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WJ-40: Implicature, truth, and meaning

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40-plus years ago Paul Grice initiated modern pragmatics by defining a relation of conversational implicature within a general theory of cooperation and rationality. While critics have disputed the formulation and derivation of Gricean principles, the overall framework, with appropriate emendations, remains the most natural and explanatory approach to predicting constraints on lexical incorporation, the behavior of scalar predicates, pragmatic strengthening, and other linguistic phenomena. Despite recent arguments for an enriched conception of propositional content, a range of real and fictional exchanges bearing on the distinction between lying and misleading supports the neo-Gricean view of an austere conception of what is said.


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