On the Nature of Pragmatic Increments at the Truth-Conditional Level

  • Alessandro Capone
Part of the Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology book series (PEPRPHPS, volume 22)


The aim of this chapter is to reflect on the necessity of the pragmatic development of propositional forms and to reach a better understanding of the level of meaning that Sperber and Wilson and Carston famously call ‘explicatures’ (or ‘explicature’) and to support the claim that (the pragmatically conveyed elements of) explicatures are not cancellable – unlike conversational implicatures (Someone alleged that my claim is not original; however, I have to modestly assert that I put forward this claim in my 2003 paper, which was revised and reprinted in 2006.). While Capone (RASK: Int J Lang Commun 19:3–32, 2003) (A paper that antecedes Burton-Roberts claim that explicatures are non-cancellable.) addressed the issue of the cancellability of explicatures from the point of view of Grice’s circle, a number of important theoretical questions are raised and discussed here. In particular, I propose that the analysis of the notion of intentionality and of the nature of pragmatic intrusion will settle the question concerning the non-cancellability of explicatures. An explicature can be considered to be a two-level entity, in that it consists of a logical form and a pragmatic increment which this logical form gives rise to (in the context of utterance). However, both the initial logical form and the pragmatic increment are the target of pragmatic processes, in that we need a pragmatic process to promote the initial logical form to a serious intended interpretation and another pragmatic process to derive further increments starting from this initial logical form and being promoted to serious utterance interpretations.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandro Capone
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cognitive ScienceUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly

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