Argumentative Properties of Pragmatic Inferences

  • Grégoire Winterstein
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5447)


In this paper we seek an explanation for the preference to use adversative connectives when reinforcing some implicatures. We begin by examining, and rejecting, an hypothesis according to which the nature of the implicatures can encode their argumentative properties. We then argue that this constraint is not due to the nature of the inferences at hand but rather to distinct argumentative relations between the propositions expressed in the discourse. We provide a solution in an argumentative framework and then extend our observations to cases including an overt restriction rather than implicatures. We conclude by looking at various explanations for the source of the preference we observe.


Scalar Implicature CSLI Publication Conventional Implicature Logical Entailment Pragmatic Inference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1977]
    Anscombre, J.-C., Ducrot, O.: Deux mais en français. Lingua 43, 23–40 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [1983]
    Anscombre, J.-C., Ducrot, O.: L’argumentation dans la langue. Bruxelles, Pierre Mardaga (1983)Google Scholar
  3. [2003]
    Asher, N., Lascarides, A.: Logics of Conversation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2003)Google Scholar
  4. [1998]
    Benndorf, B., Koenig, J.-P.: Meaning and context: German aber and sondern. In: Koenig, J.-P. (ed.) Discourse and cognition: bridging the gap, pp. 365–386. CSLI Publications, Stanford (1998)Google Scholar
  5. [2005]
    Breheny, R., Katsos, N., Williams, J.: Are Generalised Scalar Implicatures Generated by Default? An on-line investigation into the role of context in generating pragmatic inferences. Cognition (2005)Google Scholar
  6. [1998]
    Carston, R.: Informativeness, Relevance and Scalar Implicature. In: Carston, R., Uchida, S. (eds.) Relevance theory: Applications and Implications. John Benjamins, Amsterdam (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [2005]
    Carston, R.: Relevance Theory and the Saying/Implicating distinction. In: Horn, L., Ward, G. (eds.) The handbook of Pragmatics. Blackwell, Malden (2005)Google Scholar
  8. [to appear]
    Chierchia, G., Fox, D., Spector, B.: The Grammatical View of Scalar Implicatures and the Relationship between Semantics and Pragmatics. In: Portner, P., Maienborn, C., von Heusinger, K. (eds.) Handbook of Semantics. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin (to appear)Google Scholar
  9. [1980]
    Ducrot, O.: Les échelles argumentatives. Les Éditions de Minuit (1980)Google Scholar
  10. [1979]
    Gazdar, G.: Pragmatics: Implicature, Presupposition and Logical Form. Academic Press, New York (1979)Google Scholar
  11. [1989]
    Grice, H.P.: Studies in the way of words. Harvard University Press (1989)Google Scholar
  12. [2008]
    Jayez, J., Tovena, L.: Presque and almost: how argumentation derives from comparative meaning. In: Bonami, O., Cabredo Hofherr, P. (eds.) Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics, vol. 7, pp. 1–23 (2008)Google Scholar
  13. [1985]
    Hirschberg, J.: A theory of scalar implicature. Ph.D. thesis. University of Pennsylvania (1985)Google Scholar
  14. [1989]
    Horn, L.: A natural history of negation. The University of Chicago Press (1989)Google Scholar
  15. [1991]
    Horn, L.: Given as new: when redundant information isnt. Journal of Pragmatics 15(4), 313–336 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. [2005]
    Horn, L.: The border wars: a neo-gricean perspective. In: Turner, et al. (eds.) Where Semantics Meets Pragmatics, pp. 21–48. Elsevier, Amsterdam (2005)Google Scholar
  17. [2000]
    Levinson, S.C.: Presumptive Meanings: The Theory of Generalized Conversational Implicature. MIT Press, Cambridge (2000)Google Scholar
  18. [1999]
    Merin, A.: Information, Relevance and Social Decision-Making. In: Moss, L., Ginzburg, J., de Rijke, M. (eds.) Logic, Language, and computation, vol. 2, pp. 179–221. CSLI Publications, Stanford (1999)Google Scholar
  19. [2007]
    Noveck, I., Sperber, D.: The why and how of experimental pragmatics: The case of scalar inferences. In: Burton-Roberts, N. (ed.) Advances in Pragmatics. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke (2007)Google Scholar
  20. [2008]
    Sauerland, U.: Implicated Presuppositions. In: Steube, A. (ed.) Sentence and Context. Language, Context & Cognition. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin (to appear)Google Scholar
  21. [2004]
    van Rooij, R.: Cooperative versus argumentative communication. Philosophia Scientia 2, 195–209 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. [2005]
    Wilson, D., Sperber, D.: Relevance Theory. In: Horn, L., Ward, G. (eds.) The handbook of pragmatics. Blackwell, Malden (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grégoire Winterstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Linguistique FormelleUniversité Paris Diderot-CNRSFrance

Personalised recommendations