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Title:Some Constraints of Consideration on Conversation: Interactions of Politeness and Relevance With Grice's Second Maxim of Quantity
Author(s):Donaldson, Susan Kay
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:In his by now well-known paper 'Logic and conversation' philosopher of language Paul Grice establishes four maxims speakers follow in conversing: maxims of quantity, quality, relation, and manner. The maxim of quantity he divides into two parts, saying that conversational participants must give enough information to each other, but must not give too much. However, after once establishing this maxim, Grice immediately casts doubt on its validity, saying that its second part is adequately covered by the maxim of relation, which states that what one says should be relevant--that is, that any remark that would be considered overinformative would be discounted by its being irrelevant, anyway, thus eliminating the need for the second half of the maxim of quantity.
This dissertation, employing examples from both tape-recorded 'real' conversations and conversations from short stories and novels, argues that Grice's first intuitions were correct, namely, that the second half of the maxim of quantity is both valid and necessary. Speakers refrain, at times, from conveying to one another information that could be highly relevant to the material at hand, the thesis maintains, for reasons that stem in large part from consideration for one another. A lengthy review of the literature is included, as well as a chapter distinguishing conversation from other sorts of verbal interaction, and one on the nature of consideration and precedents from the literature on human interaction for consideration as a valid form of motivation. Transcripts of four 'real' conversations follow the text.
Issue Date:1984
Description:624 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8502128
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1984

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