presupposition types of presuppostion properties of presupposition implicature types of implicature properties of implicature Grice's theory of implicature Coperative principle conversational Maxims Relevance theory
Presupposition Definition lat.: praesupponere = to presuppose inferences about what is assumed in utterances can be associated with a special grammatical feature: presupposition-triggers refer to common world knowledge; that must be shared by participants of communication > speaker makes assumptions & presupposes knowledge > addressee must share this knowledge and make use of
Historical Background Frege „ if anything is asserted there is always an obvious presupposition that the simple or compound proper names used have a reference“ e.g.: Kepler died in misery > presupposes: the name Kepler designates something.
Frege`s theory of presuppositions: Referring phrases and temporal clauses carry presuppositions to the effect that they do in fact refer A sentence and it`s negative counterpart share the same set of presuppositions In order for an assertion to be either true or false, it`s presupposition must be true
Russel‘s view 1905 Russell came to quite different conclusions problem: sentences that lacked proper referents e.g.: (a) The King of France is wise logical form paraphrased: There is a King of France and there`s no one else who`s King of France and he is wise
Strawson‘s approach 1950 Strawson different approach it`s a failure to distinguish sentences from uses of sentences e.g.: The King of France is wise statement may well have been true in 1670 and false in 1770; but in 1970 cannot be said to be either true or false, because of the non-existence of a King
Strawson brought out the example: (b) There is a present King France sentence (b) is a precondition for sentence (a) Strawson called this relationship between (a) & (b) presupposition formally he held: A statement A presupposes a statement B iff B is a precondition of the truth or falsity of A
Presupposition-Triggers presuppositions seem to be tied to particular words or aspects of surface structure > presupposition-triggers
John managed to stop in time from this we can infer: (a) John stopped in time (b) John tried to stop in time > manage = presupposition-trigger
1) Definite descriptions John saw/didn`t see the man with two heads >> there exist a man with two heads
3) Implicative verbs Ali managed /didn`t manage to open the door >> Ali tried to open the door
4) Change of state verbs Kissinger continued /didn`t continue to rule the world >> Kissinger had been ruling the world
5) Iteratives You can`t get gobstoppers anymore >> You once could get gobstoppers
6) Verbs of judging Agatha accused /didn`t accuse Ian of plagiarism >> (Agatha thinks) plagiarism is bad
7) Temporal clauses Before Strawson was even born, Frege noticed/didn`t notice presuppositions >> Strawson was born
8) Cleft sentences It was/wasn`t Ahmad that kicked ball. >> Someone kicked the ball.
9) Implicit clefts with stressed constituents Linguistics was/wasn`t invented by CHOMSKY! >> Someone invented linguistics
10) Comparison and contrast Basanti is/isn`t a better cook than Naseebo >> Naseebo is a cook
11) Non-restrictive relative clauses The Proto-Harrappans, who flourished 2800-2650 B.C., were/were not great temple builders >> The Proto-Harrappans flourished 2800-2650 B.C.
12) Counterfactual conditionals If Hannibal had only had twelve more elephants , the Romance language would/would not this day exist >> Hannibal didn`t have twelve more elephants
13) Questions Is Newcastle in England or is it in Australia? >> Newcastle is in England or Newcastle is in Australia
Exercise I`ve coached Jack`s children definite description (existence presupposition) presupposes Jack has children (b) When did the Sixers beat the Lakers? wh-question presupposes the Sixers beat the Lakers
Exercise (c) Hey, Judy, give me a hand. so called social relationship relation presupposes that the addressee is socially intimiate with the speaker or socially inferior (e.g. a young child) it has been claimed that the use of a vocative proper noun (like Judy) presupposes that the person so addressed is called by that name
Exercise (d) During the robbery, did you not think of your victim? temporal clause during – plus the trailing phrase – implies you were involved and victimised someone (e) I`m asking you for the third time: ‘Did you steal the cake?‘ ordinal numerals you have alredy been asked twice
Properties of Presuppositions Negation - remains constant under negation - negation only alters a sentence`s entailment I want to do it again > same presupposition; I don`t want to do it again the subject has done it already one or more times
Properties of Presuppositions 2) Defeasibility can be cancelled by certain circumstances (e.g. compound sentences, modality, negation) e.g.: (a) Saira cried before she finished her thesis (b) Saira finished her thesis but now compare: (c) Saira died before she finished her thesis > presupposition is abandoned in this context, or set of background beliefs
Properties of Presuppositions 3) The projection problem behavior of presuppositions in complex sentence 3.1) Survival properties of presuppositions negation: The chief constable didn`t arrest three men > presupposition there is a chief constable survives modal contexts: It`s possible that the chief constable arrested three men > presupposition (there is a chief constable) also survives
Properties of Presuppositions compound sentences (connectives like and , or , if…then ) holes (e.g. factive verbs , modal operators , etc.) > allows presuppositions to ascend to become presuppositions of the complex whole
Properties of Presuppositions 3.2) Defeasibility of presuppositions coordinate sentences: John doesn`t manage to pass his exam, in fact he didn`t even try plugs (verbs of propositional attitude like believe , imagine and all verbs of saying like tell , say , etc.): Loony old Harry believes he`s the King of France filters (formed using the connectives and , or , if…then and the related expressions e.g. but , alternatively ,…) > let some presupposition through but not others
Kinds of Explanation Semantic presupposition Definition: > A sentence A semantically presuppose another sentence B iff: (a) in all situations where A is true, B is true (b) in all situations where A is false, B is true
Kinds of Explanation semantics concerned with context-independent, stable meaning of words and clauses presuppositions are not stable, have context-independent aspects of meaning therefore presuppositions belong in pragmatics and not in semantics
Kinds of Explanation 2) Pragmatic presupposition Definition: An utterance A pragmatically presupposes a proposition B iff A is appropriate only if B is mutually known by participants
Implicature The following incident, which occurred at a seaside resort in Kent, was reported in several national newspapers in July 1994. Kent Coastguard reports that a girl, drifting out to sea on an inflatable set of false teeth, was rescued by a man on a giant inflatable lobster.
Implicature A case of natural meaning, x means that p entails p These spots are measles. *Those spots meant measles, but I hadn’t got measles. A case of non-natural meaning or meaning-n, x means that p does not entail p Those three rings on the bell (of the bus) mean that the bus is full. Those three rings on the bell (of the bus) mean that the bus is full. But it isn’t in fact full – the conductor made a mistake .
Implicature Grice’s theory of speakers meaning: S peaker means -nn p by uttering U tterance to A udience if and only if S intends: 1. A to think p 2. A to recognize that S intends (1.) and 3. A ’s recognition of S ’s intending (1.) to be the primary reason for A thinking p
Conventional Implicature non-thruth conditional inference, which is not deductive in any general, natural way from the saying of what is said, but arises solely because of the conventional features attached to particular lexical items and/or linguistic constructions
Conventional Implicature p therefore q +>> q follows from p He is a Chinese, he therefore uses chopsticks. p but q +>> p contrasts with q John is poor, but he is honest. Our sales have gone up, but theirs have gone down.
Conventional Implicature even p +>> contrary to expectations Even his wife didn’t think that John would win the by- election . p moreover q +>> q is in addition to p Xiaoming can read German. Moreover, he can write poems in the language. p so q +>> p provides an explanation for q Mary is taking Chinese cookery lessons. So her husband has bought her a wok.
Conventional Implicature conventional implicatures in English include but , even , therefore , yet ; actually , also , anyway , barely , besides , however , manage to , on the other hand , only , still though , too and yet .
Generalized vs. Particularised generalized implicature interpretation without any particular context Most of John’s friends believe in marriage. +> not all of John’s friends believe in marriage particularized implicature depends crucially on its linguistic context A: Where is Peter? B: The light in his office is on. +> He is in his office.
Generalized vs. Particularised Exercise: Of the following two conversational implicatures, which is the generalized one and which is the particularized one? A: How did yesterday’s guest lecture go? B: Some of the faculty left before it ended. +> Not all of the faculty left before it ended. +> The lecture didn’t go well.
Special forms of conversational implicature metaphor - transfer of meaning Queen Victoria is of iron. She has some identical properties like hardness, resilience, non-flexibility or durability. irony - means the opposite of what is said It’s raining cats and dogs. Person A says: It is really a nice day today. tautology War is war.
Special forms of conversational implicature Example: Maria spilled her chocolate milk over the breakfast table. Mother: That‘s great. Business is business . Edmund is a pig.
Properties of Conversational Implicature defeasibility or cancellablity an implicature can be cancelled, by first implying something and than denying that implicature - implicatures evaporate in the face of inconsistency with semantic entailment – inconsistent entailment His wife is often complaining. ~+> His wife is often complaining, in fact she’s always complaining .
Properties of Conversational Implicature - implicatures suspend if they are not in keeping with background or ontological assumptions John and Mary bought an apartment near the Louvre in Paris. +> John and Mary bought an apartment near the Louvre in Paris together, not one each. The Americans and the Russians tested the atom bomb in 1962. ~+>The Americans and the Russians tested the atom bomb in 1962 together, not one each.
Properties of Conversational Implicature - implicatures are annulled when they run contrary to what the immediate linguistic context of utterance tells us A: This CD costs 8 euros, and I haven’t got any money on me. B: Don’t worry I’ve got 8 euros ~+> Mary has got only 8 euros.
Properties of Conversational Implicature non-detachablitity some aspects of meaning are semantic and can be changed or removed by relexicalization or reformulation; no matter how much you reword an utterance (find synonyms), the implicature remains I have cats, which are fat. A visitor comes and says: Underfed, isn’t he? Frail/puny/skinny/delicate/light-on-his-feet/slim line, isn’t he?
Properties of Conversational Implicature calculability conversational implicatures can be reconstructed from the literal meaning of the utterance, the co-operative principle and its conversational maxims and the context in which the utterance appeared Late on Christmas Eve in 1993 an ambulance is sent to pick up a man who has collapsed in Newcastle City centre. The man is drunk and vomits all over the ambulance man who goes to help him. The ambulance man says: “Great, that’s really great! That’s made my Christmas!”
Properties of Conversational Implicature non-conventionality implicature relies on the saying of what is said, but is not part of what is said
Properties of Conversational Implicature reinforceability made explicit without producing too much of a sense of redundancy The soup is warm. +> The soup is not hot. The soup is warm, but not hot.
Properties of Conversational Implicature universality implicatures tend to be universal, being motivated rather than arbitrary Some young people like pop music. +>Not all young people like pop music. The man has two children. +> The man has no more than two children. The cloth is white. +> The cloth is wholly white.
Conventional vs. Conversational neither makes an contribution to thruth conditions associated with speaker or utterance rather than proposition or sentence
Conventional vs. Conversational attached by convention to particular lexical items or linguistic constructions arbitrary part of meaning, must be learned ad hoc given by convention, must be stipulated derive from co-operative principle and its maxims non-conventional, motivated rather than arbitrary calculable via natural procedure using - pragmatic principles - context knowledge - background assumptions
Conventional vs. Conversational not cancellable, cannot be defeated detachable depend on the particular linguistic item used tend not to be universal cancellable non-detachable attached to the semantic content, not to the linguistic form of what is said universal
Examples The American actress, Kathleen Turner, was discussing perceptions of women in the film industry: ‘ I get breakdowns from the studios of the scripts that they’re developing… and I got one that I sent back furious to the studio that said “The main character was thirty-seven but still attractive.” I circled the but in red ink and I sent it back and said, “Try again!”
Examples A and B are sisters. A is getting ready for a job interview: A: Did you get your velvet jacket back from the cleaners? B: You’re not borrowing it. A: I don’t want to borrow it. I just wondered if you got it back. B: You just wondered! A: Well, I haven’t got anything decent to wear!
Examples Speaker A is a newly-widowed woman who finds living with her interfering mother a strain: A: I wish you wouldn’t creep up on me, mother. B: I don’t creep, dear. I merely refrain from making gratuitous noise.
Examples A: Let’s have a drink. B: It’s not one o’clock yet. An hour or so later: A: Let’s have a gin and tonic – it’s after one o’clock. B: I didn’t say that you could drink after one o’clock. I said that you couldn’t drink before.
Problems The stated criterion is not adequate to explain its own examples . Example: student: may I come in? Teacher: I have already marked the attendance. In this example, we observe that utterance A has no direct linguistic relevance with utterance B. The difficulty is that it is not clear; exactly how much enrichment is allowed for elements of explicature. Example: A: I am out of petrol. B: There’s a garage just around the corner. A: No, it doesn’t. It’s only for repairs. Now, in this utterance, “no, it doesn’t” implies only to the fact that the garage does not sell petrol, enrichment provides the extra needed information that it is only for repairs, and it does not imply that the garage does not exist at all.
Maxims are unstated assumptions we have in conversations We assume that they are providing an appropriate amount of information, they are telling the truth, being relevant, and trying to be as clear as they can
THE MAXIM OF QUALITY do not say what you believe to be false do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence THE MAXIM OF QUANTITY make your information as informative as is required for the current purposes of the exchange do not make your contribution more informative than is required
THE MAXIM OF RELEVANCE make your contributions relevant THE MAXIM OF MANNER avoid obscurity avoid ambiguity be brief be orderly
Grice’s point is not that we always adhere to these maxims on a superficial level but rather that, wherever possible, people will interpret what we say as conforming to the maxims on at least some level
Relevance Theory Introduction Principles of relevance Cognitive principle(human cognition is geared to the maximisation of relevance) Communicative principle (utterances create expectations of optimal relevance)
Grice’s claim expression &recognition of intention Classical code model : A communicator encodes her intended message into a signal , which is decoded by the audience using an identical copy of code . Inferential code: A communicator provides evidence of her intention to convey a certain meaning, which is inferred by the audience on the basis of evidence provided.
An utterance is linguistically coded piece of evidence so that verbal comprehension involves an element of decoding. Whereas decoded linguistic meaning is just one of the inputs to a non demonstrative inference process which yields an interpretation of speaker’s meaning.
Goal of inferential pragmatics is to explain how the hearer infers the speaker’s meaning on the basis of the evidence provided. Grice’s central claim: utterances automatically create expectations which guide the hearer towards the speaker’s meaning
Relevance & Cognition Relevance is not only of utterances but of thoughts , memories and conclusions of inferences. In relevance theory any external stimulus or internal representation which provides an input (sight ,sound or utterance) to cognitive process may be relevant to an individual at some time. Processing of Relevant input yields positive cognitive effect. Contextual implication
Relevance matter of degree what makes an input worth picking out from the mass of competing stimuli is not just that it is relevant, but that it is more relevant than any alternative. Effort and Effect Other things being equal, the greater the positive cognitive effects achieved by processing an input, the greater the relevance of the input to the individual at that time.
Other things being equal, the greater the processing efforts expended , the lower the relevance of the input to the individual at that time. We are serving meat. We are serving chicken We are either serving chicken or (7-3) is not 46. So , characterization of relevance is comparative rather than the quantitative.
Inside & outside relevance Weight , distance processing time strength of implications ,level of attention etc. Relevance theory treats effect and effort as non- representational dimensions of mental process: but they exist and play role in cognition , whether not or represented; and when they are represented its in the form of comparative judgment rather than absolute numerical ones.
Cognitive principal of relevance maximisation of relevance Relevant stimuli Relevance & communication Ostensive inferential communication ( it involves the use of an ostensive stimuli) A: Ostensive inferential intention : the intention to inform Leave an empty glass in your field of vision B : The communicative intention : the intention to inform the audience of one’s informative intention. Wave the empty glass in front of you Not only I might like a drink , but I would like a drink.
Communication principal of relevance every ostensive stimulus conveys a presumption of its own optimal relevance . Resumption of optimal relevance: An ostensive stimulus is optimally relevant if: It is relevant enough to be worth the audience’s processing effort It is the most relevant one compatible with communicator’s abilities and preferences.(will and ability ) unwillingness is violation of the co-operative principle. E.g Silence unwillingness or in ability?
Relevance- theoretic comprehension procedure Follow a path of least effort in computing cognitive effects: test interpretive hypothesis ( disambiguation , reference resolutions , implicatures, etc.) in order of accessibility. Stop when your expectations of relevance are satisfied.(relevance varies inversely with effort)
Relevance and comprehension verbal & non-verbal cases Verbal communication can achieve a degree of explicitness not available in non-verbal communication. Grice invoked his co-operative principal and maxims to deal with implicatures, thus there has been a tendency to assume that all “primary processes” involved in the recovery of explicit content are less inferential than the “secondary processes” involved in the recovery of implicatures.
Comprehension process in brief Constructing an appropriate hypothesis about explicit content( explicature) via decoding , disambiguation , reference resolution, and other pragmatic enrichment processes. Constructing an appropriate hypothesis about the intended contextual assumptions ( implicated premises) Constructing an appropriate hypothesis about the intended contextual implications ( implicated conclusions) All tasks are not sequential but parallel against a background of expectations
Loose talk and metaphors are alternative routes to achieving optimal relevance Peter : what do you think of Martin’s latest novel. Mary : it puts me to sleep. Grice : test literal interpretation first, and consider a figurative interpretation only if Quality 1 is violated. Experimental evidence shows that literal interpretations are not computed first. Peter will not probably wonder whether Mary literally falls asleep.
Loose or metaphorical uses convey an array to individuals none individually required to achieve relevance, but some are needed. John has a square mind. For Grice , irony also involves flouting in first maxim but has a different account in relevance theory , involving choice use.
Conclusion Relevance theory is an experimentally testable cognitive theory, But communicative principle of relevance is a law like generalisation which follows from the cognitive principle of relevance together with Gricean view of communication as a process of inferential intention attribution. The communicative principle of relevance could be falsified by finding genuine communicative acts which did not convey a presumption of their own optimal relevance
Bibliography Sperber , D; Wilson, D. Relevance Theory Horn ,LR; Ward,G : the hand book of pragmatics Thomas, Jenny (1995). Meaning in Interaction: an Introduction to Pragmatics . London: Longman. Levinson, Stephen C. (1983). Pragmatics . Cambridge: CUP. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/implicature/. 4.10.2006.