Marcella Bertuccelli Papi
Table of contents

Implicitness is at one time an intrinsic feature of natural languages and a powerful instrument of communication. Consequently, the study of implicitness can be tackled from at least two different but not unrelated perspectives. On the one side, it properly belongs to the domain of language use, and it is the task of pragmatics to spell out the conditions under which an expression is associated to implicit meanings either conventionally or in some specific context of utterance. On the other side, it presupposes a view of language that allows for meanings to be contextually actualized to various degrees in the process of communication. In fact, when faced with the problem of defining what implicitness amounts to, the first difficulty we come across is whether there is anything of what we say that is ever totally explicit.

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