Chapter published in:Implicitness: From lexis to discourse
Edited by Piotr Cap and Marta Dynel
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 276] 2017
► pp. 259–279
Why don’t you tell it explicitly?
Personal/subpersonal accounts of implicitness
Why do we use implicitness as a communicative strategy? In this chapter I suggest that the reason has to do – among other things – with the structure of memory, on the one hand, and the human ability to construct contextually shared chains of goals, on the other. I also propose that by framing the issue of implicitness in these terms we may both gain a vantage point for the evaluation of pragmatic theories and have important insights about practical reasoning and its relation with utterance understanding.Implicitness phenomena may be approached at personal and sub-personal levels. On the one hand, they are explained by communicative predispositions anchored in the structure of human memory, on the other they reflect human ability to construct contextually shared chains of goals. These two research paths are not incompatible: personal and sub-personal components work together to explain cooperation between automatic and controlled associative processes.
Keywords: motives for implicitness, levels of implicitness, personal level, subpersonal level, politeness, relevance
Published online: 30 June 2017
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