The emergence of implicit meaning
Scalar implicatures with some
The purpose of this paper is to show how corpus data can contribute to assessing explicit hypotheses about natural language just as experimental protocols can. The particular hypotheses tested concern the source of generalised conversational implicatures with quantifier some. Is the “some and not all” meaning of some a default interpretation of this item or a requirement of certain contexts? The defaultist approach (Levinson 2000, Chierchia 2004) would predict a preponderance of implicatures in the uses of some, whereas the contextualist approach (Sperber & Wilson 1986; Carston 1988, 2002) would predict that the implicature be found only with identifiable contextual triggers. The analysis of attested usage from the Bergen Corpus of London Teenage English (COLT) is shown to invalidate the former and to support the latter hypothesis. The workings of conversational implicatures are argued to be better understandable through corpus investigation than by recourse to decontextualized, self-fabricated, stock examples.
Published online: 25 October 2014
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Cited by 3 other publications
Duffley, Patrick & Pierre Larrivée
Grossman, Eitan & Ira Noveck
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