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Is the activity performed by a reader or listener in drawing conclusions that are not explicit in what is said. In other words, it is any conclusion that one is reasonably entitled to draw from a sentence or utterance. For example, if somebody says: Ali went to Sidi Harazem and his kidney disease was cured. We can infer that going to Sidi Harazm can cure kidney disease
Entailment is the relationship between two sentences where the truth of one "A" requires the truth of the other "B".
For example: the following sentence "the president was assassinated" entails the president is dead, and of course if "B" is false, then "A" must necessary be false.
The extra meaning which goes beyond what the words literally say is an implicature of the utterance.
A: bill is absent again
B: he has a cold.
So, here "B" might implicate that cold is the reason for Bill's absence.
cancellation of implicatures:
Conversational implicatures can be cancelled, somehow deleted, when the speaker provides addition material without contradiction or anomaly.
For example: if someone says: some of my kids, in fact all, are hardworking.
Here we understand that not some kids but all the kids.
A principle proposed by the philosopher Paul Grice(1975), whereby those involved in communication assume that both parties will normally seek to cooperate with each other to establish agreed meaning and thus communicate effectively and successfully.
maxim of relevance:
When somebody is engaged in conversation, s/he is then required to be relevant. That is to say, what he is saying should have a relation to the topic of the conversation .otherwise, this maxim is flouted and the result is implicature case.
A: is Ali good at maths?
B: he is a polite man.
Her "B" answer has no relation with "A" question.
maxim of informativeness:
This maxim has to do with telling the reader just what he needs to know, no more and no less. This maxim is related to the amount of information the speaker provides.
A: how are you?
B: fine, thanks.
Here "B" has provided just the necessary information. But if "B" answer is like this:
Well, it seems things are improving a little bit. After my daughter's illness, I always have nightmares and here the speaker"B" is flouting this maxim.
maxim of clarity (includes brevity, avoidance of ambiguity/obscurity):
This is a maxim whereby the speaker has to talk in a very clear way. Clarity here relates to the order through which the information is presented. Also, ambiguity; vagueness and obscurity should be avoided in addition to the brevity of the message. For example, if someone asks :
A: How much does your car cost?
Here this answer is not so clear and ambiguous.
. What do the notions entailment and implicature have in common? How do they diï¬€er? What does it mean to say that implicatures are non-truth-conditional inferences?
Both of them are inferences
Implicature is a matter of utterance meaning and not of sentence meaning.
Implicature is not a form of inference that can be predicated solely from knowledge of the system of sense relations between sentences.
Implicatures can be cancelled.
Implicatures are non-truth conditional.
Implicature is context bound.i.e, the conclusion we draw from utterances on particular occasions and not from sentences.
Implicature exists by reason of general social conventions.
Entailment is notion of sentence meaning where the truth of sentence "a" requires the truth of "b". For example:
Ali lives in Dakhla. This sentence entails Ali lives in Morocco.
Entailment is truth conditional inference. If proposition "a" is correct than proposition "b" is correct.
Entailment cannot be cancelled without resulting in a contradiction. For example: I killed the snake, and the snake didn't die is impossible statement.
N.B: implicatures are non-truth conditional because the most important point is that the truth of an implicature is independent of the truth of the utterance itself. That is to say, the truth of the implicature made is not related to whether the utterance is true or not because-unlike entailment- it is not part of the semantic content of what the speaker says.
. An implicature can result through the ï¬‚outing of one of the maxims by the speaker (B), in which the hearer (A) can infer something not explicitly said if the speaker (B) disregards one of the maxims (whether intentionally or not), though the hearer (A) assumes that the speaker is not doing so. Give an implicature of B's utterance in each of the following situations, and then identify the maxim(s) (i.e. relevance, informativeness, or clarity) that has/have been ï¬‚outed (and thus which led the hearer to this implicature).
Note that none of the implicatures from B's utterances are actually entailed by the sentences uttered by B.
a A:'Professor, will you write a letter of recommendation for me?'
B 'Certainly. I will say that you were always neatly dressed, punctual, and are
"B": A is not an excellent student (maxim of relevance).
b A: 'How are you today?'
B: 'Oh, Lansing is the capital of Michigan.'
"B" doesn't want to speak about this (maxim of relevance).
c A: 'I'm not feeling very well today.'
B: 'There's a hospital across the street.
"B" implicates: you should go and see a doctor (maxim of relevance).
d A:'What did you think of that new movie?'
B: 'Well, the costumes were authentic.'
It's not interesting (maxim of relevance).
e A:'How did you get that car into the dining room?'
B: 'It was easy. I made a left turn when I came out of the kitchen.'
"B" It's not very difficult (maxim of relevance).
f A:'What colour did you paint your living room?'
B: 'I painted the walls oï¬€-white to match the black sofa. The trimming will be gray
except by the door, which will be salmon to match the Picasso print I bought two
"B": I spent too much money and energy in painting my room. (maxim of quantity).
g. A: 'How's the weather?'
B: 'It's 86.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The air is humid, muggy, and the pavement is so hot I
can feel it through my shoes.'
"B" the weather is terrible (maxim of quantity).
h. A: 'What's your recipe for a birthday cake?'
B: 'It should have icing. Use unbleached ï¬‚our and sugar in the cake and bake it for
an hour. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and beat in three fresh eggs.'
"B": it should be very tasty (maxim of quantity).
i A:'How do you like my new suit?'
B: 'Well, your shoes look nice.'
"B": I don't really like it (maxim of relevance).
j A:'Have you done your homework and taken out the garbage?'
B: 'I've taken out the garbage.'
"B": I haven't done my homework (maxim of relevance)
k A: 'I may win the lottery for $83 million.'
B: 'There may be people on Mars, too.'
"B": it's very unlikely (maxim of relevance).
4 For each of the following ï¬ll in an appropriate utterance for B which implicates (but does not entail) the indicated implicature. There may be several appropriate possibilities
a A:'Let's see if this store has what we are looking for.'
B: .my brother has bought cheap and elegant garments in that supermarket.
Implicature: The store sells expensive merchandise
b A:'Why don't we have lunch in this restaurant?'
B: .I don't want to go on a diet.
Implicature: The food there is too fattening
c A:'Are the Browns at home?'
B: .Their car is not in the drive way.
Implicature: The Browns are usually home when their car is in the driveway
d A:'Should we turn right or left?'
B: .This path may lead there.
Implicature :B isn't sure which way to turn
e A:'How is your physics course going?
B: reality is sometimes harsh.
Implicature/B is having trouble in the course
5. Think about the meaning relationship between the following pair of sentences.
a Most birds are on the lawn
b Many birds are on the lawn
Does (a) entail or merely implicate (b)? Explain
Very simply "a" does not entail "b", because the two sentences have different proposition. One the other hand, "a" implicates "b": this is a scalar implicature. When we say most birds, we infer that it's not the case every bird is on the lawn.
6. Consider the following exchange.
A: I may win the lottery for $83 million
B: There may be people on Mars, too
A: What are you, some kind of astronomer?
B originally triggered an implicature in her response to A's original statement.
What effect does A's retort then have on the implicature originally triggered by B?
It seems here that "a" has failed to understand the implicature "b" has triggered in her response and as consequence the speaker "a" has to clarify and maybe to cooperate more so as to communicate more successfully.