Indirect answers and cooperation: On Asher and Lascarides's 'making the right commitments in dialogue'

This commentary argues that linguistic cooperation is essential even in discourse situations in which the nonlinguistic preferences of the participants are misaligned. The central examples involve indirect answers to direct questions. The analysis builds on the work of Asher and Lascarides, without, though retreating from the axioms of cooperativity as hastily as they do in the workshop paper (Asher & Lascarides 2008). I also argue (section 4) that discourse coherence and inferences from the common ground can account for much pragmatic enrichment.
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