Presentation on theme: "Maxims of Conversation"— Presentation transcript:
1Maxims of Conversation Deny A. Kwary, S.S., M.Hum
2The 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
3Examples: 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.
4ExercisesDon’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
5Speakers 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!
6Exercises: 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
73. 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
8Materials for Final Test Grammatical vs. UngrammaticalSyntactic categoriesTree diagramAmbiguitySemantic featuresLexical relationsThematic rolesSentential relationsIdiomsMaxims of conversations