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A Gricean Theory of Malaprops

A Gricean Theory of Malaprops

Title: A Gricean Theory of Malaprops
Author: Unnsteinsson, Elmar   orcid.org/0000-0001-5333-1784
Date: 2017-07-14
Language: English
Scope: 446-462
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Hugvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Humanities (UI)
Department: Heimspekistofnun (HÍ)
The Institute of Philosophy (UI)
Series: Mind & Language;32(4)
ISSN: 0268-1064
DOI: 10.1111/mila.12149
Subject: Faultless Disagreement; Truth conditions; Recanati; Rökfræði; Hljóðkerfisfræði
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/1982

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Unnsteinsson, E. (2017), A Gricean Theory of Malaprops. Mind Lang, 32: 446-462. doi:10.1111/mila.12149


Gricean intentionalists hold that what a speaker says and means by a linguistic utterance is determined by the speaker's communicative intention. On this view, one cannot really say anything without meaning it as well. Conventionalists argue, however, that malapropisms provide powerful counterexamples to this claim. I present two arguments against the conventionalist and sketch a new Gricean theory of speech errors, called the misarticulation theory. On this view, malapropisms are understood as a special case of mispronunciation. I argue that the Gricean theory is supported by empirical work in phonetics and phonology and, also, that conventionalism inevitably fails to do this work justice. I conclude, from this, that the conventionalist fails to show that malapropisms constitute a counterexample to a Gricean theory.


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This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Unnsteinsson, E. (2017), A Gricean Theory of Malaprops. Mind Lang, 32: 446-462. doi:10.1111/mila.12149, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/mila.12149. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions

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