in the sense that I have just described, and perhaps will be content to focus only on describing successful communication.

With this in mind, they might say it will be enough simply to provide a framework within which the criteria for successful implicatures can be at least described, if not fully explained. This attitude poses no great threat to the overall project I have set out, in which I argue that any theory of implicature will have to account for these problems if they are to provide a truly useful theory, one that goes beyond mere description and provides an explanation for the phenomena involved in misunderstandings.

Philosophy of language in general, and theories of implicature in particular, ought to aim not merely to describe mere success but also to explain these phenomena, otherwise the alleged theory of implicatures is nothing more than a just-so story. The term misunderstanding can mean vastly different things, even within the more limited scope of communicative misunderstanding. In the next sections, I will distinguish four different types of misunderstanding relating to language and expand upon each of these narrower meanings of the term.

Because of this, any given theory should have some account of his objections. The different categories are as follows: 1 a semantic misunderstanding or an inability to ascribe accurately the correct meanings to the term s used in an utterance, 2 a false generation of additional implicatures for a given utterance, in other words, erroneously crediting to a speaker an extra-sentential meaning that she did not intend, 3 an inability to ascertain an implicature that is present in a given utterance or missing the point of an utterance so that the hearer cannot discern what it suggests, and 4 those misunderstandings of speech associated with difference in cultural norms of language use, etiquette etc… , e.

Grice, along with many others, view implicatures as being a result of what a speaker intends to mean by a given utterance. Additionally, the opacity of other minds necessitates this external communication: since we cannot directly access 33 Many of these four types of misunderstanding easily carry over to the case of written language. However, these tools do not guarantee perfect accuracy in discerning what a given utterance means.

Thus, this wall of opacity keeps language users from attaining a complete understanding about what the intended meaning of a given utterance, as there is no way to access the mental states directly. Hence, I contend misunderstandings are inherent to language for three reasons: 1 the opacity of other minds, 2 in much of linguistic communication, one intends to show a certain mental state that one may have via language, and 3 that 1 and 2 together will lead language users to make mistakes about what a given speaker intends in any given utterance.

In other words, the conjunction of 1 and 2 leads to misunderstandings because if a listener does not have access to exactly what someone intends by the terms used in an utterance and the intentions and thoughts they are trying to convey a. Further it is the case that 1 and 2 , thus there will always be room for misunderstanding as long as other minds are opaque and language is needed to convey intentions and other mental states, which are referentially opaque.

It is the opaque nature of the intentions etc. Examples of these sorts of mistakes are: attributing additional implicative meanings to an utterer, not discerning an implicature in an utterance, and having a lack of knowledge or understanding about the 45 specific cultural norms being assumed by the utterer. However, this can be mitigated by past communication with the individual, experience as a language user, and knowledge of the conventions that you assume the person is following. Further, one might object that there could be a language composed of precise and stipulative necessary and sufficient conditions for the terms used in a language.

Firstly, it is not clear that such a natural human language, where every term has a precise definition and explicit necessary and sufficient conditions, could occur. Second, implicatures are not necessarily just a result of the words used in the utterance or semantic content of words used, but a result of the intent of the speaker in their utterance, and there exists a sort of referential opacity in which we do not have access to other minds because of their opaque nature. That is why they are characterized as extending beyond what is said in a given utterance, and if this is the case how would one give necessary and sufficient conditions for extra-sentential meanings that are referentially opaque?

Additionally, pragmatics is a study of how language is and how it works. Therefore, the possible world scenario in which the case of a well formed language with stipulated definitions, and with necessary and sufficient conditions, does not have much sway over pragmatics, as pragmatics is the study of how language is and how language works, and 1 and 2 are how language is, so if that changes then so will pragmatics.

In other words, when a person is the addressee of an utterance and misidentifies what a 46 given word means, he will, in most cases, not be able to understand properly what the addresser meant by that utterance.

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Bill: I most certainly will. Ted: Excellent! The misunderstanding occurs when Bill is not able to ascribe the right meaning to the word that Ted intended when he uttered the statement. I contend that this example illustrates a common type of misunderstanding in the use of language in that the execution of language is fraught with cases of semantic misunderstanding, which is not always clarified at the time the misunderstanding occurs.

This semantic variety of misunderstanding does not represent any of the pragmatic problems Davis presents. However, ignoring this category of misunderstanding and not discussing it would be remiss because it represents many cases of misunderstanding and provides a representative sample of the types of communication-based misunderstandings. Also, it represent s a problem case any theory of language will have to account for.

In other words, a listener is able to work out the various meanings of the utterance but also surmises additional meaning s implicature s to that utterance that were not intended by the utterer. Jess: But you also said she has a good personality. But just because I happen to mention that she has a good personality, she could be either. She could be attractive with a good personality or not attractive with a good personality. Jess: So, which one is she?

Harry: Attractive. Even after an attempt to make clear his intentions, Jess still does not see it and attributes the implicature to Harry. Another analogous example can be taken from The Shop Around the Corner Ernst Lubitsch screenplay : 49 Kralik: She is the most wonderful girl in the world. Pirovitch: Is she pretty? This form of misunderstanding is prevalent in language use, and is often seen in comedic tropes of pop culture and media.

Conversational Implicature - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics

This misunderstanding is also seen in the texts and interpretations of Kant. Alternatively, perhaps Kant wrote in such a way to mis-communicate what he intended to convey in his texts. Alternatively, look at the scholarship and interpretation of Wittgenstein and the debates about what he did or did not say. Thus, I argue that this type of misunderstanding is a result of language and human communication because of the opacity of other minds and the nature of what language is trying to communicate. Further, the differentiation problem discussed above is very similar to the false positive found in this type of misunderstanding.

It runs against 36 as exhibited on page 33 of Davis However, even if we created an ideal theory to model the way language works, these types of misunderstandings seem to be inherent to language and its use, and we would therefore expect any theory to have occurrences of the differentiation type problem or what I am calling putting words in your mouth type of misunderstanding. In other words, I claim that if these types of misunderstandings are inherent to language use, then any theory that tries to explain natural language will have to account for these problems or similar ones, I have shown above that these types of misunderstanding do occur in natural language use and are inherent, and thus, one should expect any theory tying to explain language37 and its uses to have these problems present or give an account of them.

This shows that this type of over-generation of implicatures will not only be a problem for Gricean theory, because it is part of communication and language itself and therefore should be present in any theory that takes account of language and its operation. Those theories should try to take misunderstanding into account as to how it will affect and be present in its concepts and structure. In other words, a person S utters a statement p with an intended implicative meaning i, and a listener L, who S thinks should be able to discern i, cannot come to see that p suggests i.

Namely, one cannot calculate what implicature is present; as Davis says, it will give the listener a false negative, indicating there are no other implicatures. An example of this is: John and Liz are at a party. Further, suppose they came together and that they have been friends for many years, which means they know each other well. However, this only prompts Liz to talk about how her boss would not give her the morning off work.

Thus, Liz did not ascertain what John meant and thus missed the main point in him making the utterance. Another example is 39 So as to remember here is a formulation of both conditions for Grice or see sections 2. Calculability Assumption: every conversational implicature must be capable of being worked out. If the questioner does not figure out that the speaker was indicating that it is none of their business, the questioner might come wrongly to think that the person is going to talk to someone about a dog.

Thus, as I stated above in 2. It should be plain that this type of misunderstanding is inherent to language, and thus, one should expect any theory trying to explain language and its uses to have these problems present or give an account of them. This problem for Grice will generate so many false negatives that it clashes with our linguistic intuitions about what implicatures are and are not present in a given utterance. Simple gestures like pointing being rude in many countries or the slurping sounds that indicate enjoyment of food in Japan are common misunderstandings if done outside their cultural context.

During the dinner, when they are enjoying soup and tea the American does not make slurping sounds because they were taught that it is rude. Further, this misunderstanding represents the generation of a false positive telling the hosts that the visitor is not enjoying their food when indeed he is. This could be taken as a case of differentiations because it is generating a false positive. Johannes Fabian is especially concerned with the propensity for misunderstanding in ethnographic work due to the difference in cultures between the researcher and those being researched and how the difference in cultural conditions and context can lead to misunderstandings in verbal encounters.

Fabian cites Auer and Di Luzio and Duranti and Goodwin as examples of the debate in sociolinguistics about communication, miscommunication, context, and 54 contextualization in conversations and ethnography Fabian p. This demonstrates that the kind of pragmatic misunderstanding that is characterized by cultural misunderstandings, putting words in our mouth, and missing the point is persistent and hard to resolve in language use.

This is because things like implicates are based on intentions of the speaker which the hearer cannot access.

What is IMPLICATURE? What does IMPLICATURE mean? IMPLICATURE meaning, definition & explanation

Most importantly, Bailey indicates that misunderstanding is found in language itself and that pragmatic misunderstandings akin to the determinacy and the differentiation problems levied by Davis are present in language use. In this chapter, I have outlined four different types of misunderstanding in language use, those being cultural misunderstanding, semantic misunderstanding, missing the point, and putting words in your mouth. I posit that indeed these four varieties of misunderstanding are inherent in language use, because of the opacity of other minds and the fact that language is used to communicate internal states such as thoughts, ideas 55 beliefs, etc.

Because I have shown these problems to be part of language use, an explanation of them should be expected in any theory made to account for language used in these ways. In other words, a one would expect to find these types of misunderstandings, as cases of the problems Davis presents, in any theory of pragmatics dealing with implicatures41, and b that any theory attempting to give an account of this sort of language phenomena should give an account of misunderstanding.

These misunderstandings are an integral part of how this type of pragmatic phenomena works in language. Thus, when one views the criticism of Davis for Grice with the thought that misunderstandings are inherent to language one can see that any pragmatic theory will encounter these or similar problems. I am simply contending that there are certain types of misunderstanding that are inherent to language that are similar to the cases that Davis presents this does not mean that Grice is set free from the problems Davis presents for him.

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Content Metrics

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