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In social science generally and linguistics specifically, the cooperative principle describes how people interact with one another. As phrased by Paul Grice, who introduced it, it states, "Make your contribution such as it is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged." Though phrased as a prescriptive command, the principle is intended as a description of how people normally behave in conversation. Listeners and speakers must speak cooperatively and mutually accept one another to be understood in a particular way. The cooperative principle describes how effective communication in conversation is achieved in common social situations. The cooperative principle can be divided into four maxims, called the Gricean maxims, describing specific rational principles observed by people who obey the cooperative principle; these principles enable effective communication. Grice proposed four conversational maxims that arise from the pragmatics of natural language. The Gricean Maxims are a way to explain the link between utterances and what is understood from them.
1 Obeying the cooperative principle 2 Grice's Maxims 2.1 Maxim of Quality 2.1.1 Be Truthful 2.2 Maxim of Quantity 2.2.1 Quantity of Information 2.3 Maxim of Relation 2.3.1 Relevance 2.4 Maxim of Manner 2.4.1 Be Clear 3 Explanation 4 Criticism 5 Flouting the Maxims 6 See also 7 References 8 Bibliography 9 External links
Obeying the cooperative principle
I find the treatment of such questions exceedingly difficult. or at least a possible reason. its formulation conceals a number of problems that exercise me a good deal: questions about what different kinds and focuses of relevance there may be. For example. Principle of cooperation 2. There are two principles of insurance 1. and I hope to revert to them in later work. for Bill's absence. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence. which are meanings that are not explicitly conveyed in what is said. then there is an implicature that the cold is the reason. Do not make your contribution more informative than is required. Obviously. Maxim of Quantity Quantity of Information Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange). The cooperative principle goes both ways: speakers (generally) observe the cooperative principle. if Alice points out that Bill is not present. and Carol replies that Bill has a cold." (Grice 1989:27) Maxim of Manner . Maxim of Relation Relevance Be relevant. Theory of probability Grice's Maxims Maxim of Quality Be Truthful Do not say what you believe to be false. Grice writes. (This is covered specifically by the Maxim of Relevance). "Though the maxim itself is terse. This allows for the possibility of implicatures. and listeners (generally) assume that speakers are observing it. but that can nonetheless be inferred. and so on. how these shift in the course of a talk exchange. how to allow for the fact that subjects of conversations are legitimately changed. With respect to this maxim. the requirements of different types of conversations will be different. this is because Carol's comment is not cooperative — does not contribute to the conversation — unless her point is that Bill's cold is or might be the reason for his absence.People who obey the cooperative principle in their language use will make sure that what they say in a conversation furthers the purpose of that conversation.
Be orderly. presumptions that we as listeners rely on and as speakers exploit. the reasoning behind this 'fragment' sentence is normally clear to the interlocutor (the maxim is just "flouted"). Grice did not. However. The Malagasy speakers choose not to be cooperative. Keenan claims that the Malagasy. surface meaning of a sentence does not seem to be consistent with the Gricean maxims. however. Philosopher Kent Bach writes: . Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity). Avoid ambiguity. The importance was in what was not said.. However. and yet the circumstances lead us to think that the speaker is nonetheless obeying the cooperative principle. In their culture. For example: Answering It's raining to someone who has suggested playing a game of tennis only disrespects the maxim of relation on the surface. Harnish points out that Grice only claims his maxims hold in conversations where his Cooperative Principle is in effect. and sympathy. rather than prescriptions for how one ought to talk. hidden meaning. They are not sociological generalizations about speech. Explanation These maxims may be better understood as describing the assumptions listeners normally make about the way speakers will talk. (Bach 2005). Although Grice presented them in the form of guidelines for how to communicate successfully. since less information is shared) Another criticism is that the Gricean Maxims can easily be misinterpreted to be a guideline for etiquette. Instead..[W]e need first to get clear on the character of Grice’s maxims. approbation. follow a completely opposite Cooperative Principle in order to achieve conversational cooperation. Geoffrey Leech created the Politeness maxims: tact. instructing speakers on how to be moral. for example. . agreement. If the overt. modesty. as well as the fact that having information is a form of prestige. I think they are better construed as presumptions about utterances. and therefore the Gricean Maxims and the Cooperative Principle cannot be universally applied due to intercultural differences. we tend to look for other meanings that could be implied by the sentence. as with most social behavior. assume that all people should constantly follow these maxims. valuing the prestige of information ownership more highly. generosity. namely either "flouted" (with the listener being expected to be able to understand the message) or "violated" (with the listener being expected to not note this). are only meant to describe the commonly accepted traits of successful cooperative communication. speakers are reluctant to share information and flout the Maxim of Quantity by evading direct questions and replying on incomplete answers because of the risk of losing face by committing oneself to the truth of the information. is culturally determined. polite conversationalists.Be Clear Avoid obscurity of expression. (It could also be said in this case that this is a less cooperative communication system. Criticism Grice’s theory is often disputed by arguing that cooperative conversation. despite their wording. nor they are moral prescriptions or proscriptions on what to say or communicate. he found it interesting when these were not respected. Gricean Maxims generate implicatures. the Gricean Maxims. Flouting would imply some other.
the Gricean Maxims serve a purpose both when they are followed and when they are flouted. Suvremena lingvistika (in Serbo-Croatian) 17 (31-32): 89.org/6ANNqArFh). Pragmatics: An Introduction. See also Leech's politeness maxims Lexical entrainment Politeness theory Relevance theory References 1. "Konverzacijske implikature" [Conversational implicatures] (http://www.worldcat. Blackwell.Flouting the Maxims Without cooperation. 2. In the case of the clumsy friend.PDF) on 2 September 2012. ISSN 05860296 (//www. In Cole. Syntax and semantics. ^ Grice. (1976). Many times in conversation. "On the universality of conversational postulates". One can flout the Maxim of Quality to tell a clumsy friend who has just taken a bad fall that her gracefulness is impressive and obviously intend to mean the complete opposite. as with sarcasm or irony. ^ a b Kordić. Snježana (1991). the Cooperative Principle and the Gricean Maxims are not specific to conversation but to verbal interactions in general. Conversationalists can assume that when speakers intentionally flout a maxim. Mey. Langendoen. Blackwell. D. Paul (1975). (2001). Speakers who deliberately flout the maxims usually intend for their listener to understand their underlying implication. Therefore. In Bever T G. Katz J J. Bibliography Cameron. who may hide the complete truth and manipulate their words for the effect of the story and the sake of the reader’s experience. Archived from the original (http://bib.org/issn/0586-0296). ^ Keenan. 41–58. Jacob. London: Sage Publications. it is possible to flout a maxim intentionally or unconsciously and thereby convey a different meaning than what is literally spoken. .irb. 4. New York. this flouting is manipulated by a speaker to produce a negative pragmatic effect. cooperation is still taking place. Retrieved 9 September 2012. J. Ronald. "Logic and conversation". R.. page 76-77. Therefore. they still do so with the aim of expressing some thought. 5 (1): 67– 80. Working with Spoken Discourse. 3: Speech acts. responding to a question with a long monologue would violate the Maxim of Quantity. human interaction would be far more difficult and counterproductive. D T. (1976). For example. Wardhaugh. The Gricean Maxims are therefore often purposefully flouted by comedians and writers. it would not make sense to reply to a question about the weather with an answer about groceries because it would violate the Maxim of Relevance. Crowel. 2006.hr/datoteka/446883. 2001. Elinor Ochs. P. ^ Harnish. 3. Language in Society.KONVERZACIJSKE_IMPLIKATURE. pp. Thus. she will most likely understand that the speaker is not truly offering a compliment. Likewise. However. but no longer on the literal level. New York: Academic Press. Morgan.webcitation. Logical form and implicature. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics.
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