On the Functional Independence of Explicatures and Implicatures

  • Thorstein Fretheim


Robyn Carston has proposed that, within Relevance Theory the proposition expressed by an utterance U (its explicature) must play a communicative role that is independent of the role played by any implicature of U. Thus no implicature can entail the explicature of U, and whenever it looks as if that sort of situation obtains, the presumed implicature should be redefined as the explicature. This paper shows that the assumption that an explicature may not be entailed by an implicature cannot be maintained, but the fact that explicatures and implicatures are not always functionally independent of one another is argued not to be a problem for Relevance Theory.