“Our Chief Political Editor reads between the lines of the Chancellor’s Budget speech”
The strategic exploitation of conversational implicature in mediated political discourse
This paper examines the multilayeredness of computer-mediated political discourse, focussing on the interdependencies between the contextual constraints and requirements of the medium on the one hand, and contextualisation, indexicality of communicative action and conversational implicature on the other. Particular attention is given to implicit and entextualised references to differences between what is said and what is meant in the communicative act of follow-up, to the importation of context and provision of background information, to their function with respect to the interactional organisation of (non)credibility and argumentative (non)coherence, and to the co-construction of discourse common ground. Within the context of computer-mediated political discourse, these references are used strategically to accommodate the contextual constraints and requirements of a multilayered reception format and their multilayered felicity conditions, and to support speaker-intended interpretation of multilayered discourse on the production side.
Keywords: context, contextualisation, conversational implicature, speaker-intended meaning, discourse common ground, follow-up, political discourse
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