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Informativeness, Relevance and Scalar Implicature Author: Roybn Carston Presenter: Ovidiu Fortu Informativeness, Relevance and Scalar Implicature Author: Roybn Carston Presenter: Ovidiu Fortu

Outline l Introduction l Pragmatics l Principles underlying the implicature phenomenon l Types of Outline l Introduction l Pragmatics l Principles underlying the implicature phenomenon l Types of implicatures l Examples

Introduction l Pragmatics Implicature = anything that is inferred from an utterance but that Introduction l Pragmatics Implicature = anything that is inferred from an utterance but that is not a condition for the truth of the utterance. (Gazdar, 1979) l Presupposition = anything that is presupposed to be true given an utterance l

Presupposition Possible criterion: given an utterance U, the proposition p that is inferred by Presupposition Possible criterion: given an utterance U, the proposition p that is inferred by listener from both U and not U is a presupposition l Example: l l l The king of France is bold. The king of France is not bold. From both sentences, the affirmation and the negation, we infer that there is a king of France

Implicature l Implicatures are inferred based on the assumption that the speaker observes or Implicature l Implicatures are inferred based on the assumption that the speaker observes or flouts some principles of cooperation (different authors have identified different principles) l Grice – 4 principles (so called “maxims”) l Levinson (1981), Horn (1984) – 2 principles

Grice Principles l Quantity maxim l l Quality maxim l l the speaker does Grice Principles l Quantity maxim l l Quality maxim l l the speaker does not believe it to be false and has adequate evidence for his statement Maxim of relation or relevance l l the communication must be adequately but not overly informative the communication must be relevant Maxim of manner l the communication must be clear, unambiguous, brief, and orderly

Grice Principles, reduced form l The l Say as much as you can (given Grice Principles, reduced form l The l Say as much as you can (given I) l The l Q-principle I-principle Say no more than you must (given Q)

Types of Implicatures l Standard implicature – based on the assumption that the speaker Types of Implicatures l Standard implicature – based on the assumption that the speaker observes the cooperation principles A: I’ve just run out of petrol. l B: There is a garage just around the corner. B infers that he can find oil at the garage. l

Types of Implicatures l Flouting implicatures – based on the assumption that the speaker Types of Implicatures l Flouting implicatures – based on the assumption that the speaker deliberately flouts one of the communication principles A: The capital of Morocco is Casablanca l B: Yes, and the capital of U. K. is Moskow A infers that his statement was wrong. l

Types of Implicatures, another classification l Generalized implicatures – inferred without a special reference Types of Implicatures, another classification l Generalized implicatures – inferred without a special reference to context: John walked into a house yesterday. l Infer that the house was not John’s house l l Particularized implicatures – inferred only due to a special context A: Can you tell me the time? l B: Well, the milkman is here. It must be the time when the milkman comes. l

Properties of Implicatures l Strong dependency on context (see the complex implicature example) l Properties of Implicatures l Strong dependency on context (see the complex implicature example) l Defeasibility (they are not entailments, and addition of new facts cancel them)

Why is the problem of implicature hard? l Deals with the “logic defying” aspects Why is the problem of implicature hard? l Deals with the “logic defying” aspects of communication l The cooperation principles are hard to formulate (work is still done in this area, and no author claims he has a final form of the principles) l Implicatures are “hidden”, i. e. they do not appear in text, which makes a statistical approach less accessible

Scalar Implicature l Lexical (and logical) scales: all, most, many, some l numbers l Scalar Implicature l Lexical (and logical) scales: all, most, many, some l numbers l subset, set l l According to the cooperation principles, the speaker must use the right member of the scale

Scalar Implicature, Examples l Bill has got some of Chomsky’s papers l l There Scalar Implicature, Examples l Bill has got some of Chomsky’s papers l l There will be five of us for dinner tonight l l Infer that Bill does not have all the Chomsky’s papers Infer that there will not be more than five of us for dinner tonight A: I like Mary. She is intelligent and good hearted. B: Yes, she is intelligent. l Infer that B thinks Mary is not good-hearted

Complex Scalar Implicatures Scenario: Kai’s parents promise him rewards for things he does not Complex Scalar Implicatures Scenario: Kai’s parents promise him rewards for things he does not like to do: a small reward for washing his hair, a medium reward for eating broccoli and peas, and a high reward for cleaning up his room. l Kai’s mother says: l l l Kai had broccoli and peas. We infer that Kai did not clean up his room

Scalar Implicatures l Based on the Q-principle The speaker must not make a weaker Scalar Implicatures l Based on the Q-principle The speaker must not make a weaker claim (i. e. , he must say as much as he can, as long as this does not increase the effort) l It takes the same amount of effort to say: l John walked into his house yesterday. l John walked into a house yesterday. l

Other Types of Scales l Ranked entities: A: Is Jill a professor yet? l Other Types of Scales l Ranked entities: A: Is Jill a professor yet? l B: She’s a senior lecturer. Infer that Jill is not a professor. l l Whole/part relation A: Did you manage to read that chapter I gave you? l B: I read the first couple of pages. Infer that B didn’t read the whole chapter. l

Other Types of Scales l Instance-of A: Do you have any juice? l B: Other Types of Scales l Instance-of A: Do you have any juice? l B: I have grape, orange and tomato. Infer that B does not have any apple, lemon. . l l Alternate ordered) values (not necessarily A: Did you get Paul Newman's autograph? l B: I got Joanne Woodward's. B didn’t get Newman’s autograph l

Quantity principle, refined l Welker (1994) shows that the quantity principle, as formulated by Quantity principle, refined l Welker (1994) shows that the quantity principle, as formulated by Grice, is too strong: A: I'm having a dinner party and I need four more chairs. l B: John has two chairs. Implicature: B has at most two chairs l A: I'm having a dinner party and I need four more chairs. l B: John has four chairs. This time, no implicature l

Quantity principle, refined l Communication must be Quantity principle, refined l Communication must be ". . . as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange)" l Idea: even the scalar implicatures depend on context – not only the surrounding text, but also the situation

False Predictions l Not all scales generate implicatures all the time l The relevance False Predictions l Not all scales generate implicatures all the time l The relevance principle may cancel some scalar implicatures: A: What did you buy for your mother? l B: I bought her flowers. l l Assuming that roses are on top of the flowers scale, this leads to the implicature “I didn’t buy her roses”.

False Predictions, continued l The implicature is not inferred because the statement is relevant False Predictions, continued l The implicature is not inferred because the statement is relevant enough l However, a possible implicature in this example is “I didn’t buy her a present”. The difference is that while it is not relevant which kind of flowers he bought, it is relevant whether he bought a present or not

Matsumoto’s constraint l Let <S, W> be a scale (with S stronger than W) Matsumoto’s constraint l Let be a scale (with S stronger than W) l Then a scalar implicature is inferred if the following condition is met: l the choice of W instead of S must not be attributable to the observance of the maxims of quantity-2, relation or obscurity avoidance (manner-1).

Matsumoto’s constraint, contd l Equivalently, observing the quantity-2, non-obscurity and relevance takes precedence over Matsumoto’s constraint, contd l Equivalently, observing the quantity-2, non-obscurity and relevance takes precedence over observing quantity-1 l Idea: the relevance maxim seems to hold the key to the process of inferring implicatures

“Affirmative” Implicatures So far, the scalar implicatures seem to simply negate the stronger claim “Affirmative” Implicatures So far, the scalar implicatures seem to simply negate the stronger claim when the weaker is presented l We can also have implicatures that do not involve negation: l l l If you finish your thesis by September you'll be eligible for the job. Implicature: You'll be eligible for the job if and only if you finish your thesis by September.

Pragmatic Schemes l Let S and W be members of a scale, with S Pragmatic Schemes l Let S and W be members of a scale, with S stronger than W l Q-based implicature: S entails W l "W" implicates "not S" l l R-based implicature: S entails W l "W" implicates "S" l

Pragmatic Schemes, applied l [P and Q] entails [P or Q] l l l Pragmatic Schemes, applied l [P and Q] entails [P or Q] l l l "[P or Q]" Q-implicates "[not [P and Q]]" Thus the implicature is not P or not Q, or “only one of P and Q can hold” [P iff Q] entails [if P, Q] l l "[if P, Q]" R-implicates "[P iff Q]" “If you finish your thesis by September you will be eligible for the job” – as seen above, the implicature is that the condition is necessary

Informativeness l In both previous examples, the implicatures enrich the informational contents of the Informativeness l In both previous examples, the implicatures enrich the informational contents of the message l Observation: What is conveyed always implies logically what is said l Conclusion: the implicature mechanism allows the quantity of information in a message to grow

Richardson&Richardson critique l. I broke a finger. l l. I implicates: I broke one Richardson&Richardson critique l. I broke a finger. l l. I implicates: I broke one of my own fingers. found a finger. l implicates: I found someone else's finger. l Which of the schemes can be applied? l Q-implicatures or R-implicatures? l Again, relevance is the key

Cardinal numbers l Problem: A and B go to a party. They make a Cardinal numbers l Problem: A and B go to a party. They make a bet, A says that there will be 20 people at the party when they arrive. When they get to the party, there are 25 people. Who wins the bet?

Cardinal numbers, ambiguity l The source of ambiguity is the use of numbers; the Cardinal numbers, ambiguity l The source of ambiguity is the use of numbers; the sentence “there will be 20 people” can be used to express: There will be at most 20 people there. l There will be exactly 20 people there. l There will be at least 20 people there. l l The context of the bet supports the second interpretation

Cardinal numbers, continued l In Britain you have to be 18 to drive a Cardinal numbers, continued l In Britain you have to be 18 to drive a car. l The new houses are big enough for families with three children. l A default reasoning (world knowledge is essential) decides the interpretation (“at most” – “at least”)

Conclusions l The Q principle and R(I) principle give rise to the same result: Conclusions l The Q principle and R(I) principle give rise to the same result: a strengthening of the meaning of the utterance l The relevance principle plays a key role, which constrains the Q and R principles l Cardinal numbers are a special case of scale; they allow punctual interpretation, but also interval interpretation

Scalar implicatures: experiments at the semantics–pragmatics interface Authors: Anna Papafragoua, Julien Musolinob Presenter: Ovidiu Scalar implicatures: experiments at the semantics–pragmatics interface Authors: Anna Papafragoua, Julien Musolinob Presenter: Ovidiu Fortu

Paper contents l. A study of how scalar implicatures are inferred by humans l Paper contents l. A study of how scalar implicatures are inferred by humans l Two sets of experiments are performed with a group of young children to test their ability to infer implicatures l Only scalar implicatures are considered for the tests

First Set of Tests l Subjects: 30 5 -year-old children and 30 adults, all First Set of Tests l Subjects: 30 5 -year-old children and 30 adults, all native speakers of Greek (all experiments in Greek) l Three scales : oli, meriki (all, some) l tris, dio (three, two) l teliono, arxizo (finish, start) l

Experiment setup l Subjects are presented a situation that allows a stronger claim l Experiment setup l Subjects are presented a situation that allows a stronger claim l Subjects (both adults and children) answer questions about the situation l Questions admit yes/no answers (the subjects must assess the truth value of a claim in the given context

Results l While adults have no problem of inferring implicatures, children seem to be Results l While adults have no problem of inferring implicatures, children seem to be less sensitive to weak clauses l Only 10% - 12. 5% of the weak claims in case of scale (all, some) l However, for other scales, children have better results – 65% in case (three, two), which shows that different scales are perceived differently

Justifications for Answers l Subjects were also required to provide a brief justification for Justifications for Answers l Subjects were also required to provide a brief justification for their answers l l Adults overwhelmingly justified their answers by stating the stronger claim Children gave two types of justifications: l l l Repeating of the given statement The stronger statement Even in cases when they gave the right answer, the children had wrong justifications (rougly 70% of the justifications for the scale were of the first type)

Experiment 2 l Subjects: a set of 30 children (distinct from the first set) Experiment 2 l Subjects: a set of 30 children (distinct from the first set) l Children were trained to recognize pragmatic anomaly l The stories that described the situations were modified to focus on the performance of the principal character

Experiment 2, Results l Children could reject the weak statements reliably better: 52% <all, Experiment 2, Results l Children could reject the weak statements reliably better: 52% (previously 12%) l 47. 5% (previously 10%) l 90% (previously 65%) l

When children are more logical than adults: experimental investigations of scalar implicature Author: Ira When children are more logical than adults: experimental investigations of scalar implicature Author: Ira A. Noveck Presenter: Ovidiu Fortu

Objectives l Study the scalar implicatures experimentally l Establish that scalar implicatures are psychologically Objectives l Study the scalar implicatures experimentally l Establish that scalar implicatures are psychologically real and common in reasoning scenarios l Establish how this class of weak scalar terms develops

Three sets of experiments l Experiment 1 – modal “might” (when it is comparable Three sets of experiments l Experiment 1 – modal “might” (when it is comparable with “must”) l Experiment 2 – a follow up of experiment 1; designed to determine the extent to which the scalar implicature can be suspended l Experiment 3 – investigates weak claims based on the “some” quantifier

Experiment 1 Subjects: 32 5 -year olds, 20 7 year olds, 16 9 year Experiment 1 Subjects: 32 5 -year olds, 20 7 year olds, 16 9 year olds, 20 adults (all native English speakers) l Set-up: two open boxes, one with a parrot and a bear l A puppet then states 8 claims: l l l l l (1) There has to be a parrot in the box (true); (2) There does not have to be a parrot in the box (false); (3) There might be a parrot in the box (true); (4) There cannot be a parrot in the box (false); (5) There has to be a bear in the box (false); (6) There might be a bear in the box (true); (7) There does not have to be a bear in the box (true); (8) There cannot be a bear in the box (false)

Experiment 1, Results l l Is the statement of the puppet true? Necessary conclusion Experiment 1, Results l l Is the statement of the puppet true? Necessary conclusion (parrot) l l l Has to be a parrot Yes 75% 90% 88% 100% Does not have to be a parrot No 72% 75% 100% Might be a parrot Yes 72% 80% 69 35 Cannot be a parrot No 66 80% 100% Total 73% 81% 83% Possible conclusion (bear) l l l Has to be a bear Does not have to be a bear Might be a bear Cannot be a bear Total No 47 65 88% 100% Yes 66 75% 81% 100% Yes 53 80% 100% No 53 80% 100% 55 75% 92% 100%

Experiment 3 l The results and setup were very similar to the ones in Experiment 3 l The results and setup were very similar to the ones in previous paper l The tests with older subjects showed better results – more than 85% for 7 -year olds; 10 year olds had performance comparable to adults l Children have more problems with this scale (in one test only 6% rejected all weak claims)

Conclusions l Ability to communicate using pragmatics is developed later in the growth l Conclusions l Ability to communicate using pragmatics is developed later in the growth l Implicatures are difficult to infer, requiring more experience