Scalar implicature and local pragmatics

Mind and Language 24 (1):51-79 (2009)
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Abstract

Abstract: The Gricean theory of conversational implicature has always been plagued by data suggesting that what would seem to be conversational inferences may occur within the scope of operators like believe , for example; which for bona fide implicatures should be an impossibility. Concentrating my attention on scalar implicatures, I argue that, for the most part, such observations can be accounted for within a Gricean framework, and without resorting to local pragmatic inferences of any kin d. However, there remains a small class of marked cases that cannot be treated as conversational implicatures, and they do require a local mode of pragmatic interpretation.

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Bart Geurts
Radboud University Nijmegen