Writing letters in the age of Grice

Claudia Bianchi in "Perspectives on Pragmatics and Philosophy", (eds. Capone et al.) , Berlin, Springer - 2013

Perspectives on PragmaticsThis article aims to investigate the notion of implicature and its connections with speaker’s intentions, communicative responsibility and normativity. Some scholars stress the normative character of conversational implicatures more than their psychological dimension. In a normative perspective, conversational implicatures don’t correspond to what the speaker intends to implicate, but should be interpreted as enriching or correcting inferences licensed by the text. My paper aims to show that the idea of an implicature that the speaker does not intend to convey is not persuasive. In Grice’s theory conversational implicatures are speaker-meant: this means that inferences derived by the addressee but not intended by the speaker should not count as conversational implicatures. On the contrary, I will claim that propositions intended by the speaker and not recognised by the addressee should count as implicatures, if the speaker has made her communicative intention available to her audience.

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