victor mugari


This paper looks at the infringement of conversational maxim in public conversations in Shona. It probes how the tenets of conversations as proposed by Grice (1975) are at times not observed without being uninformative or being uncooperative. Certain maxims can be ignored or violated yet speakers remain informative, cooperative and polite. The conversations referred to here are daily chats, talks and discussions in which Shona speakers find themselves in. The view taken in this paper is that when people violate maxims, or a maxim, there is one which they will be observing hence triggering implicature or the violation itself is a trigger for implicature. A number of ways in which the maxims are violated were found in Shona and categorized as maxim clash, opting out of a maxim and flouting of maxims. Besides these it was also noted that in Shona speakers show that they are cognizant of the maxims by hedging which shows they are about to violate a maxim. The data was obtained under naturalistic conversation settings and is analyzed within the features of conversation implicature.  


Cooperative Principle; conversational maxims; implicature; meaning; violation; hedging.

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