Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Against blurring the explicit/implicit distinction

Begoña Vicente Cruz



In this article it will be argued that nothing is gained by further subdividing the categories of communicated content or by allowing the explicit and the implicit to overlap in content, and so the explicit / implicit distinction can remain exhaustive and classificatory as was originally claimed in relevance theory. First, Bach's notion of impliciture will be analysed and rejected as a useful category, and second, it will be argued that Carston's independence criterion gives us a distribution of the information communicated by utterances that meets the predictions of the criterion of consistency with the principle of relevance. To that effect, a number of counterexamples that have been levelled against the independence criterion are reanalysed and found to fit rather than violate it.


Teoría de la relevancia; Implicatura; Explicatura; Procesos cognitivos; Principios conversacionales


Copyright (c) 1998 Begoña Vicente Cruz

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