, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 97-116

Errors in Pragmatics

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Abstract

In this paper we are going to show that error coping strategies play an essential role in linguistic pragmatics. We study the effect of noisy speaker strategies within a framework of signalling games with feedback loop. We distinguish between cases in which errors occur in message selection and cases in which they occur in signal selection. The first type of errors affects the content of an utterance, and the second type its linguistic expression. The general communication model is inspired by the Shannon–Weaver communication model. We test the model by a number of benchmark examples, including examples of relevance implicatures, quantity implicatures, and presupposition accommodation.

This work was supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) (Grant Nr. 01UG0711). It greatly profited from discussions in the conference series on Optimality Theory and interpretation organised by the editors of this special issue.