Contextual Effects on Explicature: Optional Pragmatics or Optional Syntax?

Date

2017-01-30

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

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).

Description

Keywords

Pragmatics, semantics, philosophy of language

Citation

Carston, Robyn & Alison Hall. (2017). Contextual Effects on Explicature: Optional Pragmatics or Optional Syntax? International Review of Pragmatics, 9 (1), pp. 51-81

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of English