Semantically Cued Contextual Implicatures in Legal Texts

TitleSemantically Cued Contextual Implicatures in Legal Texts
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsAzuelos-Atias, S
JournalJournal of Pragmatics

In this article I discuss one of the linguistic means which enables speakers to represent content in their utterances without expressing it explicitly. I will argue, in line with Wilson and Sperber, that the logical form of the argument encoded by an utterance (however fragmentarily or incompletely) is sufficient as a cue directing the hearers to the implicit content of the speaker's meaning. I will suggest that the logical form of the encoded argument enables the speaker to represent in the utterance certain contextual implicatures as a hidden layer of the text. I will illustrate this by showing how these means are used for embedding contextual implicatures by analyzing a text of an Israeli court file. This analysis can be easily generalized to other legal systems and argumentative texts.