View table of contents for this book View table of contents for LinguaLinksLibrary Go to LinguaLinks home page
 

What is the cooperative principle?

 

Definition
 

The cooperative principle is a principle of conversation that was proposed by Grice 1975, stating that participants expect that each will make a “conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange.”

Discussion
 

The cooperative principle, along with the conversational maxims, partly accounts for conversational implicatures. Participants assume that a speaker is being cooperative, and thus they make conversational implicatures about what is said.

Example (English)
 
  • When a speaker makes an apparently uninformative remark such as “War is war,” the addressee assumes that the speaker is being cooperative and looks for the implicature the speaker is making.

    Source:

    Levinson 1983 110–111

  • Sources
     

    Levinson 1983 101–104, 110–114

     

    Grice 1975 45–46, 49–50

     

    Crystal 1985 153


    Context for this page:

    Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

    Page content last modified: 5 January 2004

    © 2004 SIL International