Thomas Edison Is An Astronaut English Language Essay

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a- Inference: it is a deduction or a conclusion that is logically made by a hearer based on his/her knowledge about the world and the utterance of a speaker. Eg; "I gave my Shakespeare to my classmate to read it". The hearer infers that "Shakespeare" can‟t refer to a person. So the hearer has to use his/her own knowledge to infer correctly what a speaker intends to identify by using a particular expression. The same thing applies for the following: "I will see Shakespeare in London" and "Thomas Hardy takes up half of my library".

b- Entailment: it is what logically follows from an utterance. It is the relationship between the statements when one logically follows from another one. It is a sequence of deduction between statements. In other words, one statement entails another when the second is a logically necessary consequence of the first.

e.g: a-My brother is single. Entails b- My brother doesn‟t have a wife.

c-Mary‟s brother has three cars Entails d- Mary‟s brother has one car /two cars.

c- Implicature (conversational): it is an inferred assumption that a hearer makes based on the proposition that is made by a speaker provided that the hearer is cooperating in order to grasp what the speaker intends to mean. It is a kind of implicational inference made by a hearer when the speaker flouts any of Grice‟s conversational maxims. Unlike entailment and presupposition, conversational implicature is not tied to any particular word or phrase in an utterance, but it arises from understanding that the speaker has flouted a conversational convention. It is the additional meaning that is made beyond what is said. Let‟s consider this mini dialogue:

Student: Thomas Edison is an astronaut. Isn‟t he teacher?

Teacher: And Lionel Messi is a guitarist, I suppose.

Here, the teacher flouts the maxim of quality (he‟s said a false /non-true information). So, the student has to infer that Messi is not a guitarist from beyond the response of the teacher.

d- Cancellation of implicatures: all conversational implicatures are cancellable by a second utterance or a second statement. Eg;

A: „ some of my friends,in fact all, came to the party.‟

Here,the speaker has started his utterance with „some‟ ,which would have lead the hearer to infer that it‟s „not all‟ ;but,he cancelled this hearer‟s implicature by the addition of the utterance 'in fact all'.

e- Cooperative principle: This principle was proposed by Grice. He said that participants in a communicative exchange are guided by a principle that determines the way in which language is used with maxims to achieve communication. These principles are used to determine the extent to which a conversational contribution is made as is required, at the setting in which it occurs by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged.

Maxim of quality:

a- don‟t say what you believe to be false.

b- don‟t say that for which you lack evidence.

Maxim of quantity:

a- make your contribution as informative as is required for the current purpose of the


b- don‟t make your contribution more informative than is required.

Maxim of relation:

a- be relevant.

Maxim of manner:

a- avoid obscurity of expression. b- avoid ambiguity.

c- be brief.

d- be orderly.

f- Maxim of relevance: it is one of Grice‟s cooperative principles‟ maxims. It has to do with whether what a speaker is saying has a relation to the topic of the conversation or not. In the following example, the speaker (B) is flouting this maxim:

A: "You bring me my book to school tomorrow morning"? B: "I love sleeping when the weather is cold".

In this example, (B) has flouted the maxim of relevance because his response is not relevant to A‟s

question. (A) ,therefore, has to infer an implicature that would help him understand what (B) intends. So when one of the maxims is flouted, the speaker resorts to cooperation to carry out the conversation.

g- Maxim of informativeness: when engaged in a conversation, the speaker has to make his contribution as informative as is required for the purpose of the exchange. That is to say, you should not say less or more than what is required. This maxim, therefore, relates to the amount of information provided in a conversation. Let‟s consider the following example:

A: "Do you have the time?"

B: "It is half past nine."

In this example, (B) is as informative as is required which means that he hasn‟t flouted the maxim of

informativeness. Yet, if he had said:

B:" It is half past nine, at night, Greenwich Mean Time, 20th of May 2012", he would have said more than necessary. At the same time, if he said:

B: "It is night", he would be less informative than is required.

h- Maxim of clarity: It is adhering in one‟s conversation to the principle of making what one says as clear as possible. This requires that the speaker should avoid the use of ambiguous and obscure expressions. Also the speaker should avoid unnecessary prolixity. That is he should be brief. Let‟s consider the following for example where the speaker is being relevant but he‟s still not clear.

A: "Where does your brother live?"

B: "somewhere in the south of Morocco".





-Both of them have some kind of inference.

-Both of them go beyond what is said.


-It is the relationship that

applies between two sentences because of the meaning of the words involved.

-It is concerned with the meaning of the proposition itself.

Eg; Some of the students attended the conference. It entails that not all the students attended the conference.

- We talk about a sentence.

-It refers to what is suggested in an

utterance and not expressed explicitly. It relies on more than the linguistic meaning of words in a sentence.

- It can be cancelled.

- It arises when, at least, one of the conversational maxims is flouted. For example:

A: Is he going to attend the conference?

B: His car broke down.

_ It is a concept of utterance meaning as opposed to sentence meaning concept of entailment.

Saying that an implicature is a non-truth conditional inference means that the implicature a hearer is making can be false.


a- "A" is not a good student. (Maxim of relevance).

b- I don‟t want to speak about this. (Maxim of relevance).

c- You should see a doctor. (Maxim of relevance). d- I did not like it. (Maxim of relevance).

e- You are making fun of me. (Maxim of relevance).

f- I spent much money on it./ B has an artistic talent. (Maxim of quality informativeness). g- Maxim of quantity, (saying more than necessary).

h- I do not know./ I am not sure.( Maxim of clarity.)

i- I don‟t like it.( Maxim of relevance.)

j- I haven‟t done my homework.( Maxim of relevance.)

k- It is impossible.( Maxim of relevance.)


a- John has recently bought a cheap jacket from the one in the corner.

b- I don‟t want to go to the gym after lunch./ my doctor insisted on going on a diet.

c- Their car is in their driveway. d- All the roads lead to Rome.

e- I can draw straight lines and write on the board.


The relationship is implicature. It is the type of scalar implicature because 4 out of 6 is most but not many.

„Most birds are on the lawns‟ implies that many birds are on the lawns.


Normally,B 's response to A 's utterance has the intention of telling A by implicature (indirectly) that winning the lottery is not possible.A's retort (last response),however,shows that A has not got the'message' and he has broke,therefore, the implicature by saying 'what are you...?'.He might have got the 'message' of B's response and still he pretended not to have understood it as a face-saving technique.