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The Cooperative Principle The seventh week. Key points The Cooperative Principle and its maxims The Cooperative Principle and its maxims Conversational.

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Presentation on theme: "The Cooperative Principle The seventh week. Key points The Cooperative Principle and its maxims The Cooperative Principle and its maxims Conversational."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Cooperative Principle The seventh week

2 Key points The Cooperative Principle and its maxims The Cooperative Principle and its maxims Conversational implicatures Conversational implicatures

3 Difficulties The violations of the cooperation maxims 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. 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 [1] The Maxim of Quality Try to make your contribution one that is true: Try to make your contribution one that is true: A. Do not say what you believe to be false. 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) 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 [2] The Maxim of Quantity A. make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purpose of the exchange) 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 B. Do not make your contribution more informative than is required

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

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

9 Conversational implicatures According to Grice, utterance interpretation is not a matter of decoding messages, but rather involves 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, (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 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? Ex. (1) Husband: Where are the car keys? Wife: They ’ re on the table in the hall. 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. 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 ”. 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. (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. 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 Meaning: semantic meaning intended meaning conventional meaning intended meaning conventional meaning unconventional meaning unconventional meaning (conversational (conversational implicatures) implicatures)

14 Conversational implicatures Unconventional meaning generalized Unconventional meaning generalized scalar scalar particularized 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. 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. (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. 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? Ex. (5) A: Where does C live? B: Somewhere in the South of France. B: Somewhere in the South of France. Ex. Dear Sir, Ex. Dear Sir, Mr. X ’ s command of English is excellent and his attendance at tutorials has been regular, yours, etc. 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. Ex. (6) A: I ’ m out of petrol. B: There is a garage round the corner. B: There is a garage round the corner. Ex. A. Where ’ s Bill? Ex. A. Where ’ s Bill? B. There ’ s a yellow VW outside Sue ’ s house. B. There ’ s a yellow VW outside Sue ’ s house. Ex. A. What time is it? Ex. A. What time is it? B. The mail has already come. B. The mail has already come. Ex. A. The hostess is an awful bore, don ’ t you think? Ex. A. The hostess is an awful bore, don ’ t you think? B. The roses are lovely, aren ’ t they? 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? Ex. (7) A: Shall we get something for the kids? B: But I veto I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M. 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 ”. 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. Ex. (8) If he comes, he comes. (9) Girls are girls. (9) Girls are girls. (10) War is war. (10) War is war.

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

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