Against blurring the explicit/implicit distinction


  • Begoña Vicente Cruz



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


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.


The research leading to the completion of this article was supported by a grant from the University of the Basque Country for research project UPV 003.230-HA206/97.



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How to Cite

Vicente Cruz, Begoña. 1998. “Against Blurring the explicit/Implicit Distinction”. Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina De Estudios Ingleses, no. 11 (November):241-58.