Presumptive Meanings: The Theory of Generalized Conversational Implicature

Presumptive Meanings: The Theory of Generalized Conversational Implicature

by Stephen C. Levinson
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0262122189

ISBN-13: 9780262122184

Pub. Date: 12/28/1999

Publisher: MIT Press

When we speak, we mean more than we say. In this book Stephen C. Levinson explains some general processes that underlie presumptions in communication. This is the first extended discussion of preferred interpretation in language understanding, integrating much of the best research in linguistic pragmatics from the last two decades. Levinson outlines a theory of

Overview

When we speak, we mean more than we say. In this book Stephen C. Levinson explains some general processes that underlie presumptions in communication. This is the first extended discussion of preferred interpretation in language understanding, integrating much of the best research in linguistic pragmatics from the last two decades. Levinson outlines a theory of presumptive meanings, or preferred interpretations, governing the use of language, building on the idea of implicature developed by the philosopher H. P. Grice. Some of the indirect information carried by speech is presumed by default because it is carried by general principles, rather than inferred from specific assumptions about intention and context. Levinson examines this class of general pragmatic inferences in detail, showing how they apply to a wide range of linguistic constructions. This approach has radical consequences for how we think about language and communication.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262122184
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
12/28/1999
Series:
Language, Speech and Communication Series
Pages:
498
Product dimensions:
7.12(w) x 9.08(h) x 1.26(d)

Table of Contents

Conventions xi
Preface xiii
Note to Students xvii
Acknowledgments xxi
Introduction 1(10)
On the Notion of a Generalized Conversationl Implicature
11(62)
The Argument
11(1)
Grice's Program
12(9)
Three Layers versus Two in the Theory of Communication
21(6)
The Argument from Design: The Maxims as Heuristics
27(8)
A Typology of GCIs
35(7)
The First (Q) Heuristic
35(2)
The Second (I) Heuristic
37(1)
The Third (M) Heuristic
38(1)
Interactions Between Implicatures
39(3)
Non-monotonicity and Default Reasoning
42(12)
Typology of Nonmonotonic Reasoning Systems
42(3)
Nonmonotonic Inference and Implicature
45(4)
Investigating the Defeasibility of Scalar Implicatures
49(5)
Against Reduction of GCIs to Nonce Speaker-Meaning
54(10)
Sperber-Wilson Relevance
55(5)
Implicature as Accommodation
60(4)
Generalized Implicature and Stable Patterns of Lexicalization
64(7)
Conclusions
71(2)
The Phenomena
73(92)
Introduction
73(2)
The Q Principle
75(37)
Q Inferences
75(4)
Entailment Scales
79(19)
Q-Contrasts Based on Other Kinds of Lexical Opposition
98(6)
Residual Problems: Scalar Implicature, GCIs, and PCIs
104(4)
Clausal Implicatures
108(4)
Exploring I-Inferences
112(23)
Formulating the Maxim or Heuristic
112(10)
Some Prominent I-Implicatures
122(13)
M-Implicatures and Horn's Division of Labor
135(18)
Horn's (1994) Division of Pragmatic Labor
137(16)
The Joint Effect of Q-, I- and M-Implicatures
153(12)
The Projection Problem
155(10)
Generalized Conversational Implicature and the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface
165(96)
Background
165(5)
The Received View: Semantics as Input to Pragmatics
170(28)
Grice's Circle: Implicatural Contributions to "What Is Said"
172(2)
Disambiguation
174(3)
Indexical Resolution
177(3)
Reference Identification
180(3)
Ellipsis Unpacking
183(1)
Generality Narrowing
184(2)
Some Interim Conclusions: Responses to Grice's Circle
186(12)
Intrusive Constructions
198(19)
Comparatives
199(6)
The Conditional
205(5)
Metalinguistic Negation and Other Negatives
210(3)
Conclusions Regarding Intrusive Constructions
213(4)
The Argument from Reference
217(19)
How Implicatures Can Determine Definite Reference
217(8)
Implicaturally Determined Reference and Donnellan's Referential Attributive Distinction
225(5)
The Obstinate Theorist's Final Retort on Reference
230(2)
Presemantic Pragmatics versus Postpragmatic Semantics
232(4)
Some Implications
236(23)
Disposing of the Existing Responses
236(7)
Modularity and Control
243(2)
Sag's Proposal and Possible Amplifications
245(3)
Kadmon's DRT Proposal and Possible Extensions
248(3)
Some Future Directions: DRT and Intrusive Constructions
251(5)
A Residual Problem: How to Get from Semantic Representations to Propositions
256(3)
Conclusions
259(2)
Grammar and Implicature: Sentential Anaphora Reexamined
261(106)
Grammar and Implicature
261(6)
Implicature and Coreference
267(13)
The Pragmatics of Local Anaphora
267(6)
Inferring Coreference
273(4)
Inferring Disjoint Reference
277(3)
Binding Theory and Pragmatics
280(79)
Introduction
280(5)
The A-First Account: Pragmatic Reduction to Binding Conditions B and C
285(42)
The B-First Account, with a Pragmatic Reduction of Binding Conditions A and C
327(18)
The B-then-A Account: Synthesis of the A-First and B-First Accounts
345(14)
Conclusions
359(8)
Summary
359(2)
Pragmatics versus Parameters in Language Learning and Language Change
361(1)
Pragmatics and the Generative Program
362(5)
Epilogue
367(12)
Predictive Power of the Theory of GCIs
368(3)
Presumptive Inference and General Reasoning
371(3)
Role of GCIs in Linguistic Theory
374(5)
Notes 379(46)
References 425(26)
Name Index 451(6)
Subject Index 457

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