|Title:||Towards a Socio-Cognitive Account of Flouting and Flout-Based Meaning||Add Dissertation|
|Author:||Ann Jorid Greenall||Update Dissertation|
|Email:||click here to access email|
|Institution:||Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of English|
|Abstract:||H. P. Grice's Cooperative Principle postulates a connection between certain principles of conversation (maxims), their observance and breach, and the generation and interpretation of underlying meaning. When a maxim is breached, Grice claimed, the hearer, who assumes that the speaker is fundamentally cooperative, will go to great lenghts to restore the assumption that the maxim nevertheless has been observed. The hearer does this by trying to figure out whether the speaker may have meant something else than what s/he 'said'.
Grice's original theory amounts to little more than just a sketch. Later attempts at developing the theory have all revolved around a set of background assumptions regarding speaker and hearer, language and communication anchored in Cartesian dualism: speakers and hearers are seen as isolated individuals passing nicely wrapped thoughts from one to the other, with perfect understanding as the ultimate goal.
The present project starts from a different set of background assumptions, one based in dialogism: speakers and hearers are seen as fundamentally social beings, negotiating meaning on a basically shared socio-cognitive arena, where approximation, rather than perfection, is the goal. The consequences of this shift for Grice's theory are as follows: his notion of cooperation (between isolated individuals) should be replaced by a an assumption that human communicators are fundamentally social from the start, due to a dialogical cognitive make-up. The notion of maxim should be replaced by the idea that all shared, socio-cultural constraints (not only textual ones) can be meaning-productive in the breach. And the trichotomy breach - literal meaning - (more or less definite) underlying meaning should be replaced by a focus on meaning potentials, increased interpretational activity as a result of 'unexpected occurrences', and negotiative resolutions.