Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

The Cooperative Principle

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "The Cooperative Principle"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Cooperative Principle
The seventh week

2 Key points The Cooperative Principle and its maxims
Conversational implicatures

3 Difficulties The violations of the cooperation maxims

4 The Cooperative Principle and its maxims
A principle proposed by the philosopher Paul Grice whereby those involved in communication assume that both parties will normally seek to cooperate with each other to establish agreed meaning. It is composed of four maxims: quality, quantity, relation, and manner.

5 The four cooperative maxims
[1] The Maxim of Quality Try to make your contribution one that is true: A. Do not say what you believe to be false. B. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence (Say what you believe to be true)

6 The four cooperative principles
[2] The Maxim of Quantity A. make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purpose of the exchange) B. Do not make your contribution more informative than is required

7 The four cooperative principles
[3] The Maxim of Relation Be relevant

8 The four cooperative principles
[4] The Maxim of Manner A. Be perspicuous:. B. Avoid obscurity of expression. C. Avoid ambiguity. D. Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity). F. Be orderly

9 Conversational implicatures
According to Grice, utterance interpretation is not a matter of decoding messages, but rather involves (1) taking the meaning of the sentences together with contextual information, (2) using inference rules (3) working out what the speaker means on the basis of the assumption that the utterance conforms to the maxims. The main advantage of this approach from Grice’s point of view is that it provides a pragmatic explanation for a wide range of phenomena, especially for conversational implicautres--- a kind of extra meaning that is not literally contained in the utterance.

10 Ex. (1) Husband: Where are the car keys?
According to Grice, conversational implicatures can arise from either strictly and directly observing or deliberately and openly flouting the maxims, that is, speakers can produce implicatures in two ways: observance and non-observance of the maxims. Ex. (1) Husband: Where are the car keys? Wife: They’re on the table in the hall. The wife has answered clearly (manner) and truthfully (Quality), has given just the right amount of information (Quantity) and has directly addressed her husband’s goal in asking the question (Relation). She ahs said precisely what she meant, no more and no less.

11 (2) He is a tiger. Example (2) is literally false, openly against the maxim of quality, for no human is a tiger. But the hearer still assumes that the speaker is being cooperative and then infers that he is trying to say something distinct from the literal meaning. He can then work out that probably the speaker meant to say that “he has some characteristics of a tiger”.

12 (3) Tom has wooden ears. Sentence (3) is obviously false most natural contexts and the speaker in uttering it flouts the first maxim of quality.

13 Conversational implicatures
Meaning: semantic meaning intended meaning conventional meaning unconventional meaning (conversational implicatures)

14 Conversational implicatures
Unconventional meaning generalized scalar particularized

15 The flouting of cooperative principles
It is important to note that it is speakers who communicate meaning via implicatures and it is listeners who recognize those communicated meanings via inference. The inferences selected are those which will preserve the assumption of cooperation. But in fact, the speakers often flout the cooperative principles and are still thought to be cooperative. What they convey is the conversational implicatures.

16 The flouting of the maxim of quality
Ex. (4) Tom does not appreciate classical music so we should not invite him to the concert. Ex. When we moved here, the room is 5x4, now it is 3x4.

17 The flouting of maxim of quantity
Ex. (5) A: Where does C live? B: Somewhere in the South of France. Ex. Dear Sir, Mr. X’s command of English is excellent and his attendance at tutorials has been regular, yours, etc.

18 The flouting of the maxim of relation:
Ex. (6) A: I’m out of petrol. B: There is a garage round the corner. Ex. A. Where’s Bill? B. There’s a yellow VW outside Sue’s house. Ex. A. What time is it? B. The mail has already come. Ex. A. The hostess is an awful bore, don’t you think? B. The roses are lovely, aren’t they?

19 The flouting of the maxim of manner
Ex. (7) A: Shall we get something for the kids? B: But I veto I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M. Ex. Miss X produced a series of sounds that corresponded closely with the score of “Home, Sweet Home”.

20 Tautology: it is uninformative by virtue of its semantic content
Ex. (8) If he comes, he comes. (9) Girls are girls. (10) War is war.

21 assignments I. Define the following terms briefly:
(1) the Cooperative Principle (2) conversational implicature II. What are the four maxims of the Cooperative Principle? III. Which maxim does this speaker seem to be particularly careful about: Well, to be quite honest, I don’t think she is ill today.


Download ppt "The Cooperative Principle"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google