THE RELATION BETWEEN A SENTENCE MODE AND IMPLICATURE

Author:
Nikolina Palašić
Email:
nikolina.palasic@uniri.hr
Summary
The departure point of this paper is the assumption that a certain type of connection exists between the sentence mode (mood) and the implicatures that may arise during the interpretation of a particular mood. Thus, the focus is on the attempt to determine the connections between the sentence type (morphosyntactic category), the mood (the semantic correlate of the sentence type) and the illocution (the pragmatic correlate of the sentence type). Mood is here seen as a complex sentence sign which, on the one hand, has a formal, and on the other, a functional aspect. Here we rely on Altmann’s (1993) theory which is based on the premise that the semantics of an individual sentence type can only be determined with the help of speaker’s mediation, that is, by interpreting the speaker’s attitude towards the proposition. From the semantic perspective, an implicature has the status of a proposition, and the proposition, that is, a sentence in which the proposition is presented, contains structural indicators of a particular sentence type. On the basis of these connections we will attempt to go in the opposite direction and explore whether certain sentence types have certain ‘implicature’ potentials. In order to do this, we have to view sentence as a communicative unit, that is, as a contextually integrated unit that through its concretization gives rise to certain implicatures. At the same time, we have to take into consideration the force that a particular sentence as a representative of a particular sentence type, and thus of a particular sentence mode, acquires in a concrete speech act. In other words, our departure point is the claim that structural properties of a sentence qualify a sentence as a representative of a particular sentence mode which narrows down the possible communicative use of that sentence, that is, which defines in greater detail its illocutionary potential. The contents of a particular sentence, that is, its meaning and its illocutionary potential, are closely connected due to certain (implicit) requirements that have to be met in the communicative act. On the basis of these regularities we can make conclusions about the implicature potential of a particular sentence mode and sentence type.
Key words
sentence type; mood; implicature; illocution
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