An Adaptive Logic for the Formal Explication of Scalar Implicatures

  • Hans Lycke
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6284)


Hearers get at the intended meaning of uncooperative utterances (i.e. utterances that conflict with the prescriptions laid down by the Gricean maxims) by pragmatically deriving sentences that reconcile these utterances with the maxims. Such pragmatic derivations are made according to pragmatic rules called implicatures. As they are pragmatic in nature, the conclusions drawn by applying implicatures remain uncertain. In other words, they may have to be withdrawn in view of further information. Because of this last feature, Levinson argued that implicatures should be formally modeled as non–monotonic or default rules of inference. In this paper, I will do exactly this: by relying on the Adaptive Logics Programme, I will provide a formal explication of implicatures as default inference rules. More specifically, I will do so for a particular kind of implicatures, viz scalar implicatures.


Gricean pragmatics scalar implicatures linguistic scales defeasible inference rules adaptive logics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Lycke
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Logic and Philosophy of ScienceGhent UniversityGentBelgium

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