Laurence R. Horn
Ling 376/776 - Implicature and Pragmatic Theory
This seminar explores theoretical and experimental approaches to conversational and conventional implicature. We examine the role that pragmatic inference plays in the determination of what is said and of truth-conditional content in neo-Gricean pragmatics and relevance theory as well as considering arguments for and against the grammatical view of scalar implicature. Our investigations draw on evidence from linguistic diagnostics, corpora, and a range of experimental studies on the acquisition, processing, and patterning of scalar implicature, negative strengthening, and exhaustivity in focus constructions. Finally, we review current work on the effects of discourse context, politeness considerations, and lexical semantics in constraining when and how pragmatic inferences are drawn.
Prerequisite: At least one course in semantics, pragmatics, or philosophy of language; or permission of instructor.
This course can be applied towards the Social Sciences Yale College distributional requirement.