Relevance Theory and the Saying/Implicating Distinction

In . pp. 155--181 (2004)
Authors
Robyn Anne Carston
University College London
Abstract
It is widely accepted that there is a distinction to be made between the explicit content and the implicit import of an utterance. There is much less agreement about the precise nature of this distinction, how it is to be drawn, and whether any such two-way distinction can do justice to the levels and kinds of meaning involved in utterance interpretation. Grice’s distinction between what is said by an utterance and what is implicated is probably the best known instantiation of the explicit/implicit distinction. His distinction, along with many of its post-Gricean heirs, is closely entwined with another distinction: that between semantics and pragmatics. Indeed, on some construals they are seen as essentially one and the same; “what is said” is equated with the truthconditional content of the utterance which in turn is equated with (context-relative) sentence meaning, leaving implicatures (conventional and conversational) as the sole domain of pragmatics.
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