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New Work on Speech Acts$
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Daniel Fogal, Daniel W. Harris, and Matt Moss

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198738831

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198738831.001.0001

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Insinuation, Common Ground, and the Conversational Record

Insinuation, Common Ground, and the Conversational Record

Chapter:
(p.40) 2 Insinuation, Common Ground, and the Conversational Record
Source:
New Work on Speech Acts
Author(s):

Elisabeth Camp

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198738831.003.0002

Most philosophical and linguistic theorizing about meaning focuses on cooperative forms of communication, and for good reasons. However, a significant amount of verbal communication involves parties whose interests are not fully aligned, or who do not know their degree of alignment. Such strategic contexts are theoretically revealing because they lay bare minimal conditions on communication that can be occluded in more fully charitable contexts. In such contexts, speakers sometimes turn to insinuation: the communication of beliefs, requests, and other attitudes ’offrecord’, so that the speaker’s main communicative point remains unstated in away that permits deniability. I argue that insinuation is a form of speaker’s meaning in which speakers communicate potentially risky attitudes and contents without adding them to the conversational record, or sometimes even to the common ground.

Keywords:   insinuation, implicature, meaning, strategic contexts, scoreboard, common ground, Grice, Stalnaker, Lewis

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