Implicatures

Lecturer: Bob van Tiel, ZAS Berlin
In his Logic and conversation, Grice famously observed that communication is a cooperative enterprise: when we say something, it is thereby understood that our utterance addresses the goal of the conversation. In some cases, hearers make additional assumptions to align what a speaker says with the assumption of cooperativity. Thus, when someone says ‘Donald is an arse’, the hearer infers that the speaker uses the word ‘arse’ figuratively, because otherwise her utterance would not make much sense, and thus be uncooperative. Inferences that follow from the assumption of cooperativity are called conversational implicatures.
Over the past decades, conversational implicatures have consistently been at the forefront of pragmatic theorising. In this course, we provide an overview of this research. First, we consider the various theories of conversational implicatures that have been put forward. Afterwards, we discuss a number of implicature-related phenomena, with particular attention to their relation to the theories that we introduced. Throughout this course, we also consider relevant experimental work.

Mon Aug 5th

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    From Grice to GCIs I

Tue Aug 6th

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    From Grice to GCIs II

Wed Aug 7th

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    Conventional implicatures

Thu Aug 8th

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    Implicitures

Fri Aug 9th

Mon Aug 12th

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    Quantity implicatures

Tue Aug 13th

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    Embedded implicatures

Wed Aug 14th

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    Figurative language

Thu Aug 15th

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    Non-cooperative conversation

Fri Aug 16th