The cooperative principle

28,986 views
27,551 views

Published on

a document shared with my students of University of Pamplona in Applied Linguistics course.

Published in: Education, Business, Spiritual
3 Comments
17 Likes
Statistics
Notes
No Downloads
Views
Total views
28,986
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
21
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
809
Comments
3
Likes
17
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

The cooperative principle

  1. 1. The CooperativeThe Cooperative PrinciplePrinciple The seventh weekThe seventh week
  2. 2. Key pointsKey points  The Cooperative Principle and its maximsThe Cooperative Principle and its maxims  Conversational implicaturesConversational implicatures
  3. 3. DifficultiesDifficulties  The violations of the cooperation maximsThe violations of the cooperation maxims
  4. 4. 6.3.2.1 The Cooperative Principle6.3.2.1 The Cooperative Principle and its maximsand its maxims  A principle proposed by the philosopherA principle proposed by the philosopher Paul Grice whereby those involved inPaul Grice whereby those involved in communication assume that both partiescommunication assume that both parties will normally seek to cooperate with eachwill normally seek to cooperate with each other to establish agreed meaning. It isother to establish agreed meaning. It is composed of four maxims: quality,composed of four maxims: quality, quantity, relation, and manner.quantity, relation, and manner.
  5. 5. The four cooperative maximsThe four cooperative maxims  [1] The Maxim of Quality[1] The Maxim of Quality  Try to make your contribution oneTry to make your contribution one that is true:that is true:  A. Do not say what you believe toA. Do not say what you believe to be false.be false.  B. Do not say that for which youB. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence (Say whatlack adequate evidence (Say what you believe to be true)you believe to be true)
  6. 6. The four cooperative principlesThe four cooperative principles  [2] The Maxim of Quantity[2] The Maxim of Quantity  A. make your contribution asA. make your contribution as informative as is required (for theinformative as is required (for the current purpose of the exchange)current purpose of the exchange)  B. Do not make your contributionB. Do not make your contribution more informative than is requiredmore informative than is required
  7. 7. The four cooperative principlesThe four cooperative principles  [3] The Maxim of[3] The Maxim of RelationRelation  Be relevantBe relevant
  8. 8. The four cooperative principlesThe 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 unnecessaryD. Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity).prolixity).  F. Be orderlyF. Be orderly
  9. 9. 6.3.2.2 Conversational6.3.2.2 Conversational implicaturesimplicatures  According to Grice, utterance interpretation is not aAccording to Grice, utterance interpretation is not a matter of decoding messages, but rather involvesmatter of decoding messages, but rather involves (1) taking the meaning of the sentences together with(1) taking the meaning of the sentences together with contextual information,contextual information, (2) using inference rules(2) using inference rules (3) working out what the speaker means on the basis of the(3) working out what the speaker means on the basis of the assumption that the utterance conforms to the maxims.assumption that the utterance conforms to the maxims. The main advantage of this approach from GriceThe main advantage of this approach from Grice’’s points point of view is that it provides a pragmatic explanation for aof view is that it provides a pragmatic explanation for a wide range of phenomena, especially forwide range of phenomena, especially for conversationalconversational implicautresimplicautres--- a kind of extra meaning that is not literally--- a kind of extra meaning that is not literally contained in the utterance.contained in the utterance.
  10. 10. According to Grice, conversational implicatures can arise from eitherAccording to Grice, conversational implicatures can arise from either strictly and directly observing or deliberately and openly flouting thestrictly and directly observing or deliberately and openly flouting the maxims, that is, speakers can produce implicatures in two ways:maxims, that is, speakers can produce implicatures in two ways: observance and non-observance of the maxims.observance and non-observance of the maxims.  Ex. (1) Husband: Where are the car keys?Ex. (1) Husband: Where are the car keys?  Wife: TheyWife: They’’re on the table in the hall.re on the table in the hall.  The wife has answered clearly (manner) andThe wife has answered clearly (manner) and truthfully (Quality), has given just the righttruthfully (Quality), has given just the right amount of information (Quantity) and has directlyamount of information (Quantity) and has directly addressed her husbandaddressed her husband’’s goal in asking thes goal in asking the question (Relation). She has said precisely whatquestion (Relation). She has said precisely what she meant, no more and no less.she meant, no more and no less.
  11. 11. (2) He is a tiger.(2) He is a tiger.  Example (2) is literally false, openlyExample (2) is literally false, openly against the maxim of quality, for no humanagainst the maxim of quality, for no human is a tiger. But the hearer still assumes thatis a tiger. But the hearer still assumes that the speaker is being cooperative and thenthe speaker is being cooperative and then infers that he is trying to say somethinginfers that he is trying to say something distinct from the literal meaning. He candistinct from the literal meaning. He can then work out that probably the speakerthen work out that probably the speaker meant to say thatmeant to say that ““he has somehe has some characteristics of a tigercharacteristics of a tiger””..
  12. 12. (3) Tom has wooden ears.(3) Tom has wooden ears.  Sentence (3) is obviously false in mostSentence (3) is obviously false in most natural contexts and the speaker innatural contexts and the speaker in uttering it flouts the first maxim of quality.uttering it flouts the first maxim of quality.
  13. 13. Conversational implicaturesConversational implicatures  Meaning: semantic meaningMeaning: semantic meaning  intended meaning conventional meaningintended meaning conventional meaning  unconventional meaningunconventional meaning  (conversational(conversational  implicatures)implicatures)
  14. 14. Conversational implicaturesConversational implicatures  Unconventional meaning generalizedUnconventional meaning generalized  scalarscalar  particularizedparticularized
  15. 15. The flouting of cooperativeThe flouting of cooperative principlesprinciples  It is important to note that it is speakers whoIt is important to note that it is speakers who communicate meaning via implicatures and it iscommunicate meaning via implicatures and it is listeners who recognize those communicatedlisteners who recognize those communicated meanings via inference. The inferences selectedmeanings via inference. The inferences selected are those which will preserve the assumption ofare those which will preserve the assumption of cooperation. But in fact, the speakers often floutcooperation. But in fact, the speakers often flout the cooperative principles and are still thought tothe cooperative principles and are still thought to be cooperative. What they convey is thebe cooperative. What they convey is the conversational implicatures.conversational implicatures.  (Flout: to disobey intentionally (a rule or low), or to avoid(Flout: to disobey intentionally (a rule or low), or to avoid intentionally (behavior that is usual or expected)intentionally (behavior that is usual or expected)
  16. 16. The flouting of the maxim ofThe flouting of the maxim of qualityquality  Ex. (4) Tom does not appreciate classicalEx. (4) Tom does not appreciate classical music so we should not invite him to themusic so we should not invite him to the concert.concert.  Ex. When we moved here, the room isEx. When we moved here, the room is 5x4, now it is 3x4.5x4, now it is 3x4.
  17. 17. The flouting of maxim of quantityThe 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. XMr. X’’s command of English iss command of English is excellent and his attendance at tutorialsexcellent and his attendance at tutorials has been regular, yours, etc.has been regular, yours, etc.
  18. 18. The flouting of the maxim ofThe flouting of the maxim of relation:relation:  Ex. (6) A: IEx. (6) A: I’’m out of petrol.m out of petrol.  B: There is a garage round the corner.B: There is a garage round the corner.  Ex. A. WhereEx. A. Where’’s Bill?s Bill?  B. ThereB. There’’s a yellow VW outside Sues a yellow VW outside Sue’’s house.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, donEx. A. The hostess is an awful bore, don’’t yout you think?think?  B. The roses are lovely, arenB. The roses are lovely, aren’’t they?t they?
  19. 19. The flouting of the maxim ofThe flouting of the maxim of mannermanner  Ex. (7) A: Shall we get something for theEx. (7) A: Shall we get something for the kids?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 soundsEx. Miss X produced a series of sounds that corresponded closely with the scorethat corresponded closely with the score ofof ““Home, Sweet HomeHome, Sweet Home””..
  20. 20. Tautology: it is uninformative byTautology: it is uninformative by virtue of its semantic contentvirtue 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. 21. assignmentsassignments  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 theII. What are the four maxims of the Cooperative Principle?Cooperative Principle?  III. Which maxim does this speaker seemIII. Which maxim does this speaker seem to be particularly careful about:to be particularly careful about:  Well, to be quite honest, I donWell, to be quite honest, I don’’t think shet think she is ill today.is ill today.

×