Discourse Essay

2660 WordsMar 18, 201311 Pages
New approaches in analyzing Discourse Curs nr. III Conversational Implicature - Grice’s Analysis of Conversation Preliminaries. Unlike many other topics in pragmatics, implicature does not have an extended history. The key ideas were proposed by Paul Grice in his lectures delivered at Harvard in 1967; they are still only partly published (1975,1978). Grice’s original intention in developing his now famous Logic of Conversation was to show that apparent differences in the meaning of logical connectors: and, or, if-then, as used in logic and in ordinary language, could be explained away because they naturally follow from certain conversational principles, in their turn derived from general principles of human action and rationality. From a narrow linguistic perspective, Grice’s analysis of conversation shows how to mean more than one says while also meaning what one says. Grice starts with the following type of examples: suppose that A and B are talking about a mutual friend C, who is now working in a bank. A asks B how C is getting along in his job and B replies:”Oh, quite well. I think he likes his colleagues, and he hasn’t been to prison yet”. At this point, A might well inquire what B was implying, or even what he meant by saying that C has not been in prison yet. The answer might be anyone of such things as that C is the sort of person likely to yield to temptation provided by his occupation, that C’s colleagues are really very unpleasant and treacherous people a.s.o. It might, of course, be quite unnecessary for A to make such an inquiry of B, the answer to it being in the context clear in advance. I think it is clear that whatever B implied, suggested or meant is distinct from what B said, which was simply that C has not been to prison yet” (Grice, 1975). A proposition which is conveyed indirectly, distinct from what is said directly, is called an

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