Conversational implicature in children's comprehension of reference

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conversational implicature is a central process in natural language comprehension. This study shows that grade school children cooperate in the creation of the meaning of messages by actively trying to compute implicatures. Previous analyses of the development of comprehension skills have concluded that children's responses to underinformative messages reflect inability to recognize when others’ messages violate rules for clear and efficient communication. The present analysis suggests, on the contrary, that children use apparent rule violations as a starting point for computing conversational implicatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-249
Number of pages13
JournalCommunication Monographs
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics


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