Relevance theory has been developed as a general model for explaining the cognitive mechanisms underlying human verbal communication. As all theories, Relevance has been built up on several initial hypotheses. In this paper, it will be argued that if Relevance theory intends to be a theory of linguistic performance, what is one of the most characteristic hypotheses of Relevance theory, i.e., the 'communicative hypothesis', should be weakened because of the existence of noncommunicative uses of language. Thus, the main aim of this paper is to work out the consequences that a weakened communicative hypothesis would have on the 'principle of relevance', and on pragmatic theories in general. In this paper, then, it will be maintained that the 'principle of relevance' cannot be the only principle governing human linguistic performance, at least if its formulation is not changed.
Comunicación; Teoría de la relevancia; Pragmática; Conceptos teóricos