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«Indicators and procedures : nevertheless and but1 DIANE BLAKEMORE University of Salford (Received  August  ; revised  January ...»

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   If this is right, then examples like (B) cannot be analysed by treating but nevertheless as a complex expression in the same way as surprisingly well. In fact, this is what my analyses of these expressions would predict. For while but requires the elimination of the proposition which contradicts a proposition communicated by the utterance it introduces, nevertheless simply requires the presence of the contradictory proposition in the context. It would seem that if the speaker’s intention in producing an utterance prefaced by nevertheless is to encourage the hearer to weigh the evidence for his answer to a question against the evidence for a contrary answer, then she would not want to first use an expression which encodes the information that this answer is to be eliminated. For clearly, if this answer has been eliminated, then there can be no comparison.

Now, we have been assuming that the proposition contradicted and eliminated by the use of but in an example like (B) is identical to that proposition whose contradiction is supported by the utterance prefaced by nevertheless. That is, we have been assuming that but encodes the information that it is the proposition in () which should be eliminated.

() We should appoint her to the position.

In fact, it seems that the proposition that is contradicted and eliminated by but might be something like the one in ().

() This is the only evidence relevant to the question.

If () were true, then there would be no question about the truth of (). However, the use of but indicates that the relevance of the utterance it prefaces, namely (), is relevant by virtue of contradicting and eliminating ().

() Nevertheless she’s not really what the department needs at the moment.

And indeed, as we have seen, the use of nevertheless in an example like () indicates that the relevance of the utterance it prefaces lies in its role in establishing that there is evidence for a different answer, and hence that there  a question about the truth of ().

. C          Clearly, there needs to be much more detailed investigation of co-occurring discourse connectives before we can fully understand how the procedures they encode interact. The aim of this paper has been to improve on the theoretical foundation for this work by trying to say more exactly what kind of information procedural information is, and hence showing more clearly how the distinction between conceptual and procedural encoding provides a cognitive basis for the distinction between saying and indicating. The     comparison between nevertheless and but has demonstrated that the notion of procedural meaning is considerably more complex than the one suggested by my earlier work. However, it is complex in a way which is consistent with the cognitive theory of communication it derives from. In fact, it is quite possible that the further investigation of other types of phenomena will show that the notion of a constraint on relevance has to be made more complex in order to capture all the ways in which linguistic meaning can constrain the inferential procedures involved in utterance interpretation.


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Author’s address : European Studies Research Institute, School of Modern Languages, The University of Salford, Salford M WT, U.K.

E-mail : D.Blakemore!mod-lang.salford.ac.uk

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