Semantically cued contextual implicatures in legal texts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article I discuss one of the linguistic means which enables speakers to represent content in their utterances without expressing it explicitly. I will argue, in line with Wilson and Sperber, that the logical form of the argument encoded by an utterance (however fragmentarily or incompletely) is sufficient as a cue directing the hearers to the implicit content of the speaker's meaning. I will suggest that the logical form of the encoded argument enables the speaker to represent in the utterance certain contextual implicatures as a hidden layer of the text. I will illustrate this by showing how these means are used for embedding contextual implicatures by analyzing a text of an Israeli court file. This analysis can be easily generalized to other legal systems and argumentative texts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)728-743
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Common ground
  • Comprehension procedure
  • Contextual implicatures
  • Expectations
  • Logical form
  • Relevance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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