Explicit-implicit Distinction: A Review of Related Literature

Marwan A. Jarrah


This paper sketches out the main views of the major pragmatic approaches (i.e., Grice’s theory of conversation, Relevance Theory, and Neo-Gricean pragmatic theory) on explicit-implicit distinction. It makes clear how this distinction has been differently drawn for utterance interpretation. Additionally, it highlights several corresponding problems that have arisen within such approaches. It demonstrates ultimately that no consensus has been reached on the dividing lines of the dichotomy of this distinction. 

Keywords: explicit-implicit distinction, Grice’s theory of conversation, Relevance Theory, Neo-Gricean pragmatic theory

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