Rationales for Indirect Speech: The Theory of the Strategic Speaker
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Speakers often do not state requests directly but employ innuendos such as Would you like to see my etchings? Though such indirectness seems puzzlingly inefficient, it can be explained by a theory of the strategic speaker, who seeks plausible deniability when he or she is uncertain of whether the hearer is cooperative or antagonistic. A paradigm case is bribing a policeman who may be corrupt or honest: A veiled bribe may be accepted by the former and ignored by the latter. Everyday social interactions can have a similar payoff structure (with emotional rather than legal penalties) whenever a request is implicitly forbidden by the relational model holding between speaker and hearer (e.g., bribing an honest maitre d’, where the reciprocity of the bribe clashes with his authority). Even when a hearer’s willingness is known, indirect speech offers higher-order plausible deniability by preempting certainty, gossip, and common knowledge of the request. In supporting experiments, participants judged the intentions and reactions of characters in scenarios that involved fraught requests varying in politeness and directness.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Raymond W. Gibbs & Guy van Orden (2012). Pragmatic Choice in Conversation. Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (1):7-20.
Aleksandr Chakroff, Kyle A. Thomas, Omar S. Haque & Liane Young (2015). An Indecent Proposal: The Dual Functions of Indirect Speech. Cognitive Science 39 (1):199-211.
Similar books and articles
Steffen Borge (2012). Communication, Cooperation and Conflict. ProtoSociology 29.
Steffen Borge (2012). Communication, Conflict and Cooperation. ProtoSociology 29.
Martin Montminy (2012). Epistemic Modals and Indirect Weak Suggestives. Dialectica 66 (4):583-606.
Christopher Gauker (2001). Situated Inference Versus Conversational Implicature. Noûs 35 (2):163–189.
Dan O'Brien (2006). Testimony, Engineered Knowledge and Internalism. Philosophica 78.
Christopher Gauker (1992). The Lockean Theory of Communication. Noûs 26 (3):303-324.
Joel Buenting (2005). Re-Thinking the Duplication of Speaker/Hearer Belief in the Epistemology of Testimony. Episteme: Journal of Social Epistemology 2 (2):43-48.
Angus Ross (1986). Why Do We Believe What We Are Told? Ratio (1):69-88.
Keith Frankish (1996). How Should We Revise the Paratactic Theory? Analysis 56 (4):251–262.
Petra Hendriks, Helen Hoop & Henriëtte Swart (2012). The Interplay Between the Speaker's and the Hearer's Perspective. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 21 (1):1-5.
Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore (1997). On an Alleged Connection Between Indirect Speech and the Theory of Meaning. Mind and Language 12 (3&4):278–296.
Mary Kate Mcgowan (2004). Conversational Exercitives: Something Else We Do with Our Words. [REVIEW] Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (1):93-111.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads31 ( #127,141 of 1,796,218 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #284,809 of 1,796,218 )
How can I increase my downloads?