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What is a flouting implicature?



A flouting implicature is a conversational implicature based on an addressee's assumption that the speaker is deliberately breaking (flouting) a conversational maxim while still being cooperative.


The term flouting implicature is a coinage. The concept of an implicature derived from the flouting of a maxim is an important one in the literature of conversational implicature, but there is not a specific name for it. It would commonly be more appropriate to speak of an implicature derived from the speaker’s flouting of a conversational maxim.

Example (English)
  • In the following exchange, B flouts the maxim of manner, thereby implying that an open discussion of the ice cream is not desired:

  • A: Let’s get the kids something.
  • B: Okay, but I veto I-C-E C-R-E-A-M-S.

  • Source:

    Levinson 1983 104

  • Generic
      A flouting implicature is a kind of

    Levinson 1983 104–105

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