Four Concepts Of Cooperative Principle

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In this chapter basic aspects connected with the Cooperative Principle are to be elaborated. The concept of the Cooperative Principle will be discussed, as well as th four maxims, namely: the maxim of Quality, the maxim of Quantity, the maxim of Relevance and the maxim of Manner.

1.1. The Cooperative Principle

In short, the Cooperative Principle is generally about communication. This theory, which tries to answer the question how people actually use the language, has been discussed by Grice (Levinson, 1983: 101). According to him, there are rules which helps to make a conversation organised and effective (op.cit). In a situation when the message is not informative and relevant, the recipient suppose that he or she is to make a conclusion
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Thereby, it is possible to define a general principle that will make the participants sure that what they say proceed the conversation. The cooperative principle says: 'Make your conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged' (Grice, 1975: 45). This principle is developed by the four categories which are referred to as maxims. They provide the exact way to make a conversation possibly effective and logical (Levinson, 1983).

1.2. The maxim of Quantity

This category concerns the quantity of information which should be provided by the conversationalist (Grice, 1975). The maxims are:
1. Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange).
2. Do not make your contribution more informative than is required. (Grice, 1975: 45)
According to Grice (1975), providing too much information may be puzzling and should lead to discussion of the irrelevant subject. What is more, the receiver may think that there is a specific reason for the excessive information
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The utterance itself does not inform about his conditions on other nights, however there is a possibility that the reader will make a conclusion that the person might have problems with alcohol (op.cit). The reader might conclude that his sobriety on that night was a special situation. That supposition does not result from the meaning or structure of the utterance but from the way in which captain communicate (op.cit). Such kind of conlusion which is based on an assumption is called conversational implicature (O'Grady and Dobrovolsky, 1987:

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