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by: Jackeline Heathcote


Jackeline Heathcote

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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jackeline Heathcote on Thursday October 29, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to LING 3430 at University of Colorado at Boulder taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see /class/231892/ling-3430-university-of-colorado-at-boulder in Linguistics at University of Colorado at Boulder.


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Date Created: 10/29/15
Lecture Notes Saeed Chapter 7 Context and Inference Linguistics 3430 Fall 2007 I The Basic Idea Reddy tells us that meaning isn t 39right there in the words39 This chapter gives a lot of evidence in favor of Reddy39s claim It does this by showing that a lot of the meaning that we get out of a linguistic expression is actually based on the inferences we make from the context and our reasoning about how something fits into the context II But what is Context The speech scene Speaker Hearer Time Place Location of speaker Location of hearer The culture Scripts Frames Assumptions about rationality Grice s cooperative principle Shared background that may be more local than the cultural background People we know times in our shared history 0 The conversation or text thus far Established referents A Deixis Person deixis me on we Place deixis here there bring Time deixis Now three years ago tense interjections like Oh my God Social deixis lVbus tu salut in French B Deictic transfer style indirect libre He scrambled obwn into the narrow canyon Now he had the perfect Vantage point Dateline University of39 California Berkeleyn Here in the birthplace of the student revolution A car thief usually abandons the car several miles away C Referring Conventions Some forms of reference are understandable only in very specific contexts A Shorthands I ll take the blue Do you have any more larges Metonymy Using a related item to refer to something else FIOHI the PBS series Russia s War in a segment concerning the performance of a Shostakovich symphony during the siege of Leningrad The first Violin was dead The Eienoh horn was oying The drum had oied on the way there 01 D Anaphora Some forms of reference require the speaker to recover identity from the prior conversational or narrative context kg mom is a dictionaryr writer She works for Cambridge University Press I work out but my brother rarely39does so A Did you find the key B No But at least I tried A Do you have the report B No But I have a summary A I m getting a beer B he too E Accessibility 0 Definiteness You can use a definite NP to refer to something that is accessible from a previously mentioned frame You can also use a definite NP to refer to something that is mutually identifiable because of intimate shared background we ate at Le Central last night The desserts were incredible restaurant frame Honey do you need the car Filling in the gaps Since we know about cultural frames we can make inferences and elicit inferences from others I m starving but I have no cash There s a muffin in my39purse There s an ATM around the corner I ve got a five My39purse is on the chair 02102102103135 Context Homer Simpson searching under the couch for a peanut Episode l06 Boy Scouts in the Hood Homer Hmm Ow pointy Eww slimy Oh moving Ah ha looks then says remorsefully Oh twenty dollars I wanted a peanut Brain Twenty dollars can buy many peanuts Homer Explain how Brain Money can be exchanged for good and services Homer Woo hoo Giulio kbtriciano is the head chef at one of San Irancisco s finest seafood restaurants Each day at dawn he can be feund at the wharf engaging in spirited haggling39 with the grizzled vendors there This morning it s an enormous nwnkfish that has caught his eye An hour later he and an assistant stagger in triumphantly bearing their purchase In the evening the diners are once again raving about the award winning Cacciucco alla Livornese recently hailed by Gourmet magazine as llthe crowning glory of Meojterranean stew cookery C E Gricean Inference The main idea Conversation is cooperative behavior and therefore proceeds by rules of cooperative conduct The Cooperative Principle CB comprises a set of conversational maxiins QUANTITY QUALITY MANNER and RELEVANCE One can obe 7 a maxim opt out of a Haxim violate a Haxim or exploit a maxim i Quantity l Say as much as you can 2 Don39t say more than you have to iiQuality Be honest Don t say that for which you lack adeguate evidence iii Relevance Be relevant ivManner Be clear Don t be vague 0 obeying a maxim How do we know for sure that the speaker is obeying the maxims 0 Opting out I39d like to tell you more but I really don39t know anything more OR I can expand on this but it would take us very far afield of our topic 0 Violating An apple with the label No cholesterol Kid I39m going to the candy store Ma Child is going to play dice on street corner the way to the candy store These examples are not lies but are deceptive 0 Exploiting A speaker VIMJQES a maxim in an OEHOUS way to imply something he or she would rather not say outright A Do you think that Chris should be admitted to the doctoral program B Well he s a super nice guy Has a wide range of interests Very helpful A How s married life B wonderful Couldn t be better Like a oieam come true Better than I could have imagined Have I said wonderful already A Did she sing at the game B She uttered a series of sounds that closely corresponded to the National Anthem A The Linguistics faculty are such a bunch of incompetent fools Lovely weather today isn t it A How many kids did Angelina and Brad adopt B A dozen at last count The T icon of lntentionall Ambiguous R comm ndations LIAR Implnature Conventional Conversational components of wordconstruction meaning not relevantto truthfalsity Particularized Generalized maxim exploitanon reading in accordingto one ofthe maxtms Implicature is any meaning that does not count when we re trying to determine Whether the sentence is true or false lmplicatures are conversational inferred via the maxims or conventional encoded in the lexicon or grammar Conversational implicatures are generalized computed by the interpreter on the supposition that the speaker is obeying the maxims or particularized computed by a hearer who is trying to reconcile two conflicting beliefs l the speaker has flouted a maxim and 2 the speaker is cooperative Conventional implicatures are detachable Generalized conversational implicatures are not Conventional Implicature a Pat s from the South and she s very open minded b Pat s from the South but she s very open minded Generalized conversational Implicature If you give me 50 I ll wax your car Give me 50 and I ll wax your car For 50 I ll wax your car Fifty dollars and I ll wax you car Q0 U91 0 Generalized conversational implicatures are defeasible conventional implicatures are not I was sick for a week but I m better now I Ve been sick for a week but I m better now Two Types of Quantity Inference These are opposed but interacting factors The Principle of Least Effort the burden is on the interpreter to read in as much as possible The Force of Diversification the burden is on the speaker to be maximally clear QUANTITY l Model Speaker wants to communicate a precise message What is communicated is more definite than what is said Failure to employ the stronger form indicates that the speaker was not in a position to employ it Don t read anything into the utterance Reason by Ql Some of my friends are Polish If you ve got a good excuse she ll accept your homework late She had a oanish or a obughnut It was snowing and I felt oepressed I ran for fifteen minutes yesterday I saw a woman yesterday QUANTITY 2 Model Speaker is not making an effort to be precise What is communicated is therefore more precise than what is actually said Inference to stereotype read as much into an utterance as is consistent with what you know about the world Reason by Q2 I have a new blazer the pockets are sewn shut Do you know what time it is I broke a finger in that door She was able to afford a new car last year MEny people feel that you re wrong It was snowing and I felt depressed o Cancellation of Implicature through Metalinguistic Negation Quantity implicature can be canceled through negation or suspended She ate at least three of them if not four upward compatibility I ain t good baby J m great Clyde Bonnie and Clyde For example great stronger entails gooo weaker ln metalinguistic negation denies the weaker and asserts the stronger in order to deny the implicatum generated by the weaker o The Division of Pragmatic Labor Speakers tend to avoid synonymy For this reason irregular word forms block regular ones decency blocks oecentness cook blocks cooker men blocks mans But this is not the whole story The regular formation may receive a special interpretation Notice the following apparent paraphrases Marv stopped the car Marv caused the car to stop I m unhappy I m not happy Harry didn t prevent us from staying Harry 0 Language Change and Implicature 0 The formation of autohyponyms a type of narrowing Car vs truck Gay vs lesbian Shoe vs boot sandal etc wa vs bull The speaker uses the form cow when we know that there is a more specific word that refers to a subclass bull We infer via guantity l that the speaker did not use the more specific fOIHI because it was not applicable and therefore that the speaker is referring to the opposite subclass female cows 0 Basic Narrowing Q2 based oiink for drink alcohol rectangle for parallelogram that s not a sguare number for integer temperature for fever F Information Structure Information structure is the branch of linguistic pragmatics that asks Why are there so many ways to describe the same situation The answer is that different forms are appropriate for different situations 0 Active vs Passive Police on Wednesday arrested one of the four men they believe responsible for last week s attempted bombings of London s mass transit system the head of Britain s anti terror police branch said Yasin hassan Omar a 24 year olo Somali with British residency was arrested early Mednesday morning in Birmingham England s second largest city cnncom 72705 The theory of information structure l Propositions are structured for communicative purposes 2 They are divided into a focus part the new information and a presupposed part the topic or what s under discussion 3The grammar indicates through word order or placement of accent what the new information is o Predicate Focus Topic Comment Context Speaker looks in refrigerator and says Harry ate the mevwms Focus is on the predicate o Argument Focus Context l Who ate the leftovers hMRRY ate the leftovers Focus is the subject Context 2 What did Harry eat Harry39 ate the LEFTOVERS Focus is on the object this pattern looks identical to the topic comment pattern 4 ln languages that don t have moveable accent a special construction is required for argument focus Note French C est Harry gui a mange les restes lt was Harry who ate the leftovers C est les restes gu il a mange lt was the leftovers that he ate What is the most common information structure pattern l The most common pattern is Topic Comment 2 Subject focus is rare 3 4 Why Across languages subjects tend to be topics That is subjects tend to be the predictable arguments in clauses you me or someone who has already been mentioned 50ne manifestation of this preference is the prevalence of pronouns in subject position In the Switchboard corpus of English conversation 9l percent of subjects are pronouns 6 Here s an example of a fIOHI the Fisher corpus subjects conversational turn of the typical What are the forms I know a guy from hUwait took a class with him uh in the History department and uh I ve learned that uh he Speaker responds was deported for some reason I have no idea what had happened and he looked like a nice guy Well probably because he was from that country It was weird Languages don t like new participants in subject position and so they use special grammatical constructions to keep them out of subject position or otherwise mark new subjects as special Context I Woman slowly gets on bus laden with grocery bags Apologizing to disgruntled fellow passengers she says French Italian Fnoli h Japanese J ai ma MU si e R7CHR broke KUruma ga voiture rotta la down koshoo shi ta gui est en macchina panne Context II A friend asks to borrow the speaker s car French Italian Fnoli h Japanese ME voiture Si e It broke Domv KUruma we elle rotta koshoo shi ta est en panne Sentence focus exemplified in Context I above is a special construction neither the subject nor the predicate is old information l English has a moveable accent so it doesn t have to use a special construction for sentence focus It can simply place accent on the subject to indicate sentence focus 2 Sentence focus sentences argument focus readings Your PHdHs ringing What are the two interpretations 3How do other languages say The phone s ringing always have possible French Y a le telephone gui sonne Italian Sguilla il telefone Sometimes English also uses special constructions for information structure distinctions 0 Passive 0 The Cleft construction It s HXWho doesn t get it 0 Left Dislocation So I got my chicken and all my39 little net and everything and something I had a rock to weight it down something grabs and just runs with it And of course there s no hook so it can t be a fish I m sure it s not a fish right And crab they don t bite like that they39don t just run with your food Problem 75 pp 2l52l6 concerns grammatical constructions with information structure functions For each answer you have to pick the best continuation and include a sentence about another option that you would have selected had the context been X where X is a conversational context that you must invent For example l Was it Harry who brought in the groceries a No Fred brought the groceries in b No it was the groceries that Fred brought in c No what Fred brought in was the groceries d No it was Fred that brought the groceries in Give the answer for the context as it stands Then think of another context which would for example favor b although b is not the right answer for the context given The context that favors b might be Did Fred bring in the lumber


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