Journal of Logic, Language and Information

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 491–519

Exhaustive Interpretation of Complex Sentences

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10849-004-2118-6

Cite this article as:
van Rooij, R. & Schulz, K. J Logic Lang Inf (2004) 13: 491. doi:10.1007/s10849-004-2118-6


In terms of Groenendijk and Stokhof’s (1984) formalization of exhaustive interpretation, many conversational implicatures can be accounted for. In this paper we justify and generalize this approach. Our justification proceeds by relating their account via Halpern and Moses’ (1984) non-monotonic theory of ‘only knowing’ to the Gricean maxims of Quality and the first sub-maxim of Quantity. The approach of Groenendijk and Stokhof (1984) is generalized such that it can also account for implicatures that are triggered in subclauses not entailed by the whole complex sentence.

Key words

Circumscriptionconversational implicaturesexhaustive interpretationnon-monotonic reasoningpragmatics

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Logic, Language and ComputationUniversiteit van AmsterdamCP AmsterdamThe Netherlands