Journal directory listing - Volume 42 (1997/October) - Humanities & Social Sciences【42】

Logical Entailment and Conversational Implication: A Discourse-Pragmatic Account of Taiwanese Toh and Ciah Author: Cherry Ing Li (Department of English, National Taiwan Normal University)

Vol.&No.:Vol. 42 (New Version)
Date:October 1997


Taiwanese toh (就) and ciah (才), which are often considered as forming an antonymous pair, show significant difference in their distribution and functions. A corpus of 4-hour recording shows as many as 275 toh occurrences, while ciah is used only 51 times. The difference in their frequency rates is due to their different basic meanings: ciah, meaning 'only, just', intrinsically involves size and quantity, and thus has to co-occur with a scalar term; while toh; meaning 'precisely', does not show such a restriction. Their different core meanings, when used in the context of conversation, interact with the Maxims in the Cooperative Principle as proposed by Grice (1975) and derive their various interpretations. The emphatic tone that toh may carry and its function to mark a less-demanding situation both arise as conversational implicatures from the interaction of its basic meaning, its logical inference entailed by the proposition, and the Maxims of Manner, Relevance, and Quantity. Ciah's function of expectation-denying and marking of a more-demanding condition may also be accounted for in terms of pragmatic implicature, though it may have already been conventionalized.

Keywords:pragmatics, discourse analysis, Taiwanese grammar, adverbs, conversational implicature, logical entailment

《Full Text》

APA FormatLi, C. I. (2007). Logical entailment and conversational implication: A discourse-pragmatic account of Taiwanese toh and ciah. Journal of National Taiwan Normal University: Humanities & Social Science, 42, 55-70.