Conclusions: A Cross-cultural Reassessment of the ‘Cooperative Principle’

  • Maria Grazia Guido


In conclusion, this book has claimed that in dealing with non-Western migrants’ trauma narratives, Western experts in charge of unequal encounters in specialized migration contexts should aim at the achievement of a ‘mutual accommodation’ of the ELF variations by the participants in the interactions. The ultimate objective is the development of a ‘hybrid ELF mode’ of intercultural communication acknowledged and shared by all the participants in the interaction for the expression of their respective linguacultural identities. This would entail a revision of Grice’s cooperative maxims which, as they are originally formulated, account for a monocultural context of interaction where the speakers’ illocutionary intentions in producing their messages necessarily have to coincide with the perlocutionary effects of the messages on receivers. Obviously, this dialogic pattern cannot be applied to asymmetric situations of intercultural communication, especially when dealing with displaced and traumatized migrants in need of assistance in an alien host country. Hence, this last part of the book proposes four novel dialogic cooperative parameters aimed at enhancing communication by accounting for the speakers’ ‘implicatures’ as well as the receivers’ processes of meaning ‘inference’, and, finally, the participants’ activation of mutual processes of meaning ‘negotiation’ and ‘acceptability’. Such parameters should indeed enable Western experts to cope with and understand other culture-bound ways of expressing trauma and eventually to appropriately relieve non-Western traumatized people from distress.


Cooperative principle Cooperative maxims Dialogic cooperative parameters Implicature Inference Negotiation Acceptability 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Grazia Guido
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SalentoLecceItaly

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