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Situated Inference versus Conversational Implicature

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Abstract:

As Grice defined it, a speaker conversationally implicates that p only if the speaker expects the hearer to recognize that the speaker thinks that p. This paper argues that in the sorts of cases that Grice took as paradigmatic examples of conversational implicature there is in fact no need for the hearer to consider what the speaker might thus have in mind. Instead, the hearer might simply make an inference from what the speaker literally says and the situation in which the utterance takes place. In addition, a number of sources of the illusion of conversational implicatures in Grice's sense are identified and diagnosed.

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0029-4624.00292

Affiliations: University of Cincinnati

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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