Presentation on theme: "Maxims of Conversation"— Presentation transcript:
1 Maxims of Conversation Deny A. Kwary, S.S., M.Hum
2 The Cooperative Principles: Maxims of Conversations (Grice, 1989) Name of MaximDescription of MaximQuantitySay neither more nor less than the discourse requiresRelevanceBe relevantMannerBe brief and orderly; avoid ambiguity and obscurityQualityDo not lie; do not make unsupported claims
3 Examples: 1. I’m a multimillionaire (Actually, I’m penniless.) Violated maxim: QualityExplanation: The speaker has failed to tell the truth.2. A: When am I going to get back the money I lent you?B: Boy, it’s hot in here!Violated maxim: RelevanceExplanation: B’s answer is not related to A’s question.3. A: What should I do to get rid of this headache, Doctor?B: Take some medicine.Violated maxim: QuantityExplanation: B has not provided enough information.
4 ExercisesDon’t be silly. I love working 80 hours a week with no vacation.Quality2. A: Excuse me–how much is this screwdriver?B: $9.95. The saw is $39.50, and the power drill there on the table is $89.00.Quantity3. A: What’s playing at the Rialto tonight?B: A film you haven’t seen.Relevance4. Dr. Smith received his Ph.D in 1986, his B.A. in 1980, and his M.A. in 1982.Manner
5 Speakers sometimes deliberately violate the rules of ordinary conversation to achieve certain ends Example:A: Would you like to go out with Andrea?B: Is the Pope Catholic?Violated maxim: RelevanceMotivation: B is being humorous. By replying with a question whose answer is obvious, he is implying that the answer to A’s question is equally obvious: Yes!
6 Exercises: 1. A: I’ll pay you back in full next week, I promise. B: Sure, and pigs will fly and fish will sing.Violated maxim: RelevanceMotivation: B’s response implies sarcastically that he does not believe A.2. A: What are the three most important things in real estate?B: Location, location, and location.Violated maxim: QuantityMotivation: To emphasize the overwhelming importance of location
7 3. A: So tell me, do you like what I did to my hair? B: Er…what’s on TV tonight?Violated maxim: RelevanceMotivation: B does not like A’s hairstyle, so he changed the subject.4. A: How can I develop a great body like yours?B: Choose your parents carefully.Violated maxim: QualityMotivation: Indirectly saying that it is impossible, because it’s all in the genes
8 Materials for Final Test Grammatical vs. UngrammaticalSyntactic categoriesTree diagramAmbiguitySemantic featuresLexical relationsThematic rolesSentential relationsIdiomsMaxims of conversations