Volume 19, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1384-6655
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9811
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


The purpose of this paper is to show how corpus data can contribute to assessing explicit hypotheses about natural language just as experimental protocols can. The particular hypotheses tested concern the source of generalised conversational implicatures with quantifier some. Is the “some and not all” meaning of some a default interpretation of this item or a requirement of certain contexts? The defaultist approach (Levinson 2000, Chierchia 2004) would predict a preponderance of implicatures in the uses of some, whereas the contextualist approach (Sperber & Wilson 1986; Carston 1988, 2002) would predict that the implicature be found only with identifiable contextual triggers. The analysis of attested usage from the Bergen Corpus of London Teenage English (COLT) is shown to invalidate the former and to support the latter hypothesis. The workings of conversational implicatures are argued to be better understandable through corpus investigation than by recourse to decontextualized, self-fabricated, stock examples.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): contextualist approach; implicatures; relevance theory; some
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error