Implicature as a discourse phenomenon

  • Bart Geurts


Standard implementations of Grice’s theory of conversational implicature assume that the derivation an implicature always begins with a single proposition expressed by means of a sentence in a given context. Against this received view, I argue that, in at least three ways, implicatures are discourse-based rather than proposition-based. First, in some cases an implicature can only be derived from an ensemble of two or more utterances. Secondly, some implicatures can only be explained on the assumption that the hearer takes into account the discourse referents that were introduced by the speaker’s utterance. Thirdly, I claim that presupposed material may give rise to conversational implicatures.
How to Cite
Geurts, B. (2019). Implicature as a discourse phenomenon. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 11, 261-275.