Embedded implicature in a new interactive paradigm

  • Anton Benz
  • Nicole Gotzner
  • Lisa Raithel


Previous research on scalar implicature has primarily relied on metalinguistic judgment tasks and found varying rates of such inferences depending on the nature of the task and contextual manipulations. This paper introduces a novel interactive paradigm involving both a production and a comprehension component, thereby fixing a precise conversational context. The main research question is what is reliably communicated by some in this communicative setting, when the quantifier occurs in unembedded positions as well as embedded positions. Our new paradigm involves an action-based task from which participants’ interpretation of utterances can be inferred. It incorporates a game–theoretic design, including a precise model to predict participants’ behaviour in the experimental context. Our study shows that embedded and unembedded implicatures are reliably communicated by some. We propose two cognitive principles which describe what can be left unsaid. In our experimental context, a production strategy based on these principles is more efficient (with equal communicative success and shorter utterances) than a strategy based on literal descriptions.
How to Cite
Benz, A., Gotzner, N., & Raithel, L. (2019). Embedded implicature in a new interactive paradigm. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 22(1), 205-221. Retrieved from https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/sub/index.php/sub/article/view/87