Contextual Effects on Explicature: Optional Pragmatics or Optional Syntax?
The debate between advocates of free pragmatic enrichment and those who maintain that any pragmatic contribution to explicature is mediated by a covert linguistic indexical took a new turn with the claim that these covert elements may be optional (Martí 2006). This prompted the conclusion (Recanati 2010b) that there is no longer any issue of substance between the two positions, as both involve optional elements of utterance meaning, albeit registered at different representational levels (conceptual or linguistic). We maintain, on the contrary, that the issue remains substantive and we make the case that, for a theory of the processes involved in utterance comprehension, the free pragmatic enrichment account is indispensable. We further argue that the criticism of free enrichment that motivates at least some indexicalist accounts rests on a mistaken assumption that it is the semantic component of the grammar (linguistic competence) that is responsible for delivering truth-conditional content (explicature).
Citation : Carston, Robyn & Alison Hall. (2017). Contextual Effects on Explicature: Optional Pragmatics or Optional Syntax? International Review of Pragmatics, 9 (1), pp. 51-81
Research Institute : Institute of English
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Humanities