Publication details [#58233]

Publication type
Article in book
Publication language


This paper examines definitions of common ground (CG), discusses terms and concepts very alike if not similar to it, and applies the author’s preferred CG definition to three texts (one invented, one fictional, and one non-fictional). The CG notion requires a concomitant presumption of interlocutors as intelligent and aware beings and of communicative competence (the knowledge (application) of how and when to employ utterances fittingly that merges with grammatical knowledge in utterance production in order to generate a cohesive text intelligible for its intended audience). The terms common knowledge, mutual knowledge, shared knowledge, assumed familiarity, presumed background information and common ground are actually describing the same thing: the most significant pragmatic constituent of communicative competence. Stalnaker correctly appends temporary assumptions, probable presumptions, and pretended beliefs to what is mutually known as a potential part of CG.