Thanks for helpful discussion to Steven Davis, Brendan Gillon, Michael Nelson, Scott Soames, and two anonymous referees for Mind & Language.
Conversational Implicature, Thought, and Communication
Article first published online: 14 JAN 2008
2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Mind & Language
Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 107–122, February 2008
How to Cite
SPEAKS, J. (2008), Conversational Implicature, Thought, and Communication. Mind & Language, 23: 107–122. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2007.00331.x
- Issue published online: 14 JAN 2008
- Article first published online: 14 JAN 2008
Abstract: Some linguistic phenomena can occur in uses of language in thought, whereas others only occur in uses of language in communication. I argue that this distinction can be used as a test for whether a linguistic phenomenon can be explained via Grice’s theory of conversational implicature (or any theory similarly based on principles governing conversation). I argue further, on the basis of this test, that conversational implicature cannot be used to explain quantifier domain restriction or apparent substitution failures involving coreferential names, but that it must be used to explain the phenomenon of referential uses of definite descriptions. I conclude with a brief discussion of the relevance of this point to the semantics/pragmatics distinction.