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Intercultural Pragmatics

Editor-in-Chief: Kecskes, Istvan

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Volume 6, Issue 1


Are explicatures cancellable? Toward a theory of the speaker's intentionality

Alessandro Capone
Published Online: 2009-03-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/IPRG.2009.003


The aim of this paper is to reflect on the necessity of pragmatic development of propositional forms and arrive at a better understanding of the level of meaning which Sperber and Wilson and Carston call ‘explicature’. It is also argued that the pragmatically conveyed elements of explicatures are not cancellable—unlike conversational implicatures. While Capone (RASK: International Journal of Language and Communication 19: 3–32, 2003) addressed the issue of the cancellability of explicatures from a merely empirical point of view, in this paper a number of important theoretical questions are raised and discussed. In particular it is proposed that the analysis of the notion of intentionality and the nature of pragmatic intrusion will settle the question of the cancellability of explicatures. An explicature can be considered a two-level entity. It consists of a logical form and a pragmatic increment that the logical form gives rise to in the context of an utterance. However, both the initial logical form and the pragmatic increment are the target of pragmatic processes. Consequently, we need a pragmatic process to promote the initial logical form to an intended interpretation and another pragmatic process to derive further increments starting from the initial logical form as promoted to an utterance interpretation.

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Published Online: 2009-03-18

Published in Print: 2009-03-01

Citation Information: Intercultural Pragmatics, Volume 6, Issue 1, Pages 55–83, ISSN (Online) 1613-365X, ISSN (Print) 1612-295X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/IPRG.2009.003.

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