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Inference and Implicature

  1. Michael Haugh

Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0535

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

How to Cite

Haugh, M. 2012. Inference and Implicature. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2012


An implicature is a type of speaker meaning that goes beyond what is literally said. Inference, in contrast, refers to the cognitive processes by which participants figure out meaning beyond what is said. Consider the following conversation:


  • cognition;
  • discourse;
  • interaction;
  • pragmatics