Presentation on theme: "Topic 10: conversational implicature Introduction to Semantics."— Presentation transcript:
Topic 10: conversational implicature Introduction to Semantics
Basic concepts Entailment Inference
Entailment A type of sense relations Definition: IF when Proposition A is true, Proposition B must therefore be true, THEN Proposition A ENTAILS Proposition B
Example Proposition A: ‘John is a bachelor.’ Proposition B: ‘John is not married.’ IF A is true, B must be true. ‘John is a bachelor’ ENTAILS ‘John is not married.’
inference Any conclusion that one can reasonably draw from sentences or utterances. All entailments are inferences, but NOT all inferences are entailment.
example Professor: Have you done your homework and read chapter 4? Student: I’ve done my homework. Is it reasonable to infer that the student has not read chapter 4? Does ‘I’ve done my homework’ entail ‘I’ve read chapter 4’?
implicature An implicature is anything that is inferred from an utterance but that is not a condition for the truth of the utterance. (SIL) A concept of utterance meaning How speakers work out the indirect illocutions of utterances. NOT a form of inference because it cannot be predicted only by the sense relations between sentences.
Question: How does a hearer make reasonable inferences from an utterance when it does not in fact entail some of the inferences he makes? The Co-operative Principle
The co-operative principle The overriding social rules which speakers follow in conversation. How it works The speaker observes the co-operative principle and the hearer assumes that the speakers follow it.
The maxims of the cooperative principle The maxim of quantity: Make your contribution as informative as required; Do not make your contribution more informative than required. The maxim of quality: Do not say what you believe to be false; Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence. The maxim of relation: Make your contribution relevant. The maxim of manner: Be perspicuous, and specifically: avoid obscurity avoid ambiguity be brief be orderly.
The flouting of the cooperative principle Assuming that the speaker is a bona fide (goodwill) speaker. Inference comes into play in the conversation.
The Gas Station A is standing by an obviously immobilized car and is approached by B; the following exchange takes place: A: I am out of petrol. B: There is a garage around the corner. Implicature: The cooperative principle:
Smith’s Love Life Conversation: A: Smith doesn’t seem to have a girlfriend these days. B: He has been paying a lot of visits to New York lately. Implicature: The cooperative principle:
The Letter of Recommendation A is writing a testimonial about a pupil who is a candidate for a philosophy job, and his letter reads as follows: “Dear Sir, Mr. X’s command of English is excellent, and his attendance at tutorials has been regular. Yours, etc." Implicature: