Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
The Logic of Conversation
Prof. A. Elhaloui
Read TEXTs 1 and 2

2 types of «irrationalities»

Inherent

conversational
He was chained to the wall by a chain
that was attached to the wall-

Example of inherent ”irrationalities”
True, true. The only other occupant was
another occupant- Apart from that he
was the only other occupant.

Example of inhe...
Would youotherto share mythere?
How Oh, you can’t eat that.
Is there like way out of here?
about that window supper?

Exam...
Question
• How can a conversation be ”rational”?
• A part of the answer answer: Meaning should be
1. clear
2. explicit
3. ...
Did you bring
Did you bring
enough food for the
enough food for the
party?
party?

I’d say that you
I’d say that you
made ...
Does Tom have a
Does Tom have a
good job right
good job right
now?
now?

Is meaning
1.clear,
It seems that he does!
2.expl...
What? Not one? You must be joking!
What? Not one? You must be joking!
Not one man? It can’t be true! There
Not one man? It...
Prom dress
What are you
What are you
wearing to the
wearing to the
football game on
football game on
Saturday?
Saturday?
Of course a ...
Ivana, why are you
Ivana, why are you
going on a date
going on a date
with William
with William
Forbes Dupont ?
Forbes Dup...
Formal Logic
•

The rationality of conversation is certainly different from
«mathematical» (= formal) rationality:

1. All...
All psycholinguists are clever. Jim is a
All psycholinguists are clever. Jim is a
psycholinguist. So Jim is clever!
psycho...
Conversational Logic
When we draw a non-literal meaning from a
literal meaning, we are making an inference
Does Tom have a...
The first one to address and answer this question was the
The first one to address and answer this question was the
Americ...
The Cooperative Principle
Grice’s answer involves understanding the basic principle that gets
conversations going.

"Make ...
The Cooperative Principle
The Cooperative Principle is expressed in
terms of a set of maxims
Grice’s Maxims
Maxims of Quantity
Maxims of Quantity
1.“Make your contribution as informative as
1.“Make your contribution...
Math + English
Dad: Have you done your homework?
Dad: Have you done your homework?
Son: I’ve done my math.
Son: I’ve done ...
Quantity hedges
1. Roughly, NO student can pass that exam without the assistance of
a professional coach.
2. More or less,...
Grice’s Maxims

Maxims of Quality (Be truthful.)
Maxims of Quality (Be truthful.)
1.“Don’t say what you believe to be fals...
Quality hedges
1. Some people believe that a financial crisis is
at the door.
2. It is quite right what people say: that a...
Grice’s Maxims

Maxims of Quality (Be truthful.)
Maxims of Quality (Be truthful.)
1.“Don’t say what you believe to be fals...
Grice’s Maxims
Maxims of Relation
Maxims of Relation
Be relevant
Be relevant

A: There’s somebody at the door!
A: There’s ...
Relation hedges
1.
2.
3.
4.

by the way…
anyway…,
this may not be relevant/timely but…,
I might mention at this point…,
Grice’s Maxims
Maxims of Manner: (Be perspicuous.)
Maxims of Manner: (Be perspicuous.)
1. “Avoid obscurity of expression.”...
Manner hedges
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

what I meant was…,
more clearly…,
to put it more simply…,
you see,
yeah?,
got it...
Note …
If speakers assume the maxims to be operative, then
If speakers assume the maxims to be operative, then
they can de...
Did you bring
Did you bring
enough food for the
enough food for the
party?
party?

I’d say that you
I’d say that you
made ...
Does Tom have a
Does Tom have a
good job right
good job right
now?
now?

Implicature

It seems that he does!
Well, he goes...
What? Not one? You must be joking!
What? Not one? You must be joking!
Not one man? It can’t be true! There
Not one man? It...
The Nature of the Maxims
• Although the maxims have the form of prescriptive
statements, they are not.
• Rather, they are ...
Implicatures
1. These maxims (or, more precisely, their violation)
form the basis for inferences that we draw in
conversat...
How to Violate Conversational Maxims
Quietly and unostentatiously
A: Does your dog bite?
B: No.
A: [Bends down to stroke i...
• Think of one example in which Relation is violated (=
Be relevant) ‘‘quietly and unostentatiously’’:

A: ……………………………………
...
Quietly and unostentatiously
How to Violate Conversational Maxims
Opting out
What’s violated?

How’s your research
project going?

quantity
quantity

T...
Quietly and unostentatiously
Opting out
Coping with a clash between two maxims
Don’t worry ... I don’t think
he will die today.
Quality/
Quality/
quantity
quantit...
Quietly and unostentatiously
Opting out
Coping with a clash between two maxims
How to Violate Conversational Maxims

Flouting
What’s violated?

Tehran’s in Turkey, isn’t
it?

quality
quality

implicatu...
Irony
If you only know how I
love being woken at four
am by a fire alarm.

Banter
You’r nasty, mean and stingy!
How can yo...
A: so what do you think of Mark?
B: his flatmate’s a wonderful cook.

Relation
Relation

A: Where are you off to?
B: I was...
WHAT IS FLOUTED HERE?

A: What can you tell me about Catherine’s ability to
concentrate on a task?
B: Catherine is a butte...
Quietly and unostentatiously
Opting out
Coping with a clash between two maxims
Flouting
A: I’m beginning to realize why jobs in language schools run
out too sharply in the autumn and in the spring. It’s all the...
Four ways of ”violating” the Cooperative Principle

1- “Quietly and unostentatiously”
2- Overtly opting out of a maxim
wit...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

The logic of conversation

1,105 views

Published on

Published in: Education, Technology, Spiritual
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

The logic of conversation

  1. 1. The Logic of Conversation Prof. A. Elhaloui
  2. 2. Read TEXTs 1 and 2 2 types of «irrationalities» Inherent conversational
  3. 3. He was chained to the wall by a chain that was attached to the wall- Example of inherent ”irrationalities”
  4. 4. True, true. The only other occupant was another occupant- Apart from that he was the only other occupant. Example of inherent ”irrationalities”
  5. 5. Would youotherto share mythere? How Oh, you can’t eat that. Is there like way out of here? about that window supper? Examples of conversational ”irrationalities”
  6. 6. Question • How can a conversation be ”rational”? • A part of the answer answer: Meaning should be 1. clear 2. explicit 3. literal 4. straightforward 5. etc.
  7. 7. Did you bring Did you bring enough food for the enough food for the party? party? I’d say that you I’d say that you made just the right made just the right amount-if a couple amount-if a couple of hundred people of hundred people show up. show up. Is meaning 1.clear, I didn’t bring more food ! 2.explicit, 3.literal, 4.straightforward? •Certainly it is NOT. Still from the literal meaning, the hearer understands something beyond the literal meaning
  8. 8. Does Tom have a Does Tom have a good job right good job right now? now? Is meaning 1.clear, It seems that he does! 2.explicit, Well, he goes to Well, he goes to 3.literal, Agadir every Agadir every 4.straightforward? weekend. weekend. •Certainly it is NOT. Still from the literal meaning, the hearer understands something beyond the literal meaning
  9. 9. What? Not one? You must be joking! What? Not one? You must be joking! Not one man? It can’t be true! There Not one man? It can’t be true! There must be a flood! There must have been must be a flood! There must have been a tornado! a tornado! Is meaning 1.clear, II don’t think any don’t think any 2.explicit, I am 3.literal,amzed no one is coming today ! guests are coming guests are coming 4.straightforward? to visit today, to visit today, •Certainly it is NOT. Still from the literal meaning, the hearer buddy. buddy. understands something beyond the literal meaning
  10. 10. Prom dress
  11. 11. What are you What are you wearing to the wearing to the football game on football game on Saturday? Saturday? Of course a football dress ! Is meaning 1.clear, I’m wearing my 2.explicit,I’m wearing my 3.literal, prom dress ! prom dress ! 4.straightforward? •Certainly it is NOT. Still from the literal meaning, the hearer understands something beyond the literal meaning
  12. 12. Ivana, why are you Ivana, why are you going on a date going on a date with William with William Forbes Dupont ? Forbes Dupont ? Of course not because he is sweet; because of his money! Is meaning Forbes Dupont William 1.clear, 2.explicit, Uh, because he’s Uh, because he’s 3.literal, 4.straightforward? really, uh, sweet !! really, uh, sweet •Certainly it is NOT. Still from the literal meaning, the hearer understands something beyond the literal meaning
  13. 13. Formal Logic • The rationality of conversation is certainly different from «mathematical» (= formal) rationality: 1. All psycholinguists are clever. 2. Jim is a psycholinguist. implies that Jim is clever.
  14. 14. All psycholinguists are clever. Jim is a All psycholinguists are clever. Jim is a psycholinguist. So Jim is clever! psycholinguist. So Jim is clever!
  15. 15. Conversational Logic When we draw a non-literal meaning from a literal meaning, we are making an inference Does Tom have a good job right now? ----- well he goes to Agadir every weekend. WHAT IS THE LOGICAL BASIS FOR THESE INFERENCES?
  16. 16. The first one to address and answer this question was the The first one to address and answer this question was the American philosopher H. Paul Grice (1975, “Logic and American philosopher H. Paul Grice (1975, “Logic and conversation.”) conversation.”)
  17. 17. The Cooperative Principle Grice’s answer involves understanding the basic principle that gets conversations going. "Make your contribution to the conversation such as is "Make your contribution to the conversation such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the exchange in which you are purpose or direction of the exchange in which you are engaged." engaged."
  18. 18. The Cooperative Principle The Cooperative Principle is expressed in terms of a set of maxims
  19. 19. Grice’s Maxims Maxims of Quantity Maxims of Quantity 1.“Make your contribution as informative as 1.“Make your contribution as informative as required.” required.” 2. “Don’t make your contribution less or more 2. “Don’t make your contribution less or more informative than is required.” informative than is required.” A: How do II look? A: How do look? B: awesome! B: awesome! A: How do II look? A: How do look? B: Your shoes are awesome! B: Your shoes are awesome!
  20. 20. Math + English Dad: Have you done your homework? Dad: Have you done your homework? Son: I’ve done my math. Son: I’ve done my math. Dad: Then get busy and do your English! Dad: Then get busy and do your English!
  21. 21. Quantity hedges 1. Roughly, NO student can pass that exam without the assistance of a professional coach. 2. More or less, your friend does 3. I can’t tell you more than that it’s risky to go for that option. 4. to some extent, she is now quite ready to accept her new situation. 5. all in all, NO student can pass that exam without the assistance of a professional coach. 6. in short, NO student can pass that exam without the assistance of a professional coach. 7. basically, NO student can pass that exam without the assistance of a professional coach.
  22. 22. Grice’s Maxims Maxims of Quality (Be truthful.) Maxims of Quality (Be truthful.) 1.“Don’t say what you believe to be false.” 1.“Don’t say what you believe to be false.” 2. “Don’t say what you lack adequate evidence 2. “Don’t say what you lack adequate evidence for.” TEXT 3 for.” TEXT 3 A: I’ll ring you tomorrow A: I’ll ring you tomorrow afternoon then. afternoon then. B: Erm, IIshall be there, and in B: Erm, shall be there, and in the meantime have a word the meantime have a word with Mum and Dad if they’re with Mum and Dad if they’re free. Right, bye-bye then free. Right, bye-bye then sweetheart. sweetheart. A: Bye-bye. A: Bye-bye. A: I’ll ring you tomorrow A: I’ll ring you tomorrow afternoon then. afternoon then. B: Erm, IIshall be there as far as B: Erm, shall be there as far as IIknow, and in the meantime know, and in the meantime have a word with Mum and have a word with Mum and Dad if they’re free. Right, byeDad if they’re free. Right, byebye then sweetheart. bye then sweetheart. A: Bye-bye. A: Bye-bye.
  23. 23. Quality hedges 1. Some people believe that a financial crisis is at the door. 2. It is quite right what people say: that a financial crisis is at the door. 3. It’s well-known that a financial crisis is at the door. 4. As you and I both know a financial crisis is at the door.
  24. 24. Grice’s Maxims Maxims of Quality (Be truthful.) Maxims of Quality (Be truthful.) 1.“Don’t say what you believe to be false.” 1.“Don’t say what you believe to be false.” 2. “Don’t say what you lack adequate evidence 2. “Don’t say what you lack adequate evidence for.” TEXT 3 for.” TEXT 3 A: I’ll ring you tomorrow A: I’ll ring you tomorrow afternoon then. afternoon then. B: Erm, IIshall be there, and in B: Erm, shall be there, and in the meantime have a word the meantime have a word with Mum and Dad if they’re with Mum and Dad if they’re free. Right, bye-bye then free. Right, bye-bye then sweetheart. sweetheart. A: Bye-bye. A: Bye-bye. A: I’ll ring you tomorrow A: I’ll ring you tomorrow afternoon then. afternoon then. B: Erm, IIshall be there as far as B: Erm, shall be there as far as IIknow, and in the meantime know, and in the meantime have a word with Mum and have a word with Mum and Dad if they’re free. Right, byeDad if they’re free. Right, byebye then sweetheart. bye then sweetheart. A: Bye-bye. A: Bye-bye.
  25. 25. Grice’s Maxims Maxims of Relation Maxims of Relation Be relevant Be relevant A: There’s somebody at the door! A: There’s somebody at the door! B: IIam not free to see them now. B: am not free to see them now. A: There’s somebody at the door! A: There’s somebody at the door! B: IIam in the bath. B: am in the bath.
  26. 26. Relation hedges 1. 2. 3. 4. by the way… anyway…, this may not be relevant/timely but…, I might mention at this point…,
  27. 27. Grice’s Maxims Maxims of Manner: (Be perspicuous.) Maxims of Manner: (Be perspicuous.) 1. “Avoid obscurity of expression.” 1. “Avoid obscurity of expression.” 2. “Avoid ambiguity.” 2. “Avoid ambiguity.” 3. “Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity).” 3. “Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity).” 4. “Be orderly.” 4. “Be orderly.” A: IIhear you went to the opera A: hear you went to the opera last night; how was the lead last night; how was the lead singer? singer? B: she sang badly. B: she sang badly. A: IIhear you went to the opera A: hear you went to the opera last night; how was the lead last night; how was the lead singer? singer? B: she produced a series of B: she produced a series of sounds corresponding closely sounds corresponding closely to the score of an aria from to the score of an aria from "Rigoletto“! "Rigoletto“!
  28. 28. Manner hedges 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. what I meant was…, more clearly…, to put it more simply…, you see, yeah?, got it?, OK?, is that clear?, see?
  29. 29. Note … If speakers assume the maxims to be operative, then If speakers assume the maxims to be operative, then they can determine from what was literally said what they can determine from what was literally said what the speaker intends. the speaker intends. The intended meaning that the speaker infers is called: Implicature
  30. 30. Did you bring Did you bring enough food for the enough food for the party? party? I’d say that you I’d say that you made just the right made just the right amount-if a couple amount-if a couple of hundred people of hundred people show up. show up. Implicature I didn’t bring more food !
  31. 31. Does Tom have a Does Tom have a good job right good job right now? now? Implicature It seems that he does! Well, he goes to Well, he goes to Agadir every Agadir every weekend. weekend.
  32. 32. What? Not one? You must be joking! What? Not one? You must be joking! Not one man? It can’t be true! There Not one man? It can’t be true! There must be a flood! There must have been must be a flood! There must have been a tornado! a tornado! Implicature II don’t think any don’t think any I am amzed no one is coming today ! guests are coming guests are coming to visit today, to visit today, buddy. buddy.
  33. 33. The Nature of the Maxims • Although the maxims have the form of prescriptive statements, they are not. • Rather, they are observations that encode the assumptions that speakers are using in actual discourse situations. • We can see how people follow these maxims to deduce speaker’s meaning in simple examples.
  34. 34. Implicatures 1. These maxims (or, more precisely, their violation) form the basis for inferences that we draw in conversation, which Grice called implicatures. 2. different ways of violating these maxims give rise to different types of implicatures.
  35. 35. How to Violate Conversational Maxims Quietly and unostentatiously A: Does your dog bite? B: No. A: [Bends down to stroke it and gets bitten] You said your dog doesn’t bite! B: That isn’t my dog! Husband: How much did that new dress cost, darling? Wife: Less than the last one. A: What would the other people say? B: Ah well I don’t know. I don’t like to repeat it because I don’t really believe half of what they’re saying. They just get a fixed thing into their mind. What’s violated? quality quality quantity quantity manner manner
  36. 36. • Think of one example in which Relation is violated (= Be relevant) ‘‘quietly and unostentatiously’’: A: …………………………………… B: ……………………………………
  37. 37. Quietly and unostentatiously
  38. 38. How to Violate Conversational Maxims Opting out What’s violated? How’s your research project going? quantity quantity That’s confidential!
  39. 39. Quietly and unostentatiously Opting out
  40. 40. Coping with a clash between two maxims Don’t worry ... I don’t think he will die today. Quality/ Quality/ quantity quantity implicature I really don’t know! Do you think he’ll survive doc?
  41. 41. Quietly and unostentatiously Opting out Coping with a clash between two maxims
  42. 42. How to Violate Conversational Maxims Flouting What’s violated? Tehran’s in Turkey, isn’t it? quality quality implicature What you said is obviously unreasonable. Uh-huh, and Boston's in Iraq.
  43. 43. Irony If you only know how I love being woken at four am by a fire alarm. Banter You’r nasty, mean and stingy! How can you give only one kiss? Sarcasm Why don’t you try to leave all your dirty clothes in the lounge floor, love, and then you only need wash them when someone breaks a leg trying to get to the sofa. Hyperbole 1.My house is a refrigerator in January. 2.Love is a disease, but curable. 3.Religion is the Opium of the people. Flouting Flouting quality quality Conventional Euphemism I ‘m going to wash my hands She’s got a bun on the oven
  44. 44. A: so what do you think of Mark? B: his flatmate’s a wonderful cook. Relation Relation A: Where are you off to? B: I was thinking of going out to get some of that funy while stuff for somebody. Manner: A: Okay, but don’t be long. Dinner’s nearly ready. Manner: obscurity obscurity A: I hear you went to the opera last night; how was the lead singer? B: The singer produced a series of sounds corresponding closely to the score of an aria from "Rigoletto." Manner: Manner: A: I hear you went to the opera last night; how was the lead singer? B: The singer produced a series of sounds corresponding closely to the score of an aria from "Rigoletto." obscurity obscurity Manner: Manner: obscurity obscurity
  45. 45. WHAT IS FLOUTED HERE? A: What can you tell me about Catherine’s ability to concentrate on a task? B: Catherine is a butterfly flitting from flower to flower.
  46. 46. Quietly and unostentatiously Opting out Coping with a clash between two maxims Flouting
  47. 47. A: I’m beginning to realize why jobs in language schools run out too sharply in the autumn and in the spring. It’s all these damn MSc students and their wives // he he B: // he he A: Now I know why I was never wanted after October B: Yeah, that’s right (he)
  48. 48. Four ways of ”violating” the Cooperative Principle 1- “Quietly and unostentatiously” 2- Overtly opting out of a maxim with implicatures no implicatures 3- Coping with a clash between maxims 4- Flouting a maxim in order to exploit it

×