Presumptive Meanings: The Theory of Generalized Conversational Implicature

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MIT Press, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 480 pages
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When we speak, we mean more than we say. In this book Stephen C. Levinson explains some general processes that underlie presumptions in communication. This is the first extended discussion of preferred interpretation in language understanding, integrating much of the best research in linguistic pragmatics from the last two decades. Levinson outlines a theory of presumptive meanings, or preferred interpretations, governing the use of language, building on the idea of implicature developed by the philosopher H.P. Grice. Some of the indirect information carried by speech is presumed by default because it is carried by general principles, rather than inferred from specific assumptions about intention and context. Levinson examines this class of general pragmatic inferences in detail, showing how they apply to a wide range of linguistic constructions. This approach has radical consequences for how we think about language and communication.

 

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Contents

I
1
II
11
III
12
IV
21
V
27
VI
35
VIII
37
IX
38
XXXVIII
186
XXXIX
198
XL
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XLI
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XLII
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XLIII
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XLIV
217
XLV
225

X
39
XI
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XII
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XIII
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XIV
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XV
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XVI
60
XVII
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XVIII
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XIX
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XX
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XXI
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XXII
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XXIII
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XXIV
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XXV
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XXVI
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XXVII
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XXVIII
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XXIX
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XXX
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XXXI
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XXXII
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XXXIII
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XXXIV
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XXXV
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XXXVI
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XXXVII
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XLVI
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XLVII
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XLVIII
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XLIX
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L
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LI
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LII
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LIII
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LIV
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LV
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LVI
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LVII
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LVIII
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LIX
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LX
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LXI
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LXII
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LXIII
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LXIV
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LXV
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LXVI
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LXVII
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LXVIII
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LXIX
379
LXX
425
LXXI
451
LXXII
457
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About the author (2000)

Stephen C. Levinson is Director of the Language and Cognition Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands.

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