Gricean Pragmatics

  • Siobhan Chapman


By all the obvious measures of academic achievement, the big success story for Grice has been the response in linguistics to his theory of conversation. The ‘Logic and conversation’ series, particularly the individual lecture published under that title, has been cited widely and frequently from the first. Beyond frequency of reference, perhaps the greatest accolade is for a writer’s name to be coined as an adjective, a process with few precedents in linguistics. There is ‘Saussurian linguistics’, the ‘Chomskyan revolution’ and ‘Hallidayan grammar’. From the mid-1970s on, linguists could be confident that a set of assumptions about theoretical commitments could be conveyed by the phrase ‘Gricean pragmatics’. The term has been used as a label for a disparate body of work. It includes relatively uncritical applications of Grice’s ideas to a wide range of different genres, as well as attempts to identify flaws, omissions or full-blown errors in his theory. It also includes a variety of attempts to develop new theories of language use, based to varying degrees on Grice’s insights.


Conversational Implicature Scalar Implicature Pragmatic Intrusion Pragmatic Principle Cooperative Principle 
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© Siobhan Chapman 2005

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  • Siobhan Chapman

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