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Explanation of the Conversation Implicatures with the Graded Salience Hypothesis

Grice’s theory of conversational implicature is discussed in this article with an emphasis on the transition between the literal meaning of an expression and the implicated meaning. Assuming the position expressed in the graded salience hypothesis, it is explained that in some cases the transition from what the speaker says to what he wants the listener to understand is based on the salient meaning of the used expressions. Special attention is paid to expressions that have more than one obvious meaning, in order to show that even when the context plays a role in the understanding of an expression, this meaning can still be perceived as a result of socio-linguistic conventions.

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