A Fine-Grained Global Analysis of Implicatures

  • Robert van Rooij
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Language and Cognition book series (PSPLC)


In recent years, a local, or even grammatical, analysis of implicatures has gained popularity in pragmatics, especially to account for implicatures triggered by disjunctions embedded under other operators. Against this trend, in this chapter a more traditional—and perhaps more Gricean—global analysis of implicatures is defended. Crucial use is made of facts which provide a more fine-grained notion of meaning than traditionally assumed in truth-functional semantics. A Gricean motivation for this analysis will be provided as well. The fact-based analysis will also allow one to formulate a constraint much weaker than the one due to Hurford to explain the inappropriateness of certain disjunctive sentences.


Facts Intermediate implicatures Exhaustive interpretation Gricean motivation Fine-grained meaning Dynamic exhaustification 


  1. Alonso-Ovalle, L. 2005. Distributing the Disjuncts Over the Modal Space. In: NELS, ed. L. Bateman and C. Ussery, vol. 35. Amherst: GLSA.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, A.R., and N.D. Belnap. 1962. Tautological Entailments. Philosophical Studies 13: 9–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brochhagen, T., and E. Coppock. 2013. Raising and Resolving Issues with Scalar Modifiers. Semantics and Pragmatics 6: 1–57.Google Scholar
  4. Chemla, E., and R. Singh. 2014. Remarks on the Experimental Turn in the Study of Scalar Implicatures. Language and Linguistic Compass, 373–386.Google Scholar
  5. Chierchia, G., D. Fox, and B. Spector. 2012. The Grammatical View of Scalar Implicatures and the Relationship Between Semantics and Pragmatics. In An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning Semantics, ed. P. Portner, C. Maienborn, and K. von Heusinger. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  6. Ciardelli, I., J. Groenendijk, and F. Roelofsen. 2013. Inquisitive Semantics: A New Notion of Meaning. Language and Linguistic Compass 7(9): 459–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cobreros, P., P. Egré, D. Ripley, and R. van Rooij. 2015. Pragmatic Interpretations of Vague Expressions: Strongest Meaning and Nonmonotonic Consequence. Journal of Philosophical Logic 44: 275–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fine, K. 2012. A Difficulty for the Possible Worlds Analysis of Counterfactuals. Synthese 189: 29–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fine, K. 2014. Truth-Maker Semantics for Intuitionistic Logic. Journal of Philosophical Logic 43: 549–577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fox, D. 2007. Free Choice and the Theory of Scalar Implicatures. In Presupposition and Implicature in Compositional Semantics, ed. U. Sauerland and P. Stateva, 71–120. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fox, D., and B. Spector. 2008. Economy and Embedded Exhaustification.Google Scholar
  12. Franke, M. 2011. Quantity Implicatures, Exhaustive Interpretation, and Rational Conversation. Semantics and Pragmatics 4: 1–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Franke, M., and R. van Rooij. 2016. Optimality-Theoretic, Game-Theoretic, and Bayesian Approaches to Implicature. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.Google Scholar
  14. Gazdar, G. 1979. Pragmatics: Implicature, Presupposition and Logical Form. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  15. Geurts, B. 2009. Scalar Implicatures and Local Pragmatics. Mind and Language 24: 51–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Grice, H.P. 1967. Logic and conversation, William James Lectures, Harvard University, reprinted in Studies in the Way of Words, 1989. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Groenendijk, J., and M. Stokhof. 1984. Studies in the Semantics of Questions and the Pragmatics of Answers. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  18. Groenendijk, J., and M. Stokhof. 1991. Dynamic Predicate Logic. Linguistics and Philosophy 14: 39–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Heim, I. 1982. The Semantics of Definite and Indefinite Noun Phrases, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.Google Scholar
  20. Heim, I. 1990. E-type Pronouns and Donkey Anaphora. Linguistics and Philosophy 13: 137–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hurford, J.R. 1974. Exclusive or Inclusive Disjunction. Foundations of Language 11(3): 409–411.Google Scholar
  22. Kadmon, N. 1985. The Discourse Representation of NPs with Numeral Determiners. In Proceedings of NELS 15, ed. S. Berman et al., 207–219. Amherst: GLSA, Linguistics Dept. University of Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  23. Kamp, H. 1981. A Theory of Truth and Semantic Representation. In Formal Methods in the Study of Language, Amsterdam, ed. J. Groenendijk et al., 277–322.Google Scholar
  24. Kamp, H., and U. Reyle. 1993. From Discourse to Logic. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  25. Kratzer, A. 2007. Situations in Natural Language Semantics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. E.N. Zalta.Google Scholar
  26. Krifka, M. 1995. The Semantics and Pragmatics of Polarity Items. Linguistic Analysis 25: 209–258.Google Scholar
  27. Landman, F. 2000. Events and Plurality. Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mastop, R. 2005. What Can You Do?, Ph.D. Dissertation, Universiteit van Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  29. McCarthy, J. 1980. Circumscription - A Form of Non-monotonic Reasoning. Artificial Intelligence 13: 27–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McCawley, J. 1993. Everything that Linguists Always Wanted to Know About Logic . Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  31. Pistoia-Reda, P. 2014. Some Remarks on the Scalar Implicature Debate. In Pragmatics, Semantics and the Case of Scalar Implicatures, ed. S. Pistoia Reda. Palgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Language and Cognition, 1–12. Basingstoke: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  32. Récanati, F. 2003. Embedded Implicatures. Philosophical Perspectives 17: 299–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rooth, M. 1996. Focus. In The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory, ed. S. Lappin, 271–297. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  34. Sauerland, U. 2004. Scalar Implicatures of Complex Sentences. Linguistics and Philosophy 27: 367–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sauerland, U. 2012. The Computation of Scalar Implicatures: Pragmatic, Lexical or Grammatical? Language and Linguistic Compass 6: 36–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sauerland, U. 2014. Intermediate Scalar Implicatures. In Pragmatics, Semantics and the Case of Scalar Implicatures, ed. S. Pistoia-Reda, 72–98. Basingstoke: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  37. Schulz, K. 2005. A Pragmatic Solution for the Paradox of Free Choice Permission. Synthese: Knowledge, Rationality and Action 147: 343–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schulz, K., and R. van Rooij. 2006. Pragmatic Meaning and Non-monotonic Reasoning: The Case of Exhaustive Interpretation. Linguistics and Philosophy 29: 205–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sevi, A. 2006. Exhaustivity. A Semantic Account of ‘Quantity’ Implicatures. Ph.D. Dissertation, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv.Google Scholar
  40. Singh, R. 2008. On the Interpretation of Disjunction: Asymmetric, Incremental, and Eager for Inconsistency. Linguistics and Philosophy 31: 245–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Soames, S. 1982. How Presuppositions are Inherited: A Solution to the Projection Problem. Linguistic Inquiry 13: 483–545.Google Scholar
  42. Spector, B. 2003. Scalar Implicatures: Exhaustivity and Gricean Reasoning? In Proceedings of the ESSLLI 2003 Student Session, Vienna, ed. B. ten Cate.Google Scholar
  43. van Fraassen, B. 1969. Facts and Tautological Entailments. Journal of Philosophy 66: 477–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. van Rooij, R. 2000. Permission to Change. Journal of Semantics 17: 119–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. van Rooij, R. 2006. Free Choice Counterfactual Donkeys. Journal of Semantics 23: 383–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. van Rooij, R. 2013. Vagueness: Insights from Martin, Jeroen and Frank. In Festschrifft for Stokhof, Groenendijk, and Veltman, Amsterdam, ed. Roelofsen et al., 216–228.Google Scholar
  47. van Rooij, R. 2014. Leibnizian Intensional Semantics for Syllogistic Reasoning. In Recent Trends in Philosophical Logic, ed. R. Ciuni et al. Trends in Logic, vol. 41, 179–194. Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  48. van Rooij, R. 2017. Nonmonotonicity and Knowability: As Knowable as Possible. In Rohit Parkih on Logic Language and Society, ed. C. Baskent, L. Moss, and R. Ramanujum. Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  49. van Rooij, R., and K. Schulz. 2004. Exhaustive Interpretation of Complex Sentences. Journal of Logic, Language, and Information 13: 491–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. von Stechow, A., and T.E. Zimmermann. 1984. Term Answers and Contextual Change. Linguistics 22: 3–40.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC)University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations