conventional implicature love

conventional implicature

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  • In a statement, this is "a commitment to an extra message that (metaphorically speaking) comes through on a second channel, without adding anything to the factual content of what is said." –Geoffrey K. Pullum, "A wee conventional implicature", Language Log, http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3650#more-3650

    Pullum gives the examples of "damn" in such statements as "Somebody stole my damn guitar" and "wee" in Scottish usage: "I'll just be going off for a wee cup o' tea":

    "It seems to me that wee has a similar syntactic privilege of occurrence — you can just pick a salient noun at random and stick wee on that — but the semantic contribution is just an optimistic and comforting attitudinal overtone: rather than the vague impression that the speaker is pissed at the situation, which is what damn conveys, wee supplies a vague impression that the speaker is being helpful and optimistic and that things are going to be just fine."

    December 25, 2011