Different Implicit Means in the Hinting Strategy. To the Problem of Implicitness in Modern Linguistics (On the Material of English Language)

 © The Editorial Council and Editorial Board of Linguistic Studies

Linguistic Studies
Volume 31, 2016, pp.  39-43

Different Implicit Means in the Hinting Strategy. To the Problem of Implicitness in Modern Linguistics (On the Material of English Language)

Hnatiuk Lubomira

Article first published online: August 1, 2016 


Additional information

 Author Information: 

Hnatiuk Lubomira is a Doctor of Philology, Professor (The Higher School of Computer Studies and Management in Przemyśl, Poland); Professor of English Translation Studies (Donetsk National University, Vinnytsia). Correspondence: lhnatiuk@wp.pl

Citation: 
Hnatiuk, L. Different Implicit Means in the Hinting Strategy. To the Problem of Implicitness in Modern Linguistics (On the Material of English Language) [Text] // Linhvistychni Studiyi / Linguistic Studies : collection of scientific papers / Donetsk  National  University; Ed. by Anatoliy Zahnitko. – Vinnytsia : DonNU, 2016. – Vol. 31. – Pp. 39-43. – ISBN 966-7277-88-7

Publication History:
Volume first published online: August 1, 2016

Article received: April 18, 2016, accepted: July 1, 2016 and first published online: August 1, 2016

Annotation.

The investigation of implicitness as the core of the Hinting Strategy is the current research issue because of the growth of interest in the modern linguistics to the effectiveness of interpersonal interaction. Generalization of various implicit means in communicative material which determine the effectiveness of interpersonal communication under conditions of interpersonal interaction allows to develop the appropriate models of their practical application.

Keywords: intertextual, extra-linguistic, pragmatic presuppositions, conventional implicature, pragmatic implicature, implicitness, effectiveness, the Hinting Strategy, interpersonal communication.



Abstract.

DIFFERENT IMPLICIT MEANS IN THE HINTING STRATEGY. TO THE PROBLEM OF IMPLICITNESS IN MODERN LINGUISTICS (ON THE MATERIAL OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE) 

Lubomira Hnatiuk

The Higher School of Computer Studies and Management in Przemyśl, Poland; Donetsk National University, Vinnytsia, Ukraine.

Abstract

Background: The investigation of implicitness as the core of the Hinting Strategy is the current research issue because of the growth of interest in the modern linguistics to the effectiveness of interpersonal interaction. Generalization of various implicit means in communicative material which determine the effectiveness of interpersonal communication under conditions of interpersonal interaction allows to develop the appropriate models of their practical application.

Purpose: The purpose of the analysis is to determine the basic differences between presuppositions and implicatures, qualifying and classifying features of the different types of implicit means.

Results: The implicit information with all types of presuppositions, such as intertextual, extra-linguistic, pragmatic, as for the reference to reality is crucial to understand the illocutionary forces of indirect illocutions. The lack of information on indirect illocutions leads to communicative deviations. Different implicit means are called by different speech situations. It depends on how the speaker conveys the illocutionary force of an utterance. In hinting strategy, the speaker's meaning and the sentence meaning come apart in various ways, therefore it is important in such case to pay attention to contextual assumptions. These assumptions rather than the content of the utterance affect the appropriate interpretation. The notion of implicature as the powerful pragmatic means of interpersonal communication is considered to be one of the most important implicit means of the interpersonal interaction. The study of the functional and pragmatic peculiarities of implicit information has proved the connection between effectiveness of interpersonal interaction and the indirectness, obliquity. In the Hinting Strategy the meaning is manifested not only in the content of conversation but also in the way conversation is managed and structured by its participants. Therefore, the speaker's utterance meaning is quite different from the sentence meaning. In this respect both pragmatic and conversational implicature as well as semantic and pragmatic presuppositions should be taken into account.

Discussion: New prospects of investigation of different types of presuppositions and implicatures deal with a number of national and cultural peculiarities of implicit discourse on the descriptive material of related and non-related languages in order to increase efficiency of cross-cultural interpersonal communication.

Keywords: intertextual, extra-linguistic, pragmatic presuppositions, conventional implicature, pragmatic implicature, implicitness, effectiveness, the Hinting Strategy, interpersonal communication.

Vitae

Hnatiuk Lubomira is a Doctor of Philology, Professor (The Higher School of Computer Studies and Management in Przemyśl, Poland); Professor of English Translation Studies (Donetsk National University, Vinnytsia). Her areas of research interests include functional linguistics, pragmatics, comparative linguistics, intercultural studies and text linguistics.

Correspondence: lhnatiuk@wp.pl


Article.

Lubomira Hnatiuk

УДК 316.77:811.161.2

DIFFERENT IMPLICIT MEANS IN THE HINTING STRATEGY.

 TO THE PROBLEM OF IMPLICITNESS IN MODERN LINGUISTICS

 (ON THE MATERIAL OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE) 

 

Розглянуто опосередковані форми міжперсональної комунікативної взаємодії.  Проведено розмежування імплікатурного й інших типів імпліцитних компонентів повідомлень, виявлено різні типи пресупозицій, з'ясовано специфіку імплікатурних компонентів повідомлень. Проаналізовані механізми оптимизації міжперсональної взаємодії.

Ключові слова: ефективність міжперсонального спілкування, стратегія натяку, опосередковані ілокуції, прагматична імплікатура, конвенційна імплікатура, пресупозиції семантичні й прагматичні.

 

On the eve of the 21st century there occurs the change of the scientific paradigm, i.e. the functional and communicative approach in the language usage has become more evident and popular, i.e. the study of the usage and meanings of utterances to their situations in order to more effective use of language in its most general sense. More effective use of language presupposes the avoidance of direct speech utterances. In modern pragmatically oriented linguistics, the notion of implicit means in the Hinting Strategy is considered to be one of the leading. Such famous scientists as N. Arutyunova, Y. Apresyan, F. Batsevych, T. Bulygina, A. Vezhbytska, V. Gak, D. Gordon, H. P. Grice, T. Van Dijk, A. Zahnitko, O. Issers, A. Kibrik, E. Klyuyev, J. Leech, E. Paduchyeva, I. Susov, J. Sjorl, and others study functional and pragmatic aspects of meaning for determining what people say when they use language. Modern investigations cover a wide range of issues, including, by the way, aspects of appealing to the common knowledge and ideas about reality, life experience of co-communicators. Focusing on meaning rather than the form implies giving primacy to context rather than code.

In the article the current research issues have been presented because of the fact that scientists do not pay enough attention, on the one hand, to the distinguishing of presuppositions (presumptions)  and implicatures in the decoding of implicit discourse, and on the other, – to demonstration of peculiarities of presuppositions and implicatures (both conventional and conversational) in the process of interpersonal interaction in each specific case. This defines the theoretical importance of the proposed research which lies in the enrichment of the theory of modern functional and pragmatic linguistics with the new interpretations of communicative phenomena which determine the effectiveness of interpersonal communication under conditions of interpersonal interaction. That is the novelty of the research.

The practical value deals with the possibility of applying the results in a number of graduate courses on issues of Communicative Linguistics or Translation Studies.

The main goal of the research is to examine the different implicit means in the Hinting Strategy on a good deal of English descriptive material in order to reveal the principal difference between presuppositions and implicatures. That determines the necessity to do the following tasks in detail: to analyze different types of presuppositions; to show the difference of presuppositions from other implicit components of a message; to identify the specifics of pragmatic presuppositions in comparison with semantic presuppositions. In particular, the attention is paid to presuppositions in comparison with other implicit components of an utterance, so-called implicatures, both pragmatic and conventional.

In the Hinting Strategy the speaker’s utterance meaning and the sentence meaning come apart in various ways, i.e. the speaker utters a sentence which means what he says but also means something more. For example, a speaker may utter the sentence Could you tell me the time, please? which should be interpreted not merely as a question about our physical possibility to tell the time but a request to do it. It is so-called conventional implicature, i.e. implications which are derived directly from the meanings of the words. The correct interpretation of implications like mentioned before does not require the necessary context. There are no assumptions. Everything is simple and clear. There is only a logical connection between the utterances. For example, the pragmatic cliches like Could you give me the salt, please? Whether or not could you help me? Could you do me a favour? Could you tell, what time is it? etc. contain so-called conventional implicatures. If the addressee of the communicative act is a carrier of a particular language and culture and has a sufficient level of communicative competence, he will be able to understand the message correctly and give the salt, do a favour or tell the time interpreting such statements as a request to do something, and not as a question about physical ability to perform some actions.

Cases, in which the utterance has two illocutionary forces deal with indirectness in the following examples:

Situation 1.

The mother is saying to a child coming home with a dirty face: What a beautiful face you have! instead of the direct illocution: What a dirty face you have!

Situation 2.

The employer is saying to the new employee who has submitted a poor hand-written report:

What a beautiful report you have prepared for me! instead of the direct illocution: What a terrible report you have prepared for me!

Situation 3.

The wife is saying to a husband who has returned home very late at night:  Why you’ve come so early today! instead of the direct illocution:  Where have you been until this late hour?!

In the Hinting Strategy the speaker’s utterance meaning is quite different from the sentence meaning. In this respect the Cooperative Principle (CP) deals with the idea of conversational implicature, in cases when interlocutors break the CP in order to express ambiguity. Grice’s analysis of the indirect meaning (or set of meanings) of utterance in terms of the speaker’s intentions in a particular situation has led to the necessity for the hearer to recover the “implicatum” (thing implicated) in any given case. The pragmatic analysis of the utterances with implicit illocutionary force shows how the pragmatic interpretation of an utterance is built up from illocutionary assumptions and implicatures which accompany these assumptions. In this way, the addressee reconstructs the meaning as planned by the speaker. Through the problem-solving strategies of pragmatic interpretation of utterances with implicit illocutionary force a connection between effectiveness and obliquity (indirectness) should be taken into account. There are situations when interlocutors break the CP in order to express ambiguity that even the Maxim of Quality (which tends to be the most important cooperative maxim) is sacrificed. There are a lot of cases when maxims of CP are sacrificed, especially examples of violating the Maxim of Quality like in the mentioned before situations. Context provides conditions for determining the pragmatic meaning of what people mean when they say something.

Bill and Peter work together in the same office. They sometimes are sent on business trips together and are becoming good friends. They often have lunch together and Peter has even invited Bill to have dinner with him and his wife at their home several times. Now Peter΄ s friends have told him that they saw Bill out dancing with Peter΄ s wife recently while Peter was out of town on a business trip. On hearing this, Peter΄ s comment was:

Peter: Bill knows how to be a really good friend, does not he?!(Tanaka N. The Pragmatics of Uncertainty).

In the mentioned above situation the interlocutor’s ironical attitude to the subject of conversation is revealed on the basis of contextual assumptions owing to the knowledge of the “prehistory” of Peter’s utterance. The undertone of the utterance arises due to the ability of the language units to gain additional meaning that the recipient must have noticed. It is worth pointing out that if conventional implicature is based on a logical relationship, pragmatic (so-called conversational) implicature is based on assumptions. It has been well established that pragmatic implicature involves all cases of severe discrepancy between the literal meaning of the utterance and the meaning as planned by the speaker.

Compare: “Two students are talking about one of their teachers:

A: Does Dr Walker always give a test the day before vacation?

B:  Does the Sun come up in the East?” (Ito Akira, Osamu Takizawa. Why Do People Use Irony? – The Pragmatics of Irony Usage). Pragmatic implicature in this situation arises due to the extra-linguistic presupposition The Sun always rises in the East. And just as this presupposition is always objective, unchanging remains also a fact that concerns the teacher Walker. Sperber and Wilson in their Theory of Relevance (“Communication and Cognition”) pay attention to contextual assumptions as a “set of premises used for interpreting an utterance. It is these assumptions, of course, rather than the actual state of the world, that affect the interpretation of an utterance. A context in this sense is not limited to information about the immediate physical environment or the immediately preceding utterances: expectations about the future, scientific beliefs, anecdotal memories, general cultural assumptions, beliefs about the mental state of the speaker, may all play a role in interpretation” (Sperber, and Wilson). Thus, meaning is revealed on the basis of contextual assumptions.

The difference between the presupposition and conversational implicature lies in the fact that under the influence of the context implicature can be cancelled. Presuppositions are stored in any context and cannot be cancelled because they appeal to general knowledge, the perceptions of reality, life experience etc., they are associated with interlocutors' cognitive ‘worlds’, their inner world etc. It is claimed that presuppositions are “the common fund of knowledge of the participants of communication about the world, its organization, the place of humans in it, etc. They are a shared experience, shared thesaurus, shared preliminary information about the phenomena, events, things, etc., which interlocutors have” (Paducheva 234–236). In the conditions of interpersonal communication, the semantic and pragmatic presuppositions should be differentiated. Semantic presuppositions contain the semantic component of the meaning of the message, which must be true, to ensure that the message is not inappropriate. For example, saying, the Sun always rises in the West, we have a message that is false in terms of logic. As regards to Paducheva, “pragmatic presupposition is pragmatic in the sense that the characteristic of contents contains reference to the speaker, that is one of pragmatic components of the speech act” (Paducheva 25). Pragmatic presupposition is conditioned by the overall context of the discourse. The nature of semantic presupposition is quite different. Semantic presupposition puts the correct interpretation of the implicit information on awareness of extra-linguistic facts. Among the semantic presuppositions there should be distinguished extra-linguistic ones, decoding of which is affected primarily by social, cultural, historical, geographical realities as in the following situation.

Hester: Mr. Arbuthnot is very charming.

Lady Caroline: Ah, yes! the young man who has a post in a bank. In my young days, Miss Worsley, one never met anyone in society who worked for living.

Hester: In America those are the people we respect most.

Lady Caroline: I have no doubt of it.

Hester: Mr. Arbuthnot has a beautiful nature! He is so simple, so sincere. He has one of the most beautiful natures I have ever come cross. It is a privilege to meet him.

Lady Caroline: It is not customary in England, Miss Worsley, for a young lady to speak with such enthusiasm of any person of the opposite sex. English women conceal their feelings till after they are married. They show them then.

Hester: Do you, іn England, allow no friendship to exist between a young man and a young girl? (Oscar Wilde. A Woman of No Importance).

The concept of privacy in the British cultural environment is crucial in the communicative behavior of individuals of the opposite sex unlike friendly, tolerant relationship in communicative behavior expressed in the cultural environment of Americans.

Different implicit means are called by different speech situations. It depends on how the speaker conveys the illocutionary force of an utterance. The following situation presents the example of intertextual presupposition which is based on the relationship with other texts: quotations, allusions, etc., in general, the competence in the field of philological knowledge. The intertextual semantic presupposition determines the correct interpretation of the message in the conversation between Lady Caroline and Lord Illingworth about the American girl Hester.

Lady Caroline: These American girls carry off all the good matches. Why can’t they stay іn their own country? They are always telling this is the Paradise of women.

Lord Illingworth: It is, Lady Caroline. That is why, like Eve, they are so extremely anxious to get out of it (Oscar Wilde. A Woman of No Importance).

Like Eve which refers to the Bible plays a role of the intertextual semantic presupposition referring to the biblical story about the paradise lost. Neglecting the biblical facts by recipient would transform an expression like Eve into inappropriate.

Pragmatic presupposition contains references to the pragmatic factors, the subjective factors of interpersonal communication, neglecting which converts the message to a totally abnormal one.   In this case, the correct interpretation of the hidden information is possible only within a particular discourse like in the following situation. “Roland is trying to persuade his friend Beatrice, the Professor Cropper's assistant, to allow him to work in the Professor Cropper's office with the material for his literary studies. When Beatrice finds the text and with the expression of dissatisfaction on her face begins to read aloud, Roland interrupts her: ‘Beatrice, could I possibly read that form myself, to make note оn it?’ You can’t take it out of the office’. Perhaps I could perch at the corner of your table. Would I be terribly in your way?’ ’I suppose not, no’, said Beatrice. ‘You could have that chair if I lifted that heap of books off it’ (A. S. Byatt. Possession). And just when they prepare a place for Roland, where he could sit down to work, suddenly Professor Cropper returns from lunch.  Professor Cropper tactfully, in the form of irony, however, consistently, without changing his mind, expresses his dissatisfaction with the behavior of his secretary. Miss Nest. How pleasant to see you again. I trust I’m not too early. I could always come back again…’ Beatrice was flustered. Oh dear. I was ready, Professor, I was quite ready, only Roland wanted to enquire…wanted to know’… (A. S. Byatt. Possession).

Pragmatic presuppositions are revealed in a specific context due to the accumulation of all textual information.

The proposed research is focused on the indirectness as the communicative strategy and on the role of different implicit means in the Hinting Strategy. The notion of implicature as the powerful pragmatic means of interpersonal communication is considered to be one of the most important implicit forms of the interpersonal interaction. The study of the functional and pragmatic peculiarities of implicit information includes aspects of appealing to the common knowledge and ideas about reality, different kinds of presuppositions in comparison with other implicit components of an utterance. The conducted research has proved the connection between effectiveness of interpersonal interaction and the indirectness, obliquity. In the Hinting Strategy the meaning is manifested not only in the content of conversation but also in the way conversation is managed and structured by its participants. Therefore, the speaker's utterance meaning is quite different from the sentence meaning. In this respect both pragmatic and conversational implicature have been determined and investigated in the research. Implicit information with all types of presuppositions, such as intertextual, extra-linguistic, pragmatic as well as implicatures, both conventional and pragmatic, with no doubt, is crucial to understand the illocutionary forces of indirect illocutions. Otherwise, the lack of information on indirect illocutions leads to communicative deviations.

The proposed current research topic covers a wide range of issues for further pragmalinguistics studies. It opens up new prospects of investigation of different types of presuppositions and implicatures on the descriptive material of related and non-related languages in order to reveal a number of national and cultural peculiarities of implicit discourse with a goal to increase efficiency of cross-cultural interpersonal communication.

References. 

Arutyunova, Nadyezda. “Ponyatye presuppozicii v lingvistikye (The Notion of Presupposition in Linguistics)”. Izvestiya AN SSSR. SLYa (Proceedings of the AS USSR. SLL) 32, 1, (1983): 23–44. Print.

Grice, Paul. Meaning. Philosofical Review. № 66. Durham: Duke University Press, 1957: 377–388. Print.

Hnatiuk, Lubomira. “Jak działać za pomocą słów w celu osiągania większej efektywności w komunikacji interpersonalnej (How to Do Things with Words to Achieve more Effectiveness in Communication)”. Zeszyt Naukowy WSIiZ w Przemyślu, Wydanie 1, (2007):  84–91. Print.

Hnatiuk, Lubomira. Prahmatychni j funkcionalno-komunikatyvni osoblyvosti implikatury ironiyi (Pragmatic, Functional and Communicative Peculiarities of Implicature in Irony)”. Linhvistychni studiyi (Linguistic Studies), 23, Donetsk, DonNU, (2011): 131–137. Print.

Hnatiuk, Lubomira. The Technology of Interpersonal Communication in the Intercultural Interaction. Donetsk: “Knowledge”, Donetsk Branch, 2013. Print.

Leech, Geoffrey. Principles of Pragmatics. London: Longman, 1983. Print.

Paducheva, Elyena. “Presuppozicii i drugiye vidy nieeksplicitnoj informacii v pryedlozhenii (Presuppositions and Other Implicit Information in the Sentence)”. NTY AN SSSR 11 (1981): 24–32. Print.

Searle, John. “Indirect Speech Acts. Syntax and Semantics”. Speech Acts. Ed. by P. Cole, and J. Morgan. Vol. 3. New York: Academic Press, 1975: 59–82. Print.

Shtern, Iren. Vybrani topiky ta leksykon suchasnoyi linhvistyky (Some Topics and Vocabulary of Modern Linguistics). Encyklopedychnyj slovnyk. Kyiv: ArtEk, 1998. Print.

Sperber, Dan, and Wilson, Deirdre. Relevance: Communication and Cognition. 2nd Edition. Oxford: Blackwell. Pub., 1995. Print.

Zahnitko, Anatoliy. Osnovy Dyskursolohiyi (Foundations of Discourse Studies). Donetsk: DonNU, 2008. Print.

Zahnitko, Anatoliy, and Hnatiuk, Lubomira. “Kosviennyje strategii myezlicznostnogo obshchieniya (Indirect Strategies of Interpersonal Communication)”. Rozprawy Komisji Językowej Wrocławskiego Towarzystwa Naukowego. Tom XXXIX. Wrocław, (2012): 133–140. Print.

Zahnitko, Anatoliy, and Hnatiuk, Lubomira. Typologia przejawiania się zasad komunikacji interpersonalnej w polskim, ukraińskim, brytyjskim oraz amerykańskim środowiskach językowo-kulturowych (The Typology of Manifestation of the Communicative Maxims of Interpersonal Communication in Polish, Ukrainian, British and American Cultural and Language Environment)”. Studia Ukrainica Posnaniensia. Zeszyt III. Poznań: Wyd-wo Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu, (2015): 365–371. Print.

Надійшла до редакції 18 квітня 2016 року.