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  • 1. CONTEXTUALIZATION AND WORD MEANINGA SEMANTICO-PRAGMATIC STUDY BY ASSISTANT LECTURERALI KHALAF JAFAR AL-ZUBAIDY -
  • 2. I ABSTRACT It is not easy to stand at meanings of words by simply giving their synonyms, antonyms , or whatever type of relation that reveals part of word meaning. At the same time , it is important to figure out the underlying meaning of what is being said by speakers. This can be done through exploring the possible interpretations of speech. Here lies the importance of the study in that it tries to find out the validity of semantics in deciding word meaning, and the need for pragmatics to solve insoluble problems. The study tries to discover whether sense and reference relations are sufficient to give satisfactory meaning to sentences , or they need the force of the speakers utterance. The problem , then , is that semantics , in terms of sense and reference relations, is relatively a poor guide to the study of the exact meaning of utterances. For example, the sentence :- I will go there tomorrow. refers to futurity if interpreted in terms of sense and reference relations. But , futurity is only one meaning of the utterance for it implies more than that ; the speaker may express a promise or a threat as well. Therefore, once the context , within which the utterance is said , is known , the exact meanings of words will be made clearer accordingly. The study shows the one-to-one correspondence between semantics and pragmatics. It aims at investigating the effect of "force", in terms of Grices Cooperative Principles , on the determination of word-meaning , and exploring how much semantics and pragmatics are related to each other. It is hypothesized that sense and reference relations are not enough to decide word-meaning , they need , in this respect , another type of relations called " force relations " that are exploited by Grice (1975) but within other labels , namely " principles " or " maxims."
  • 3. Once the relationship between semantics and pragmatics is presented ,the bound between force , on one hand , and sense and reference , onthe other hand , is revealed. Since the particularities of the study are too wide , notmuch detail is given to semantic relations ; only a brief account ofeach relation is expounded. The meaning of sense is limited to itsgeneral logical or conceptual meaning. The same is applied toreference whose types receive not much detail. Grices theory isreferred to only on occasions that serve the study. The study concludes that force enhanced by Grices maximsis a decisive factor in deciding the meaning of sentences as a wholeand that sense and reference relations are not quite enough in solvingmost of the mysteries and ambiguities that underlie speakersutterances. Finally, the study presents some recommendations relatedto the study and some other recommendations for further studies. II
  • 4. 1 SECTION ONE REFERENCE RELATIONS1.1 Introduction In order to have communication , there should be a mutual understanding between the speaker and the hearer . This understanding is achieved by means of being aware of what we say , as speakers , and aware of what is " meant " by what is said , as hearers. It is very well-known that " meaning " represents the core of semantics. Philosophers and linguists believe that in order to know the meaning of a word, people must agree on their " diverse emotive and other reactions to it " (Osgood , 1976 : 40). In other words , people must agree on the " referent " of the linguistic sign; to narrow or shorten the distances of semantic space among individuals in order to reach high degree of referential agreement. That referent is reached at via its " reference " , which is the relationship between words and things, actions, events and qualities they refer to or " stand for " ( Lyons, 1968 : 424). Reference is believed to be the core of semantics, but alone it is not enough in the determination of word- meaning. Hence , a need arises to know the " sense " of the word denoted; and that is why the core of semantics has been shifted into the study of " sense relations ". One might think now that sense is the same as meaning , whereas , in fact, sense refers to the " customary usage " of one of the different meanings of a lexical item or expression, when meaning of a lexical item or expression refers to the collection of the senses it is said to have in the dictionary ( Katz , 1972: 36). Therefore , a distinction should be made between sense relations and reference relations; but , this is not the end. Lyons (1977: 200) states that "…the distinction [ between sense and reference ] is crucial once we take into account the utterance of sentences in actual contexts ", a fact stressed by many semanticists and theorists , but not given heavy reliance on the determination of word-meaning. Katz ( 1972 : 240 ) , for example , says that " sense has to do with
  • 5. that part of the relation that is determined by inherent features of the expressions as opposed to that part that is determined by aspects of the nonlinguistic contexts." Again Lyons ( 1977 : 180) emphasizes the fact that " reference is an utterance-dependent notion , and that whenever we talk of an expression in a given sentence as having reference , we are assuming that the sentence in question has been , or could be , uttered with a particular communicative force in some appropriate context of use …. " That is to say that sense and reference are not the only factors which determine word-meaning , rather there is the factor of " force " that plays an important role in determining word-meaning. Once we realize that "force" is related to pragmatics , it becomes clear that word-meaning is not only determined by semantics , via sense and reference relations, but by pragmatics as well. This is clearly manifested in Austins (1962) theory of "Speech Acts " discussed in his work How to Do Things with Words , in Searles (1969) Speech Acts and in Sadocks (1974) Toward a Linguistic Theory of Speech Acts.1.2 Reference : Background First of all , " reference " indicates the relationship between words and the things , actions , events and qualities they refer to or stand for. It is , sometimes , referred to as the " denotation " meaning of words. Theories of meaning try to relate the meaning of words to their reference. The traditional theory of reference conceives of reference as the real existence of objects that are referred to by words. In other words , they exist as human beings , animals and other creatures. Thus , a distinction is made between " reference " and " referent ", where the former refers to the name of the thing it stands for, and the latter refers to the thing or object referred to (Lyons ,1968: 428). Contrastingly , Yule (1996 : 130) believes that " words themselves dont refer to anything. People refer." The "concept " theory has two versions , one is the " sign " theory by Ferdinand de Saussure , and the other is the " semiotic triangle " theory set by Ogden and Richards (1923) in their work The 2
  • 6. Meaning of Meaning. According to Saussure a linguistic sign consists of a " signifier " ( a sound image ) and a " signified " (a concept ) , which are connected by means of a psychological " associative bond. " Ogden and Richards , on the other hand , present their idea in a triangular form: Thought or Reference Referent symbol The " symbol" stands for the linguistic item ( word , phrase ,etc.), whereas the "referent" stands for the object in the outside world. These two ( the symbol and the referent) are not directly linked (hence dots are used in between) , therefore , a need for a linkage arises , and this is achieved by the " concept " , referred to as" thought or reference " ( Palmer ,1981:24). However , these theories cannot account for all the words in the language. For example , what is the referent of words like " the "," if " and " so " ? They cannot give an answer at all. At the level of sentences , the matter is not too much better. When one says " John is a clerk " , he is referring to a particular individual by means of the referring expression " John ". True reference means to the hearer the correct identity of the individual in the sentence , i.e. , the referent himself as an existing body or person in the world of experience. Therefore , it is the speaker who refers to himself or other entities in the environment ( Lyons , 1977 : 177 ). The more will be said about sentences in the following point.1.3 Types of Reference Various types of reference should be put into consideration once a study tackles the idea of reference. Each type is discussed briefly due to the nature of the present study. Lyons ( 1977 : 179-87 ) 3
  • 7. presents most of these types. First of all, there is the " singular definitereference ".In one of its manifestations , it refers to references knownby definite pre- and/or post-description to it. For example, " The tallman over there " , the reference " man " is pre-described by " the tall ",and post-described by " over there ". Many philosophers try to subsume " reference " under" naming ", but, it is , possible to refer to persons or places , withoutknowing their names , satisfactorily via a definite description. Forinstance , in the sentence , " The man who was here yesterday " , thespeaker is successful in referring o the referent " man " by means ofthe relative clause " who was here yesterday ", making known to thehearer which " man " is meant , and depending on the assumption thatthe hearer knows that a man came here yesterday. In many cases , thedefinite article " the " is enough to give a satisfactory description ofthe referent , based on the shared knowledge between the speaker andthe hearer. For example , if one says to his wife " I havent seen the cattoday ", where " the cat " is mentioned for the first time , she knowswhich cat is meant. The same is true when an Englishman uses theexpression " the queen " within a context , he refers to the queen ofEngland and no other person. The second type comprises the " correct reference " andthe " successful reference ." Here, the definite description of thereferent denotes its truthfulness , for if the description of the referentis true , the reference is said to be " correct ". But , the reference issuccessful even if the description is not true , i.e., " it does not dependupon the truth of the description contained in the referringexpression". We my refer to somebody, incorrectly, but successfully,as a teacher when he is a doctor. The third type is the " non-referring definite noun-phrase ". The noun-phrase is definite , though it is not preceded by adefinite article, referring to a specific person or individual. Forinstance , " Smith " represents this type of reference in the sentence ," Smiths murder is insane ". The fourth type can be represented in the sentence " Everyevening at six oclock a buzzard flies over the house " , where two 4
  • 8. interpretations can be elicited. First , if the speaker means by " a buzzard " a particular buzzard , then he is referring to an indefinite , but " specific " , reference. Second , if he means " some buzzard or other " , he is referring to a " non-specific " reference by means of the indefinite noun-phrase " a buzzard ". " Distributive and collective general " reference forms the fifth type. It is best explained by the example ," Those books cost £5 ", the phrase " those books " can be referred to as " each of those books ", thus used distributively , or as " that set of books " , which is , therefore , used collectively. The other type is " opaque " and " transparent " reference. A context is non opaque , or referentially transparent , if the statements are formed from this context by first filling the blank with one term of a true identity statement , and , then , filling it with the other , having the same truth value. For example , the context (2) is transparent since (3) and (4) are either both true or false , given the truth of (1) ( Katz, 1972:262 ):(1) The girl living above John = the ugliest girl in the world.(2) Bill kissed …………….(3) Bill kissed the girl living above John.(4) Bill kissed the ugliest girl in the world. In the context " Mr. Smith is looking for the Dean " , " the Dean " is an opaque reference if it refers to the speakers description of " the Dean " referentially , and not to Mr. Smiths description. This happens under the assumption that the Dean is Professor Brown , when Mr. Smith thinks that Professor Green is the Dean as he says , " I am looking for the Dean ." The reference is still opaque even if the speaker substitutes the coreferential expression " Professor Brown " for " the Dean " as he says , " Mr. smith is looking for Professor Brown " ( Lyons , 1977 : 192-3 ). Finally , a reference is " generic " when it refers to the whole class of the referent , not to this or that group of the referent , nor to any particular referent of the class. Consider the following : 5
  • 9. - The lion is a wild animal.- A lion is a wild animal.- Lions are wild animals. Each of these examples has a " generic " proposition. It is clear that " generic reference " is timeless , tenseless and aspectless , for when we say "Lions were wild animals" or " Lions have been wild animals ", this suggests that lions are no more wild now , and this is completely absurd (ibid : 194 ). 6
  • 10. SECTION TWO SENSE RELATIONS2.1 What is " sense " ? Sense is said to be the conceptual ( logical , denotative or cognitive ) meaning in linguistic communication. It is the essential meaning of language through which meanings of sentences , on their natural conception , appear and are understood. This is due to the fact that the conceptual meaning has an organization similar to that of syntax and phonology (Leech , 1974 : 10 ). However , the conceptual meaning gives the semantic interpretation of sentences. The semantic interpretation of a lexical item is regarded as the set of semantic representations of its senses. These semantic representations of the sense of a lexical item , phrase , clause or sentence are referred to as its " readings ". The semantic representation of one concept or another is referred to as the " semantic marker " of a lexical item. Hence , a " reading " is a set of semantic markers a lexical item is said to have , giving it the meaning by which it is known , and distinguishing it from other lexical items ( Katz , 1972 : 37 ). For example , the word " woman " can be symbolized in terms of its readings ( or distinctive features , analogically with phonology ) : Woman = [ + HUMAN ] [ - MALE ] [ + ADULT ] as distinct from or in contrast with " boy " , " man " or " girl ". There is a tendency hypothesizing the universality of conceptual meaning , but tangible differences are observed among languages. The different numbers of colours each language has is a good example. In addition , some cultural variations in the perception of the same lexical item are found among different languages. For example , the word " owl " has a bad sense in some cultures , the Arab world for instance , but a good sense in others. Even in the same culture , a person may conceive of a lexical item positively in one situation , and negatively in another. A countryman feels pleasant for 7
  • 11. seeing a field of buttercups plants , but restless when seeing them in his garden and considers them as weeds ( Leech, 1974 : 30-31 ). Linguists , proponents of Relativism , believe that language controls our minds and experience , but this idea has been revolted by Chomskys Universalism. Chomsky proposes that languages have the same basic conceptual framework. He argues that languages share a universal set of semantic features or categories , and the difference between one language and another is in the choice among the subsets of these categories. Such categories are like animate / inanimate , human / non-human , concrete / abstract , etc. He believes that all human beings are endowed with an innate genetic ability to language. In other words , it is the mind that controls the language , hence , the mind realizes and distinguishes the meanings of concepts or senses of the words.2.2 Sense Relations Sense is concerned with intralinguistic relations , those that hold between one linguistic item and the other. There are two types of sense relations , syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations. Syntagmatic relations refer to collocation , where one lexical item collocates or goes with another , which is not replicable by any other lexical item due to the force of these relations. For example , the lexical item " bark " collocates only with " dogs " and no other lexical item. Paradigmatic relations , on the other hand , include synonymy, antonymy , hyponymy , relational opposites , polysemy and homonymy. Synonymy refers to the sameness of meaning , where it is assumed that one lexical item or phrase can replace the other without any change in meaning. For instance," dead " and " deceased " are said to be synonymous in " His deceased/dead friend ". But , there is no complete synonymy. Antonymy refers to the oppositeness of meaning. When someone says, " It is cold " , this means that " It is not hot ". But, " not hot " does not necessarily mean " cold " , for " It is not hot " almost 8
  • 12. refers to a " nice weather " , but not " cold ". This is due to theprinciple of gradability found between gradable antonyms , whereas ,non-gradable antonyms yield to complete antonyms , for instance ," This cat is female " implies that " This cat is not male " ; " Hisbrother is alive " implies " His brother is not dead. " Hyponymy is a relation of inclusion ,where one lexicalitem is included in another wider lexical item. For example, " lion "and " elephant " are included in " mammal " or " animal " ; " tulip "and " rose " are included in " flower " and so on. It is a matter of class-relationship ( Palmer ,1981:85). Relations of hyponymy may formgrading relations. This is virtually true when we realize that " rose " isincluded in " flower " , and " flower " is included in " plant ". But, "rose " is the immediate hyponym of " flower " and the latter is theimmediate hyponym of " plant ". Nevertheless, within hyponymy ,there is a relation of entailment , for example , " This is a rose " entails" This is a flower " (ibid:87). Relational opposites are included within antonymyrelations. They display symmetry in their meaning such as" buy/sell " ," give/receive " , " husband/wife " , " examiner/examinee " , etc. Polysemy means the difference in meaning of one lexicalitem. For example , the lexical item " bank " is polysemic in the sensethat it means " a building where money is deposited or changed " , or" a shore " or " a pool " , etc. homonymy , on the other hand , isdivided into " homophony " , where two lexical items have the samepronunciation , though differ in spelling and meaning like" knight/night " and " sea/see ", etc. , and " homography " , where twolexical items have the same spelling , but differ in meaning andpronunciation such as " lead/li:d/ " meaning " to guide " and " lead/led/ " referring to a certain type of metal. However , polysemy andhomonymy are , sometimes , problematic and cannot be distinguished,and this is not going to be tackled due to the limits of the study. 9
  • 13. 2.3 Sense and Reference It has been stated that sense explicates intralinguistic relations that hold between linguistic items. Reference is concerned with the relationship between these linguistic items and the ( non- linguistic ) world of experience. In fact , reference relations form the centre of semantics , as it has always been believed , but , sense relations have occupied language a great deal. Dictionaries , for example , depend on sense relations , where a new unknown word is identified by defining it in terms of other lexical items whose sense and reference are already known. Nevertheless , the recent tendency in linguistics is to limit the study of semantics to sense relations only due to their efficiency in determining the meaning of lexical items , individually or within larger units like a sentence , in any language ( Palmer , 1981 : 31-2). Reference theory stipulates that lexical items have meanings by denoting things in the world ; the object being the meaning. However, such a theory cannot account for imagery objects or lexical items and past events , or words like " the ", " if " or " and ", which have no physical existence. Therefore, one has to speak about the differentiation between the " reference " of the item and its " sense." In other words , it is to distinguish between what a lexical item denotes and what it connotes( Parkin , 1982 : 42). The same object may be viewed differently , i.e. , one reference has different senses. Freges ( 1892) classic example shows this difference :- The Morning Star is the Evening Star. Reference is the same since both " the Morning Star " and " the Evening Star " refer to the same planet , but different senses for the sentence conveys information referring to a fact that the hearer has not been aware of ; otherwise , the sentence conveys nothing but a mere tautology. Therefore , both expressions cannot be synonymous for they do not have the same sense , rather the same reference ( Lyons, 1977 : 197). Frege believes that proper nouns have sense and reference. 10
  • 14. He hints at giving a description or definition to " personal names ", relationship terms ", " pronouns " ," titles " , " cities " ," rivers " , etc. This could be true for some , not all , languages, like Arabic . For example, " " / sælɪ h / is a personal name which has the connotation of an adjective referring to " a good man " in addition to being his name , compare , " " / ɪ nnehu rædʒ ulun sælɪ h / and " " /ðehebə sælɪ h ɪ læ ?emelɪ hi /. A problem arises in this respect , but not always is the case , when the bearer of the name does not have, or may contrast with , the sense of the adjective implied in his name , that is , the bearer is a villain , " " / sælɪ h rædʒ ulun ʃ ərri:r/. The name has acquired a bad sense although its connotation is good. And this is to conclude that sense is not a good reflection of the connotation of proper names. However , the problem of personal names is no more discussed for a full study is needed to account for their relation with what they refer to or represent and their sense. Moreover , such a relation is bound by cultural variation , where names have sense and reference in some cultures , whereas only reference in others. For example , what is the meaning of , the connotation that coincides with , the proper nouns " John , Jack , Bill, etc."? Away from the problem discussed in the precedent paragraph , let us consider the following example and see how sense and reference are successful in attaining meaning :- It is cloudy today. In terms of reference " cloudy " refers to the speakers experience of the outside world, seeing clouds in the sky and , therefore , refers to the weather as being " cloudy ". In other words , the lexical item " cloudy " obtains its meaning from the physical existence of , and in relation to , the materialistic clouds. " Today " denotes the date in which the speaker sees the observable clouds , and it is the date in which the saying takes place , the present time. But , can " today " be seen or touched? A question that reference cannot answer. In terms of sense , " cloudy " has in its connotation the gathering of clouds, suggesting darkness, sunless or dim atmosphere , or somber , or muddy. " Today " , on the other hand , has the sense of present day in which both the saying and the gathering of the clouds 11
  • 15. take place. Yet , seeing the different senses suggested by the lexicalitem " cloudy " , we do not know which sense is meant to beconveyed. Then , how can we predict the meaning of the wholesentence , and on what basis ? A question that sense can never answer.But, once we know " who is speaking to whom, and in what context ",the meaning of the sentence is restricted and understood, and caneasily be deduced. This would ,then , imply the speakers " force " onthe choice of lexical items to have them mean the way he wants. Theidea of " force " is elaborated on in the following section. 12
  • 16. SECTION THREE FORCE AND GRICES COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLE3.1 Force and Sense It is evident so far that " sense " resembles the core of semantics. It will , then , be the main concern of the present discussion. Leech (1980 : 80) relates sense to force , in an attempt to relate semantics to pragmatics. " Sense " reflects the formal logic of the deep structure of the sentence , whereas " force " entails a promise, a command , a warn , a request , a permission and so on. In his analysis of language , the linguist should rely on the two media of language , i.e. , the spoken and the written. Actually , both media need contexts in order to stand on the meanings of the sentences or utterance included, for otherwise no text or situation is understood. Let us reconsider the last example in the light of what we have here ;- It is cloudy today. If seen from a pragmatic point of view , this sentence is interpreted differently according to the context in which it occurs , and , hence , different forces accordingly. The sentence could be a warn said by a wife to her husband , advising him to take his umbrella for it might rain; or it could be said by somebody to his friend implying that it is not hot today , for there will be no sun; or it could be said by a mother addressing her children , commanding them not to go out ; or it might be said by a grandmother talking to her grandson , advising him to put on heavy clothes lest he might catch cold. The list is open for more interpretations , but , what do all these interpretations suggest ? A question that " force " can answer easily , not like its partners ( sense and reference ) which stop at a certain point . Once the context or situation is unveiled , or the speaker and the hearer are identified , the implied meaning of the sentence , or utterance , can easily be predicted. To assure what has been claimed so far , compare these two pairs of sentences ; 13
  • 17. 1. A. I will be here at 9 tomorrow. B. You will be here at 9 tomorrow.2. A. Cant you borrow the money ? B. Cant I borrow the money ? Semantically , the first two sentences have the sense of futurity , but the person who " will be here at 9 tomorrow " is different , the speaker in the first and the hearer in the second. However , the same sentences are different in meaning , pragmatically speaking. The first sentence has the force of a promise or a threat , whereas the second has the force of a command. The same can be said about the second pair. The first sentence ( i.e., sentence 2.A. ) implies " possibility " , on semantic basis , where it means " Isnt it possible for you to borrow the money?" While , pragmatically , it has the force of an " impatient suggestion ". The second sentence in the second pair ( sentence 2.B.) has the sense of " permission " , but has the force of both " permission " and " request " depending on the context. This simply means that" can " has different senses but are not distinguished unless the context is revealed ( Leech , 1980 : 81 ). Another example is the following :- Can you play the violin ? Semantically , the sense of the sentence is to ask about the ability of the hearer to play the violin , whereas , in fact , it implies an additional meaning , representing a request to play the violin ( roughly speaking " Please play the violin "). These two different meanings are acquired due to the situation within which the sentence occurs. However , sometimes , humorous effects might be the result of misrecognition , when , for example , a visitor of a city , being lost, asks a passer-by : Visitor : Excuse me , do you know where the Ambassador Hotel is ? Passer-by : Oh sure , I know where it is (and walks away). 14
  • 18. The passer-by answers the direct question (do you know….?) literally ( I know…), misrecognising the indirect request in the visitors question ( where the Ambassador Hotel is). The misunderstanding results from the fact that the visitor tries to be more polite in directing his request , and not using a command , but the visitor takes it as a command not a request ( Yule , 1996 :133 ). Contextualization , as it seems to be , tells us so much about what is meant by a certain lexical item , and without which lexical items lose their interpretive sense. It is made clear that semantics alone does not give the complete meaning of what is said , and that the reconciliation between semantics and pragmatics , in terms of sense and force , offers a good understanding to the meaning of lexical items. A case that is clarified and expanded on in Grices Cooperative Principle.You might respond to a request or a question but not in a satisfactory way , or you may give information , yet you are not cooperative , a subject matter of the following section.3.2 Gricean Cooperative Principles Among the prominent theories and principles* in pragmatics is Grices Cooperative Principle. Grice has supplied pragmatics with a list of so-called maxims which determine the appropriateness of an utterance in a given situation ( excluding exceptional situations like trials , exams , etc.). In order to go on a cooperative conversation , interlocutors have to obey certain principles. These principles make out Grices maxims of quality , quantity , relevance and manner. Quality refers to the truthfulness of the saying , false statements should be avoided. Quantity refers to the informativeness of the speakers response. He should be as informative as required , not giving too little nor too much information to the other participant in the conversation. Relevance assumes that turns between participants should be clearly related. Manner assumes that speakers have to be perspicuous : clear , orderly and brief , avoiding obscurity and ambiguity (www.universalteacher.org.uk/lang/pragmatics.htm). In addition to Politeness Principle ( Leech , 1983 ), the Relevance Theory by Sperber and Wilson ( 1986 ) and Levinsons( 2000) GCI Theory ( Generalised Conversational Implicatures). 15
  • 19. Grice (1975 ) believes that utterances automatically createexpectations which lead the hearer to the speakers intended meaning.These expectations are depicted in terms of the maxims mentionedabove. In order for the hearer to be cooperative , he should choose aninterpretation that satisfies these expectations ( or maxims ). Thiscould pragmatically contribute to implicatures rather than to explicit ,truth-conditional content. Thus , figurative speech , jokes , playingwith words, etc. violate these maxims ( Wilson , D. and D. Sperber ,2004 : 250-51 ). Examining the example above between the visitor and apasser-by , we notice that the latters response has relevance but lacksquantity and this explains the deficiency in the conversation. Thepasser-by is not cooperative and thus violates , but validates , Gricescooperative principle. Grices aim behind his principle is to discover themechanism by which we can distinguish between what is said andwhat is meant. He is concerned with whether speakers know whichimplicit meaning is conveyed and whether their addressees canunderstand the intended meaning ( Davies , 2000 : 3 ). Consider thefollowing conversation ,A: Is there another pint of milk ?B: Im going to the supermarket in five minutes.Speakers of English would inferentially assume that there is no milk atthe moment , but it will be brought from the supermarket in a shorttime. Such an implication is reached at by the Cooperative Principle. Conversational implicatures are thus the core of Gricestheory. They draw the distinction between words meaning , theirliteral meaning when said by a speaker and the speakers intentionwhen he uses them in a certain context , which , by no means , is farfrom what is being said ( Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ,2006). When you are asked to lunch and you reply , " I have a oneoclock a class Im not prepared for." You indirectly reject thisinvitation by giving reason for not coming to lunch and this isimplied in your response. 16
  • 20. SECTION FOUR CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS4.1 Conclusions To know the relation between " sense " and " force " means exploring the relation binding semantics to pragmatics. Semantics ( the study of the sense of words) studies the meaning of sentences as structures in a given language , whereas pragmatics ( the study of language use ) deals with the interpretation of the meaning of these sentences in a given speech situation , i.e. , what they are to the speaker and the hearer. We can simply say that semantics is the " body" of the language and pragmatics is its " soul ". A body without a soul does not have power or " force " , namely dead , and a soul without a body cannot be " sensed " or felt. It is evident that semantics is unavoidable in deciding meanings of lexical items. Nonetheless , we still need the context within which these lexical items are said to occur , otherwise , it is misleading to rely on semantics alone. Semantics , for example , tells us that the speaker of the following sentence :- He will be here at 9 oclock tomorrow morning. is expressing the " will " of another person , rather than the hearer , to come " here at 9 oclock tomorrow morning ." But , this is half of the fact for semantics tells us nothing about the state of coming , is it to strike a friendly appointment , a threat or a promise ( from the speakers side , where he wants to calm down the hearer , roughly speaking " Dont worry , he will be here …." ) ? Therefore , the force that underlies the statement decides what is meant by what is said. It is the relation that holds between the speaker and the hearer which expresses the force ; the force to apologise , thank , promise , approve , congratulate , command , etc. The choice among these is dependent on the implicatures of the statement or the utterance. " Ive got a headache " has the implicatures 17
  • 21. of a warning , a request , or an apology , or it could be a plausible answer to " How are you ? " (Kempson,1975:202-3). They depend on how much truthfulness , informativeness , relevance and clarity that speakers convey to hearers and addressees respond to addressers.3.3 Recommendations It is recommended that one should not decide on the meaning of a word before knowing the context in which it occurs nor decide on the meaning of a whole sentence without a pre-knowledge of the situation in which it occurs in order to stand at the exact interpretation. The researcher recommends that force be studied in Arabic, investigating the differences in the effect of context in both English and Arabic. Misunderstanding leads to ambiguity , a subject which can also be studied alone , comparing ambiguity in English and Arabic. It is also recommended that the practicality and validity of Grices Cooperative Principle could be explored in the Arabic language by applying its maxims to selected texts or contexts. 18
  • 22. BIBLIOGRAPHYDavies , Bethan (2000) " Grices Cooperative Principle: getting the Meaning across " in Nelson , D. and P. Foulkes ( eds.) Leeds Working Papers in Linguistics 8 , pp 1-26.Grice , H. Paul (1968) " Utterers Meaning , sentence-meaning , and Word-meaning" in Foundations of Language 4 , pp 225-242.Fromkin , V. and Rodman , R. (1983) An Introduction to Language. New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Jaszczolt, K.M. (2002) Semantics and Pragmatics, London: Longman.Katz , J.J. (1972) Semantic Theory. London : Harper and Row.Kempson , Ruth M. (1975) Presupposition and the Delimitation of Semantics. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.Leech , G. (1974) Semantics. Middlesex : Penguin.……………. (1980) Explorations in Semantics and Pragmatics. Amsterdam : John Benjamin.Levinson , Stephen ( 1983 ) Pragmatics . Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.Lyons ,J. (1968) Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.………….. ( 1977) Semantics , Vol.ɪ . Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.Osgood , C.E. (1976) Focus on Meaning : Explorations in Semantic Space. New York: Mouton.Palmer ,F.R. (1981) Semantics , 2nd ed. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.Parkin , D. (ed.) (1982) Semantic Anthropology. London : Harcourt , Brace , Jovanovich.Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2006) in http://plato.stanford.edu/info.htm.Wilson , D. and Sperber , D. (2004) " Relevance Theory " in Horn , L. and G., Ward (eds.) The Handbook of Pragmatics. Oxford : Blackwell , 607-632.Yule , George (1996) The Study of Language , 2nd ed. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press. 19
  • 23. INTERNET SOURCES- http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/pragmaticLangu- age Tips.htm- http://www.dan.sperber.com/relevance_theory.htm- http://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1682525.html- http://www.universalteacher.org.uk 20