Site Loader

Speakers sometimes depart from typical language patterns. In this lesson, we will learn more about ‘implicature’ and ‘presupposition’ and examine some examples of each.

Unconventional Semantics

Have you ever considered how much information is taken for granted in a typical conversation? Most people do not explain every aspect of every word they utter, but rather make assumptions that listeners will understand implied meanings and have some background information that will help make the information they hear meaningful. Implicature and presupposition are terms that are used by linguists to describe some of the less conventional semantics we use in our daily communication.

Best services for writing your paper according to Trustpilot

Premium Partner
From $18.00 per page
4,8 / 5
4,80
Writers Experience
4,80
Delivery
4,90
Support
4,70
Price
Recommended Service
From $13.90 per page
4,6 / 5
4,70
Writers Experience
4,70
Delivery
4,60
Support
4,60
Price
From $20.00 per page
4,5 / 5
4,80
Writers Experience
4,50
Delivery
4,40
Support
4,10
Price
* All Partners were chosen among 50+ writing services by our Customer Satisfaction Team

Let’s learn more about implicature and presupposition.

Implicature

Implicature is when a speaker implies meaning without using direct language. For example:

  • Toby is driving to his mother’s house tonight.
The word driving implies driving a car.
drive

It is implied that Toby is driving a car, rather than a tractor, golf ball, or cattle.There are two types of implicature: conversational and conventional.

  • Conversational implicature is when the speaker makes inferences through word meanings and context. For example, ‘I put aside some of my paycheck to save for a new car.’ The use of the word ‘some’ indicates that the speaker also used part of his or her paycheck for other things.
  • Conventional implicature is when a speaker uses words such as ‘but,’ ‘still,’ ‘although,’ ‘therefore,’ and ‘even’ to establish a relevant relationship between two clauses.

    Within the linguistics community, there is disparity on whether or not conventional implicatures exist or if they are a type of presupposition. For now, sentences such as the following are considered conventional implicatures: ‘Sandy is tired, but she is motivated.’ This sentence implies that being tired generally affects motivation, but not for Sandy.

Presupposition

Presupposition is when a speaker makes certain assumptions when conveying information to the listener regarding background knowledge.

For example:

  • Jaimie’s cousin brought cookies for her soccer team.

In this statement, the speaker assumes that Jaimie has a cousin, Jaimie plays soccer, and the cousin is generous.There are six types of presuppositions: existential, factive, lexical, structural, non-factive, and counterfactual.

  • Existential presupposition is when the speaker believes in the existence of the subjects.

    For example, if the speaker says, ‘The Prime Minister of Israel is meeting with the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of England,’ the speaker assumes that Israel and England have a Prime Minister and that the United States has a President.

  • Factive presupposition is when the speaker chooses verbs that indicate something is a fact. For example, ‘Zachary forgot to do his homework,’ indicates that there was homework that needed to be completed.
  • Lexical presupposition is when the speaker supposes the listener understands the intended meaning of the form of the word that has been selected.

    For example, ‘Robby used to play the trombone,’ suggests that he no longer plays the instrument.

  • Structural presupposition is when the speaker implies that something is factual through word organization and selection. The use of ‘who, where, when, why, and how’ at the beginning of a sentence often indicates that a question is being asked about supposed information.

    For example, ‘Who stole my money?’ indicates that the money was stolen.

  • Non-factive presupposition is when the speaker chooses a verb that indicates that something is not true. For example, ‘Craig pretended he didn’t see her,’ means that Craig saw her.
  • Counter-factual presupposition is when the speaker incorporates clauses that indicates that something is the opposite of truth. For example, ‘If I were the King of the World, I would put an end to all wars,’ indicates that I am not the King of the World.

Lesson Summary

Some of the language we use does not follow traditional language patterns.

Implicature is when a speaker implies meaning without saying the information outright. There are two types of implicature: conversational and conventional. Presupposition is when the speaker assumes some background information when making a statement.There are six types of presuppositions: existential, factive, lexical, structural, non-factive, and counterfactual.

Post Author: admin

x

Hi!
I'm Eric!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out