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On implicatures, pragmatic enrichment and explicatures

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Crash course, University of Belgrade, 2008. By Louis de Saussure

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On implicatures, pragmatic enrichment and explicatures

  1. 1. On implicatures, pragmatic enrichment and explicatures Louis de Saussure University of Neuchâtel
  2. 2. Map <ul><li>Some problematic consequences of the thoughts as truth-conditional propositions hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Some problematic consequences of Grice’s model </li></ul><ul><li>Facts challenging semantic determinism </li></ul><ul><li>Problems in explicating explicatures </li></ul><ul><li>Problems in cancellability </li></ul><ul><li>From intended implicit meanings to unintended inferences </li></ul>
  3. 3. The problem of thought in analytical philosophy <ul><li>What analytical philosophers – notably Frege – call thought is more or less equivalent to proposition . </li></ul><ul><li>Is excluded from thought anything not propositional </li></ul><ul><li>The criterion for deciding if X is a proposition is that X must be truth-evaluable (thus return a truth-value in the considered model). </li></ul>
  4. 4. Admitted consequences (1) <ul><li>Pairs below, although not fully equivalent, express the same thought for propositional logic: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(1) Eve ate the apple </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(1’) The apple was eaten by Eve </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strongest case: it is strictly impossible that one sentence be true while the other false. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(2) Paul hasn’t come. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(2’) Paul hasn’t come yet. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Both must be true or false. But (2) doesn’t entail (2’). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(3) He came on his horse. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(3’) He came on his steed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Same. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(4) It is raining and I’m going for a walk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(4’) It is raining but I’m going for a walk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>According to propositional logic, contrast is not in the propositional content. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Admitted consequences (2) <ul><li>Inferred conclusions cannot be taken into account by propositional logic: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(5) I met some of your children yesterday (Mill) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(5’) I met not all of your children yesterday </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(6) It is raining but I’m going for a walk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(6’) …while it’s normaly unlikely to do so when it’s raining. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Further consequences <ul><li>One sentence = one truth-conditional meaning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But what about </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(7) Even Paul loves Mary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As regards its necessary consequences: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(7’) Other people than Paul love Mary </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(7’’) Paul is the less likely to love Mary </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Implicated meanings are not under the scope of propositional logic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(7) Even Paul loves Mary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(8) Mary is a lovely / nice / wonderful lady </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Grice: said (= truth-cond) and implicated (= non-truth-cond) <ul><li>Provides a theory of implicature derivation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>through general rules of conversation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But maintains a number of problems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conventional implicatures: obligatory but not semantic/propositional in the full sense </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t discriminate two rather distinct types of infered meaning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(9) Mary has four children: +exactly. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(10) It’s raining: you can’t go and play tennis. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t address background information (is it a problem of literal or implicated meaning?) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(11) One steak with fries, please: such as cooked, served, not sent by post, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t address unarticulated constituents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(12) Paracetamol is better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(13) It is raining + here and + now (hidden indexicals) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t address lexical specification </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(13) I am tired: tired* so that we should go to the movies vs. Tired* so that I don’t want to go to the movies </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Grice: general rules of conversation (revisited): problems <ul><li>An implicature is derived on the basis of general knowledge of linguistic behaviour </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(follows J. S. Mill’s ideas) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The general rules behind implicatures are: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>S means M by U since otherwise he would have said U’ meaning M’. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mary has four children -> exactly four </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>S means M by U since M is entailed by U if S follows some general rule </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(14) Mary took the knife and stabbed her husband > and then (‘be ordered’). </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Why is this a major problem? <ul><li>Because it is unplausible at the cognitive level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Since we should constantly access conventional patterns in reasoning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Since we should constantly compare with what the speaker would have said if meaning something different </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Since it accounts only for some possible misunderstandings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Because context-dependency is not solved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes discarded (Generalized implicatures) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes needed (Particularized implicatures) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But then no theory of context accessibility is provided </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Because informativeness is not explained : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When and why do we seek an implicature? When and why do we stop searching for the intentional content? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informativeness stems from context-dependencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A content is informative relatively to a certain context </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Grice: only for particularized implicatures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But likely to be true also for GCIs. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(14) She took the knife and stabbed her husband (forwardly ordered) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(15) Mary sang the melody and Paul accompanied her on the piano (full simultaneity) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(16)Paul wrote a letter to Mary and drank a bottle of whisky (heterogeneous simultaneity) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The second problem with Grice <ul><li>Conventional implicatures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A myth according to Kent Bach. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bach’s solution: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>several propositional contents can be embedded under one sentence only: therefore these are not implicatures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Even Paul loves Mary = Paul loves Mary + Other men + Paul is the most unlikely. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some are not conventional, since defeasible. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Conventional implicatures obviously do not exist. Either a content is semantic (truth-conditional and obligatory) or it is pragmatic (eventually truth-functional, and optional). </li></ul>
  11. 11. The third problem: primary pragmatic meaning (possibly truth-conditional) <ul><li>Full propositional content (‘what is said’) is minimal and semantically given (no context-dependency except referential attribution and disambiguation). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is minimal in the sense that U’s PC is equivalent to the logical content (and implications) of the proposition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Very questionable when we see all the examples like </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Paul opened a restaurant > made it work for the public </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Holland is flat > has not many hills (S&W) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I have eaten > recently (S&W) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nobody goes there any more since it’s too crowded > nobody among (Bach) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>She took the knife and stabbed her husband </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full propositional content should be seen as a pragmatic construction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>That arises from pragmatic enrichment (of the logical syntactic-semantic form). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Plus: is there anything that one could call a full proposition relatively to a sentence? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is there any sentence with invariant truth-conditions (we’ll come back on this) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The overall background of Grice (and semantics): the hypothesis of semantic determinism. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language is explicit as far propositional content is concerned. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But semantic underdeterminacy can be seen in examples above and covers a number of various cases. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Facts challenging semantic determinism: sentence level <ul><li>Explicit content completion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(16) Please bring me the list of grades of my linguistics class </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The list of grades with names associated </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(17) I have eaten. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When? Eaten > past; have > present </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(18) He took off his shoes and went to bed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>and THEN </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(19) I like to go to the movies and read novels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not at the same time: distributive reading </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(20) I like to do the ironing and listen to the radio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>At the same time: cumulative reading </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(21) Paul or Mary will pick you up at the station </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Either Paul or Mary </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maybe both of them </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(22) If P then Q </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(22’) If we go to the mountains, Mary will be happy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Possibly also if we go to the sea, but not if we go just anywhere. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(22’’) If you mow the lawn I give you ten bucks (Geis & Zwicky 1971) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If and only if </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Facts against semantic determinism: lexical level (1) <ul><li>(23) I am tired. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Too tired to go to the movies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tired enough to go the movies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A sad person / face / day / music (Bach) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different kinds of sadness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A person who is sad / a face that looks as is the person were sad / a day with unpleasant events or atmosphere / a music that triggers sad feelings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>A long movie / stick / book (Bach) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Various specifications of long </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A dangerous drug / game / road (Bach) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Various specifications of dangerous </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Facts against semantic determinism: lexical level (2) <ul><li>Determination of lexical meaning by the linguistic context: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(24) Holland is flat . (Sperber & Wilson) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>cannot encode « truly flat » because of type incompatibility (a country is not of a type that can comply with true flatness) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(25) He opened the door / the bottle / a restaurant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(26) Le supermarché ouvre le vendredi ( = is open on Fridays ). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Kinds of opening </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Summing up <ul><li>There exists a level of meaning which </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doesn’t fall within Grice’s what is said </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Doesn’t fall within Grice’s what is implicated </li></ul></ul><ul><li>That level of meaning regards the contents that one must add to the sentence uttered in order to get a proper basic propositional meaning. There is then a primary pragmatic process or enrichment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Implicitures (Bach) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unarticulated constituents (Perry, Recanati) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explicatures (Sperber & Wilson, Carston). </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Explicatures <ul><li>Are explicatures different in nature from implicatures? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we distinguish between explicatures and implicatures? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Completion of the logical form </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speaker’s commitment (cancellability / retractability) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we articulate explicatures and implicatures? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explicatures as the key to the semantic-pragmatic interface </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Challenging semantic determinism (3): degrees of conventionalization <ul><li>Creative (novel) metaphors (no conventionalization) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are traditionally disregarded by semantics. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Grice: their understanding is based on the manifest fact that the speaker has overtly violated the maxim of quality. But no procedure of understanding is clearly spelled out. A rooted convention may be invoked as indirect help. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Conventionalized metaphors (low degree): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(27) You are my sunshine. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Same comments as above, although there exists a rooted convention which directly helps. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Conventionalized metaphors (highest degree): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(28) The number of students is rising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>( up is more ) (cf. Lakoff – Johnson / Fauconnier – Turner « cognitive linguistics » tradition) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(29) His income has fallen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>( down is less ) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The problem: that these metaphors are not standardly taken to be metaphors by speaking persons. Therefore: have we really to deal with pragmatic enrichments? or with semantically encoded meanings? or even with mental-cultural categories (as suggests the cognitive linguistics tradition)? </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. As for indirect speech acts (going back to implicatures) <ul><li>Some illocutionary forces are retrieved on the basis of strong conventionalization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bach & Harnish: standardization , based on repetition. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(30) Can you pass salt? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vs. (31) Do you have the capacity of passing the salt? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Some illocutionary forces are retrieved on the basis of general conventional rules (Searle) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>However how are we to find out the proper intended meaning? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(32) I find it a little chilly tonight > Please hold me in your arms > I’d love you to hug and kiss me > Please close the window </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Some IF are clearly retrieved on the basis of pragmatic reasoning (itself based upon semantic/grammatical parameters or on general constraints on relevance-searching) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Illocutionary force, semantic and grammatical triggers <ul><li>(33) I was thinking of going to the beach. What about you? </li></ul><ul><li>Grice-Searle paradigm type of explanation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Past conventionally means present + indirectness </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The recourse to convention may be suspicious </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Even if such implicit communication gets standardized – thus conventional in the sense of incorporated meaning or semanticised meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A cognitive pragmatic view will rely on the presence of the morphème imperfective past + contextual salient facts and spell out a reasoning out of these. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Illocutionary force and past <ul><li>I was thinking of going to the beach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intuition: means I am thinking… + conveys « indirectness ». </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>« Indirectness » can be interpreted as defeasability (here at least) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defeasability can be interpreted as retractability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retractability (real or symbolic) implies implicit (and thus non-commitment , just as SAT predicts, as RT, as anyone would.) </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. I was thinking of informativeness <ul><li>The speaker says I was thinking of doing X </li></ul><ul><li>Here comes the problem of informativeness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each ostensive stimulus conveys an (or several) intended meaning(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provisional definition: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An intended meaning is a representation that the speaker entertains and makes available to the hearer </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Meaning: refinements <ul><li>… a representation made available for the hearer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Actually: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the speaker, who holds a private and intimate representation R, does not convey R (R is not « transmissible ») </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The speaker wishes that the hearer elaborates a representation R’ which has essential resemblance with R </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Which triggers the same entailments as R itself would </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is a high-risk bet, but works efficiently in general </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Meaning is not all communication <ul><li>An utterance conveys </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A meaning (/several meanings) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The motivation for the representation R’ to arise in the hearer’s cognitive environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>That R’ is a new piece of information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Which has informational consequences </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Such as: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Entails consequences about previously held beliefs (strengthening, weakening, cancellation) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Entails the rise of infered new information, R being a premiss of an inference </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Therefore <ul><li>The hearer builds an interpretation of utterance U in the form of a representation R’ which is considered enough resemblant to the original speaker’s thought R. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The best way to assess this level of resemblance is to see if R’ has strong effects (strong entailments) relatively to its complexity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Otherwise said: if R’ is relevant (Sperber & Wilson): that R’ triggers more effect for less efforts </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. I was thinking of doing X <ul><li>‘ The speaker was thinking in the past of doing X’ is assumed explicitly true but little relevant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Since in the situation the speakers speaks about something he has not done already </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Since if one thinks of doing X one has the desire of doing X </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Since if one had the desire of doing X and has not done it, it is likely (but not sure ) that he still has the desire to do X </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore it is likely that the speaker desires to do X in the present </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the speaker has the desire to do X in the present but nonetheless expresses it in the past, it’s because he (factually or symbolically) doesn’t want to express the desire in the present so that the hearer can more easily answer negatively. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore ‘doing X’ is a retractable suggestion for the hearer to do X with the speaker or to allow the speaker to do X. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Otherwise said: utterance of unrealized desire in the past but realisable in the future commonsensically (not / not only conventionally) implies suggestion </li></ul>
  26. 26. As a short summary <ul><li>‘ I was thinking of going to the beach’ conveys an indirect illocutionary force through pragmatic reasoning , not conventional reasoning (at least convention is not enough) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Although this does not entail that the frequency of such uses renders that pragmatic effect more immediate by means of stereotypical schemes of reasoning such as </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expressing past-P when it’s manifest of likely that present-P is true entails implicitly present-P with defeasability / non-commitment / indirectness </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Some consequences of this representational view <ul><li>Regarding the notion of proposition in analytical philosophy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Passive versions of active sentences share the same entailments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hypothesis H1: Passive versions have also entailments that active sentences do not trigger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>H1 is motivated by the fact that passive versions are more complex to process and therefore should produce more effect in order to be equivalently relevant. </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Active and passive, cleft vs non-cleft etc. <ul><li>Passive is more complex to process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(34) The beer was drunk by Max ( vs. Max drank the beer) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Because of the disjunction of subject with agent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Clefts (pseudo-) are more complex to process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(35) It’s Max who drank the beer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Because of structure complexity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>What effects can be triggered? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That Max and no other person drank the beer looks like a (slightly?) stronger entailment in the passive than in the active, and the strongest in the pseudo-cleft. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Max drank the beer too; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The beer was drank by Max too; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>? It’s Max who drank the beer too (possible only if we know someone who drank that beer and that someone else drank it too). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Although intonation guides the inference; more: intonation seems to be required in order for the passive to get the appropriate focus while active sentences accept focusless readings. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Passive implies focus. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pseudo-clefts type (35) imply focus and precise focus (+ implicate exclusion) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>That the beer was actually drunk (and not anything else) is a stronger entailment in the passive than in the active </li></ul></ul></ul>
  29. 29. And and But <ul><li>(4) It ’s raining and I’m going for a walk </li></ul><ul><li>(4’) It’s raining but I’m going for a walk </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(4’) entails (4) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blakemore’s analysis: P implies I; Q implies I’; I’ must be kept and I must be disregarded. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More to say: that Q implies I’ is not necessary; that but implies that </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The grounds for retaining Q or I’ are better than the ones to retain I out of P. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interestingly: but is the prototype of cancellation trigger </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Scalarity <ul><li>The paradigm of scalar entailments is a matter of number of entailments . </li></ul><ul><li>Passive entails Active plus other contents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But active does not entail these other contents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore Passive is informationally higher on some informative scale </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Yet doesn’t change truth-cond. but is scalarly higher than non-yet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Paul hasn’t come’ has less entailments than ‘Paul hasn’t come yet’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Steed imply horse but not the reverse. </li></ul><ul><li>All imply Some but not the reverse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some carries the implicature (explicature?) not all </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Psychological entailments <ul><li>(36) Paul hasn’t come yet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The speaker considers that Paul should (have) come (soon) and has an emotional state of mind about this ( regret or joy …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Speaker’s subjectivity is infused in the meaning (non-propositional) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Steed and horse: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Steed has less possible entailments than horse but the choice of the noun narrows down and therefore facilitates the appropriate representation to emerge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But at the same time, steed does indeed convey other entailments than horse . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There are horses one cannot ride </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An analysis in terms of hyperonym / hyponym is not sufficient or appropriate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Horse = generic horse; steed = particular horse with relevant properties, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>which either convey more rapidly and safely particular entailments or which provide a description which wouldn’t be available with the ‘hyperonym’ altough possibly entailed by it. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore we are dealing here with psychologic, not strictly logical, issues. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Probably even more complex since there may be steeds which are not horses (donkeys? dragoons? I don’t know). </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Lexical and grammatical ambiguity <ul><li>… show the need for an engine to search for the appropriate interpretation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(37) Paul can be bad. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Paul has the capacity of being bad </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>He’s bad enough to do the dirty thing we pay him for. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It happens that Paul is bad </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It is possible that Paul will be bad when we meet him. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It may be that Paul is bad (in some sensitive context) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>We don’t know whether it’s good to ask him to do X because we don’t know if Paul is bad or not, and if he’s bad, it’s not good to ask him to do X. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solved through relevance-searching relatively to the context. </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Does four mean four or exactly four? <ul><li>Mary has four children. </li></ul><ul><li>How many children does Mary have? </li></ul><ul><li>Four . </li></ul><ul><li>Is this ( exaclty four ) an implicature? </li></ul><ul><li>An intuition: this is certainly not implicit (= not-said) in the same sense as cases where the propositional content of the implicature is distinct from the propositional content of the utterance. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We need here some help with the definition of implicatures and explicatures </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Disentangling implicatures and explicatures: a possible project? <ul><li>Three levels of ‘meaning’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Semantic: truth-conditional, context-free </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Primary pragmatic: possibly truth-conditional, context-dependant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secondary pragmatic: non-truth-conditional, context dependant. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The central question: is there anything like full propositional truth-conditional meaning? </li></ul>
  35. 35. Challenging full propositional meaning (a dangerous one) <ul><li>Examples that can’t be left without filling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Indexical sentences (OK that’s not much of a problem since it’s a referential problem) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sentences requiring free enrichment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Free enrichment is a process of enrichment that goes through general knowledge / general reasoning abilities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(37) A local pub promotes Serbian beer </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relevantly local (probably not in Belgrade) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(38) Jane believes that John is an ennemy </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vis-à-vis a relevant group (John is not an absolute ennemy) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sentence requiring logical-semantic enrichment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Paracetamol is better </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Than what? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Still dangerous <ul><li>Any sentence may be concerned: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>John went to the gym (Cappelen & Lepore) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exactly to the gym or in the vicinity of the gym? When? For what? How? Etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>At least there is a « serious gap » between exactly to the gym and in the vicinity (Capone in press) </li></ul>
  37. 37. Standard narrowing and loosenings <ul><li>Most sentences can be seen as keeping their TCM invariant but require some narrowing or loosening </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Loosening opens to non-literality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ gym’ > vicinity of the gym </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>What about Mary’s four children? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A serious question: 4 can mean logically four (entails or any more); or 4 can mean a scalar grade (just as when a student gets 4, he cannot be taken to get the grade 4 or anything more). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cardinals maybe absolute ordinals (at least in such cases) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then Mary has four children TC-means four and only four </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cancellability is just about forcing a loose use of 4 as 4 or any more. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Cancellability <ul><li>May well be too slippery a criterion for many cases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cancellability implies non-commitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But many implicatures must be seen as implying (covert) commitment (on the basis of ‘intentional meaning’, see Burton-Roberts) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>> food for further thoughts </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Explicatures, implicatures… <ul><li>Expliciteness is the criterion. Although what’s the criterion for expliciteness? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of LF? That’s a formal criterion (getting us back to code). Although there are such developments that really look like implicatures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There was many people at your wedding party > too many </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A psychological parameter: commitment / retractability / defeasability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But commitment is probably a question of degrees (there are implicatures to which the speaker looks like really committing). And: explicatures are theoretically defeasible because context-dependant. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A shortcoming: there may be a continuum EXPL-IMPL which discards the strict distinction. </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. Beyond Informative Intention: Reasoning after interpreting
  41. 41. The (very theoretical) issue <ul><li>Conversation – and in general larger segments of discourse – are typically studied by trends in discourse and conversation analysis. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversation is often viewed as better explained when addressing the conditions of production (as behavioural conditions). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversations are often studied as (organised) ‘wholes’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What can be done from a semantic-pragmatic point of view? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversation / Discourse as an interpretative process unfolding through time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Utterance information processing ultimately triggers new informational needs, which provide the conditions for the generation of a new speech act. </li></ul></ul>
  42. 42. Main Arguments <ul><li>Utterance interpretation is a process aiming at recovering the informative intention of the speaker, including implicatures. </li></ul><ul><li>When this is done, the hearer goes on processing information and speculates new informative consequences of the uttered intention. </li></ul><ul><li>This process leads to less-controled speculations (conjectures) about the speaker’s intentions, goals, ideas, and about other types of information that are not part of the communicated ones. </li></ul><ul><li>This process, we argue, can be viewed as being of the same type as implicature recovery. </li></ul>
  43. 43. Relevance and intentions <ul><li>Understanding is about attributing meaning intentions to the speaker </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attributing the informative intention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The information that the speaker wants to be manifest to the hearer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With a linguistic form and external knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Taking the utterance and confronting it to a context with a specific heuristics, the search for relevance (effect-effort equilibrium) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Meaning for Relevance Theory <ul><li>Meaning is a combination of explicitly and implicitly communicated information. </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatic calculus intervenes already for the explicit meaning (reference and unarticulated constituents): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(1) It’s raining. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(1’) It’s raining here and now (indexicality) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(2) Paracetamol is better. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(2’) Paracetamol is better than aspirin (semantic type saturation) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(3) It will take time to heal these wounds. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(3’) It will take considerable time to heal these wounds (free enrichment) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cf. Carston 2002 in UCL Working papers in linguistics </li></ul>
  45. 45. Explicatures in RT <ul><li>Explicatures develop the logical form into a referentially saturated form </li></ul><ul><li>Explicatures develop the logical form adding unarticulated constituents </li></ul><ul><li>The speaker commits himself in their truth. </li></ul><ul><li>They are already pragmatically built up. </li></ul>
  46. 46. Implicatures in RT <ul><li>Implicature-finding is an inference that takes an explicature and a contextual hypothesis as premisses. </li></ul><ul><li>The explicature is an explicit premiss, it is given explicitly and assumed correct. </li></ul><ul><li>Another premiss is added from the set of beliefs the hearer has about elements of the explicit meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>An implicature can then be derived, typically by modus ponens . </li></ul>
  47. 47. Non demonstrative inference <ul><li>A – Would you like some wine? </li></ul><ul><li>B – I’m Muslim. </li></ul><ul><li>Expl. Prem. B is a Muslim. </li></ul><ul><li>Impl. Prem. Muslim (B)  Not drink wine (B) </li></ul><ul><li>Implicature B refuses the offer for wine. </li></ul><ul><li>The inference is reliable at the degree of the least reliable of the premisses (Theophrast law). </li></ul><ul><li>The inference is risky and might be a mistake , reason for which it is defeasible, reason for which the speaker can deny communicating it. </li></ul>
  48. 48. Non-demonstrative = risky <ul><li>(1) There was many people at your wedding party. </li></ul><ul><li>Implicature: There were too many people. </li></ul><ul><li>(2) I didn’t say there were too many people, I just said there were lots of people. </li></ul><ul><li>Risky inference explains Gricean implicature-defeasability </li></ul>
  49. 49. Beyond informative intention <ul><li>There is information about the speaker, about his aims, attitude, tastes, whatever else, possibly about non-informative hidden or shown intentions, and about any sort of other ideas, that is discovered within the process of utterance-interpretation. </li></ul><ul><li>The recovery of these are inferences based on no explicit premisses . </li></ul><ul><li>There is a level of representations which is less granted than the implicatures: inferences with no explicit premisses . </li></ul>
  50. 50. Chained implicatures <ul><li>Implicatures can be the result of complex inferential schemes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Holland is flat Exp.Pr. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s easy to do bicycling in flat areas Imp.Pr. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bicycling in Holland is easy IMP 1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The speaker is a good biker Imp.Pr </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Holland is a bad place for the speaker IMP 2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(5) Is an implicature iff the hearer attributes it to the speaker’s informative intention (what he wants to communicate). Otherwise it’s not an implicature: what can it be? </li></ul></ul>
  51. 51. Higher risk inferences <ul><ul><li>Holland is flat Exp.Pr. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s easy to do bicycling in flat areas Imp.Pr. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bicycling in Holland is easy IMP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mary can do bicycling when easy Imp.Pr </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The speaker considers inviting Mary to join the bicycling holiday F C </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I suggest calling this kind of higher-risk inference free conjectures. </li></ul></ul>
  52. 52. The process can go on <ul><li>The hearer can go on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(5) The speaker wants to invite Mary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(6) If one man wants to invite a woman on holiday, he may be attracted by her </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(7) The speaker is attracted by Mary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(7) has nothing to do with implicit meaning: it’s not about the speaker’s informative intention. </li></ul><ul><li>(7) is more conjectural than an implicature, since it relies on weaker implicit premisses. It can trigger the need for confirmation / contradiction and the generation of a new speech act, even the generation of an argumentative strategy. </li></ul>
  53. 53. The process can lead to various types of free conjectures <ul><li>About the speaker’s beliefs, wishes, intentions, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>About the speaker’s socio-cultural habits </li></ul><ul><li>About the topic of the conversation in general (new ideas, arguments…) </li></ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul>
  54. 54. Informative intention generation <ul><li>A global hypothesis on informative intention generation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When judged important for the hearer to know but too weak to be sure, the inference generates the need for confirmation / contradiction, thus generates a new speech-act (informative intention). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When the inference is about the speaker’s background, it will determinate attitudes towards him / her. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When the inference is independant from the speaker-hearer interaction, it may be just a new idea that the hearer may wish to put forward if relevant to the shared goal of the conversation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul></ul>
  55. 55. Advantages <ul><li>A model of inferential process within radical pragmatics can present a alternative to formal dynamic semantics of conversation (like game-theoretical etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>And it can contribute to conversational analysis of socio-constructivist background, which focuses of the speaker’s task. </li></ul><ul><li>With a cognitive principle of economy (relevance is an equilibrium between processing effort and expected cognitive effect), we can imagine one day filling up the gap between pragmatic analysis of understanding and the problem of production . </li></ul>
  56. 56. Conclusion (provisional!) <ul><li>Even if the frontier between EXP and IMP is fuzzy, that does not entail that such things as EXP and IMP do not exist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wittgenstein’s argument on countries with fuzzy borders </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The continuum concerns natural human pragmatic reasoning and extends beyond informative intention (therefore escapes utterance meaning ) </li></ul><ul><li>Because of the natural strive to calculate the most possible relevant consequences taken out from the new information </li></ul>
  57. 57. Thank you <ul><li>For your attention </li></ul>

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