Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Ever since the seminal work of Paul Grice, tautologies such as Business is business have been discussed from a number of angles. While most approaches assume that tautological utterances have to do with the operation of conversational maxims, an integrated analysis is still lacking. This paper makes an attempt at analysing tautologies within the framework of Levinson (2000), who proposes a distinction between three pragmatic levels, namely Indexical Pragmatics, Gricean Pragmatics 1, and Gricean Pragmatics 2. It is shown that observations of Ward and Hirschberg (1991) on the exclusion of alternatives, the claim of Autenrieth (1997) that the second NP in nominal equatives is predicative, and the recent insights of Bulhof and Gimbel (2004) on ‘deep’ tautology, may be fruitfully integrated within Levinson’s framework. The gist of this paper is to show that tautologies are not as tautological as once thought, because implicatures influence their truth conditions. Data are drawn from the author’s corpus of authentic German examples.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): conversational implicature; deep tautology; nominal equative; predication; tautology
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