Are listeners ‘fully’ Gricean? A comment on Davies and Katsos (2013)

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This discussion note focuses on a recent paper [Davies C. and Katsos, 2013. Are speakers and listeners only ‘moderately Gricean’? An empirical reply to Engelhardt, Bailey, and Ferreira.] that investigated whether speakers and listeners are sensitive the Maxim of Quantity. However, there are two aspects of the paper that we (the authors of the original article) disagree with. The first is that Davies and Katsos attribute a much stronger theoretical position to our work than we intended. Specifically, they attribute to us a theoretical view that assumes that processing is completely insensitive to both parts of the Maxim of Quantity. The second issue focuses on purported methodological problems that Davies and Katsos identified in our experiments. One goal of this discussion note is to clarify any mis-understandings about our earlier work, and at the same time, we want to make a constructive contribution by encouraging further discussions, and ultimately, to a better understanding of the situations in which people do and do not follow the Maxim of Quantity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Maxim of Quantity
  • Reference
  • Over-description
  • Under-description
  • Visual World Paradigm
  • Referential processing

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