Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Experimental Pragmatics and What Is said: A response to Gibbs and Moise.
Author: Steve Nicolle
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Canada Institute of Linguistics
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Pragmatics
Abstract: Gibbs and Moise (1997) present experimental results which, they claim, show that people recognise a distinction between what is said and what is implicated. They also claim that these results provide support for theories of utterance interpretation (such as Relevance Theory) which recognise that pragmatic processes are involved not only in understanding what is implicated but also in working out what is said (the ‘explicature’). We attempted to replicate some of these experiments and also adapted them. Our results fail to confirm Gibbs and Moise’s claims. Most significantly, they show that, under certain conditions, subjects select implicatures when asked to select the paraphrase that best reflects what a speaker has said. We suggest that our results can be explained within the framework of Relevance Theory (Sperber & Wilson 1986) if we assume that subjects select the paraphrase that comes closest to achieving the same set of communicated contextual effects as the original utterance. When an utterance gives rise to a single strong implicature, subjects tend to select this as the paraphrase that best reflects what is said; in other cases (for example in Gibbs & Moise’s stimuli) subjects tend to select the explicature.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Cognition 69: 337-354.
Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page