Grice's what is said revisited. A plea for a new variety of minimalism


Abstract
Grice has been considered a linguistic minimalist. However, as I will show, this interpretation is incompatible with Grice’s proposal of conventional implicatures and with some of his less popular views such as his explanation of loose uses (Grice 1978/1989: 45; X) or his later acknowledgement of cases in which something is said without being conventionally meant (Grice 1987/1989: 359). Bearing in mind these proposals and the distinction between formality and dictiveness, I will present a new approach to the notion of what is said in which the linguistic meanings that determine what is said are subordinated to cooperation. This approach, in contrast to the other minimalist notions, has the advantage of making what is said always part of the speaker’s meaning. Moreover, as the distance between linguistic meaning and what is said must be the shortest possible one that guarantees the rationality, in terms of cooperation, of the speaker, what is said allows us to keep the Gricean project of building a theory of expression from the speaker’s occasion meaning (Grice 1968/1989).
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