Linguistics and the Human Sciences, Vol 8, No 2 (2012)

A formal characterization of explicature and its consequences to explicating in Chinese

Issued Date: 26 Nov 2013


This paper studies the notion of explicature and the process of explicating in relevance-theoretic pragmatics against the background of the minimalism versus contextualism controversy. It attempts to give a formal definition of explicature, which has not yet been spelt out in the literature. It then applies the formal characterization to the study of a range of related cases in Chinese grammar. The findings are used to re-examine the minimalism/contextualism debate. We argue that explicature theory does not by nature favour either of the two sides.

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DOI: 10.1558/lhs.v8i2.243


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