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Principle of Cooperation

Just started learning more about pragmatics and ran into this beautiful insight from Paul Grice around conversations:

Make your 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

This is broken down into 4 maxims, which describes rational principles you’d expect from participants in a cooperative communication. It helps explain and make assumptions around the link between utterances in a conversation.

  1. Maxim of quality: “Try to make your contribution one that is true.”, i.e. “Do not say what you believe is false; Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.”.
  2. Maxim of quantity: “Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange).”
  3. Maxim of relevance: “Be relevant”
  4. Maxim of manner: “Be perspicuous.”, i.e. “Avoid obscurity of expression; Avoid ambiguity; Be brief; Be orderly;”

There is a lot that can be inferred if you make these assumptions, really looking forward to applying these.

WDYT?



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