Relational and independent and conjunctions

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Pragmatic accounts for and conjunctions offer a unified analysis for all conjunctions (Blakemore and Carston, 2005; Gómez Txurruka, 2003; Zeevat and Jasinskaja, 2007). I propose two distinct interpretative strategies instead. On the relational strategy, the inferred relation between the conjuncts is computed first, and only then is relevance to the discourse sought for the two conjuncts taken as a single processing unit. On the independent strategy, each conjunct by itself makes a separate, but parallel contribution to the same discourse point. Different formal indicators cue addressees as to which of the pragmatic strategies was most likely intended. The most dramatic difference between the two readings is that the inferred relation between the two conjuncts may form part of the truth-conditional proposition expressed under the relational strategy, but under the independent strategy such relations, if inferred at all, are either truth-compatible inferences, or at best, conversational implicatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1692-1715
Number of pages24
Issue number14
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • And
  • Coherence inferences
  • Conjunctions
  • Explicature
  • Implicature
  • Structure function


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