SOPhiA 2018

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Explicit Cancellability of Conversational Implicatures
(Philosophy of Language, English)

Recent literature has proposed to reject, weaken or change the explicit cancellability principle (EC) of conversational implicatures. The paper particularly discusses Weiner's (2006) and Åkerman's (2015) example cases as unsuccessful in arguing against the explicit cancellability of conversational implicatures. As I show there are admissible and successful cancellation clauses for Åkerman's and Weiner's cases. If explicit cancellation leaves the speaker with a retroactively infelicitous utterance the (theoretic) cancellability test is not concerned by that. However, in the actual speaker situation mere cancellation does not suffice if one does not want to make a pointless or infelicitous utterance. In addition to cancellation, one needs to retract the due to cancellation retroactively infelicitous or pointless original utterance and will then arrive at a felicitous and sensible utterance again. Thus, the paper's main thesis is that we need to distinguish a theoretical level on which EC* (introduced by me) and the cancellability test operate and a level of real conversation. It is, furthermore argued that Grice's cancellability test is disjunctive and EC therefore in need of reformulation. Combining this argument with the observations made discussing Weiner's cases, EC* is introduced as 'A putative conversational implicature q implicated in C by an utterance P is explicitly cancellable in C if it is admissible to add to P the form of words 'but not Q' or 'I do not mean to imply that Q' sincerely and they cancel the speaker's commitment to q.'

Chair: Pascale Lötscher
Time: 15:20-15:50, 14 September 2018 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.003

Nadja-Mira Yolcu 
(University of Mannheim, Germany)

I am a doctoral researcher in the research project ''Mind the Meaning: The Philosophy of Psychological Expressivism'' (PI: Prof Dr Wolfgang Freitag, University of Mannheim). Under Prof Freitag's supervision I am working on a dissertation on disavowals and expressive negation. I obtained my Bachelor's degree from the University of Heidelberg and a BPhil from the University of Oxford. My main research interests are Philosophy of Language and Epistemology.

Testability and Meaning deco