Implicature

Abstract
1. Implicature: some basic oppositions IMPLICATURE is a component of speaker meaning that constitutes an aspect of what is meant in a speaker’s utterance without being part of what is said. What a speaker intends to communicate is characteristically far richer than what she directly expresses; linguistic meaning radically underdetermines the message conveyed and understood. Speaker S tacitly exploits pragmatic principles to bridge this gap and counts on hearer H to invoke the same principles for the purposes of utterance interpretation. The contrast between the said and the meant, and derivatively between the said and the implicated (the meant-but-unsaid), dates back to the fourth century rhetoricians Servius and Donatus, who characterized litotes—the figure of pragmatic understatement—as a figure in which we say less but mean more (“minus dicimus et plus significamus”; see Hoffmann 1987 and Horn 1991a for discussion). In the classical Gricean model, the bridge from what is said (the literal content of the uttered sentence, computed directly from its grammatical structure with the reference of indexicals resolved) to what is communicated is constructed through implicature. As an aspect of speaker meaning, implicatures are by definition distinct from the non-logical inferences that the hearer draws; it is a category mistake to attribute implicatures either to hearers or to sentences (e.g. P and Q) and subsentential expressions (e.g. some). But we can systematically (at least for generalized implicatures; see below) correlate the speaker’s intention to implicate q (in uttering p in context C), the expression p that carries the implicature in C, and the inference of q induced by the speaker’s utterance of p in C.
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Martina Faller (2012). Evidential Scalar Implicatures. Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (4):285-312.
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