2Key points The Cooperative Principle and its maxims Conversational implicatures
3DifficultiesThe violations of the cooperation maxims
18.104.22.168 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.
5The four cooperative maxims  The Maxim of QualityTry 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)
6The four cooperative principles  The Maxim of QuantityA. 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
7The four cooperative principles  The Maxim of RelationBe relevant
8The four cooperative principles  The Maxim of MannerA. Be perspicuous:.B. Avoid obscurity of expression.C. Avoid ambiguity.D. Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity).F. Be orderly
22.214.171.124 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.
10Ex. (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.
13Conversational implicatures Meaning: semantic meaningintended meaning conventional meaningunconventional meaning(conversationalimplicatures)
14Conversational implicatures Unconventional meaning generalizedscalarparticularized
15The 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.
16The 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.
17The 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.
18The 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?
19The 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”.
20Tautology: it is uninformative by virtue of its semantic content Ex. (8) If he comes, he comes.(9) Girls are girls.(10) War is war.
21assignments I. Define the following terms briefly: (1) the Cooperative Principle(2) conversational implicatureII. 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.