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THE FLOUTING OF CONVERSATIONAL MAXIM IN

THE NOVEL ENTITLED SILENCE OF THE LAMB

NAMA: ZELIA VITALINA P. SARMENTO

NIM: 1601542029

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT

FACULTY OF ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF UDAYANA

2018 – 2019
1. Background of the Study

Language is a means of communication. It is used to express our thought,

wishes, command, and to tell truth and lies. It can also be used to express and

formulate ideas about something. Moreover, people use language to communicate

with each other to build relation and share feeling. In order for people to achieve

this intimate level of communication they need to communicate through

conversation. Furthermore, face to face conversation is the most universal

conversation which is engaged in all human cultures; in additions conversation may

also be mediated such as when electronic technology is used for speech and text.

When people converse with each other, they want their conversation to run

smoothly. In order for the conversation to run smoothly there must be a mutual

intelligibility between the participant. It means that both participants in

communication need to understand each other in which they expect a suitable

response from one another; if they do not give a suitable response to the previous

utterance, it might lead to confusion and misunderstanding. However, there’s time

when people say something without actually meaning it by saying something else,

or nothing at all. People can mean something without saying it, they can get their

intended meaning by merely implicating it.

This phenomenon is really interesting to observe because of the fact that

most people understand what is being implied by the speaker even though the

speaker do not explicitly tell what they really mean. Furthermore, this kind of

phenomenon happen in our everyday life. For example, when a student is late to

class the teacher will ask what time is it, and the student will reply with the reason
why he/she comes late and not with the actual time. This shows how people said

something but implying something else, in the case of the teacher, he/she is not

asking about the time but why the student comes late? Why does he/she not come

on time, thus by saying what time is it he/she means to say “this is already over my

class time, why are you late?”. That is why the student answer with the reason why

he/she is late. Isn’t interesting to see how the student actually understand what is

implied by the teacher? And give a suitable answer to the question? This kind of

phenomenon is called implicature.

Implicature occurred in our conversation because we intend it to happen

consciously or unconsciously. Implicature can occur in conversation when we do

not follow the rule of conversation. The rule of conversation is a set of rules which

suggest on how to make conversation successful. The rule of conversation is called

cooperative principle in which in it we have sub-rules which is known as maxim.

Thus, implicature happen when we exploit this maxim of conversation by blatantly

not following the rule. This kind of exploitation is known as flouting, and this kind

of exploitation is really interesting because people usually exploit the maxim to

make a joke using sarcasm irony, etc which richen the conversation flow.

Ngomongin novel Thus, from this background the paper will focused on the

flouting maxim that occurred in the movie/novel as the most interesting implicature

seems to arise when a maxim is ostentatiously flouted or exploited

2. Problems of the Study


Speaker sometimes do not say what they actually say, but they say different

thing or do not say anything at all. By doing this they are consciously or

unconsciously want the hearer to get what they want to say. However, to understand

about the implied meaning the hearer must know the contextual situation and

situational context to decipher the intended meaning of the speaker.

Moreover, when the speaker consciously or unconsciously trying to get

what they actually mean to the hearer, they must blatantly exploit the maxim of

conversation which is proposed by Grice. Thus, in this paper the writer will ask

three questions concerning this situation.

1. What kind of the flouting maxim occurred in Tom Harris’s novel The Silence of

the Lamb?

2. What is the implicit meaning of flouting maxims which are produced by the

character in Tom Harris’s novel The Silence of the Lamb?

3. Why flouting maxim occur in Tom Harris’s novel entitled The Silence of the

lamb?

3. Aims of the Study

The objective of a scientific paper is to improve our knowledge and also

give answer to the subject matter after being observed, in this paper the subject

matter is the flouting maxim that occur between the character in Silence of the

Lamb, also the implicit meaning and the reason why flouting maxim occur in there.

Based on this the aims of this writing are:


1. To find out and analyze the types of flouting maxim in Tom Harris ‘s

novel entitled The Silence of the Lamb.

2. To figure out the implicit meaning in the flouting maxim in Tom Harris

‘s novel entitled The Silence of the Lamb.

3. To figure out the reason why flouting maxim occur in Tom Harris ‘s novel

entitled The Silence of the Lamb.

4. Scope of Discussion

The focus of this writing is to answer the problem in this paper. Thus, there
are limitation in this paper. The theory that chiefly used is the conversational Maxim
and flouting maxim proposed by Paul Grice. Jelasin tentang apa itu conversational
maxim and flouting
Moreover, this paper also going to use the theory from Leech about meaning to
support the analysis. The focus on this paper is to explain the flouting maxim that
occur in Tom Harris’s novel entitled The Silence Lamb also the implicate meaning
and the reason why it happens.

Minimal 1 atau 2 baris opening paragraph

Ini adalah limitation yang akan dibahas.

Contoh jika membahas implicature, limit the theoretical framework apa yang

mau dipakai/discuss, then flouting maxim in conversational implicature,

jelaskan ini apa

5. Research method: Qualitative

5.1 Data Source

Ada primary ada secondary, jelaskan data yang kamu pakai apa, dari siapa
The data that are going to be used in this paper is a primary data taken from

the literary work from Tom Harris which is a novel entitled The Silence of the

Lamb which is adapted into a thriller horror movie, and one of the most

famous work from him.

5.2 Method and Technique of Collecting Data

Apa saja yang harus ditulis:

1. What method are you going to use? Ex: interview, observation

Documentation

2. Data apa yang ingin kamu kumpulkan? Untuk menjawab pertanyaan yang

mana?

Data Primary to answer

Ex: saya menggunakan metode ini untuk mengumpulkan data berbentuk

catatan (atau apalah jelaskan secara detail) untuk menjawab pertanyaan yang

mana

3. Siapa yang anda observasi? Harus ada informant

4. How are you going to observe? Interview?

Contoh: interview dengan question list, observasi dengan checklist and

technique recording

5.3 Method and Technique of Analysing Data (Baca Cresswell)

Contoh conten Analisis, domain analisis.

5.4 Presenting dengan data qualitative, data qualitative dengan deskripsi. Data

quantitative dengan statistic.


6. Review of Literature, Concepts, and Theoretical Framework

6.1 Review of Literature

This part of study concern with the review of two undergraduate theses and

one international or national journal which is related to the topic of this paper.

Moreover, these materials are needed to develop a deeper understanding about the

related topic, which as a result will further our comprehension and give a vivid

understanding about the topic. The first undergraduate thesis that will be reviewed

is Flouting Maxims in The Movie How to Train Your Dragon 2 written by Evitayani

(2016), The second thesis is Flouting of Grice’s Maxim’s in The Age of Adaline

Movie written by Lestari (2017), and the national journal that will be reviewed is

An Analysis of Flouting Maxim in EFL Classroom Interaction written by Asri

(2015).

The first undergraduate thesis is Flouting Maxims in The Movie How to

Train Your Dragon 2 composed by Evitayani (2016). The data used in the thesis

were taken from an animation movie entitled How to Train Your Dragon 2, which

is a sequel to the previous movie with the same title. The research method used in

this thesis are divided into methods and techniques of collecting data, method and

techniques of analyzing data, and method and techniques of presenting data. For

the method and technique of collecting data, the thesis used documentation method

and the techniques of watching, listening, reading, taking notes, as well as

recording. Moreover, qualitative research method and descriptive analyzed are the

method that applied in analyzing process. For the techniques of analyzing data the
author conducted some steps which are (i) classifying the utterance found in the

movie based on the occurrence of conversational maxims; especially the utterance

that disobey the maxim of conversation, (ii) analyzing the corpus data using Grice’s

theory of flouting maxim which is supported with theory about flouting maxim

from Levinson. Furthermore, the method and technique of presenting data were

presented in narrative way which means it is described using words descriptively.

In this thesis, the author explains about types of the maxims that are flouted

in the movie and the reason for the occurrence of flouting maxim. The author stated

that in the data all of the flouting maxim can be found namely flouting of maxim of

quality, maxim of quantity, maxim of relevance, and maxim of manner. Moreover,

a particular case where two maxims are flouted were found in the data. The maxims

that clashed with each other according to the data were maxim of quality and maxim

of quantity. Furthermore, she said stated that the most flouted maxim is the maxim

of quantity because one of the main characters in the movie tend to gave a long

explanation which is unnecessary, and explained something which is way out off

the topic. The second most flouted maxim is the maxim of relevance because some

characters in the movie choose do not have much time to talk about the topic of

interest or they do not want to talk about it. In addition, she also stated the least

flouted maxim is the maxim of manner as it is only occurred when there were some

words which is hard to understand occur in characters utterance. Furthermore, the

author used the theory from Paul Grice about maxim of conversation and flouting

maxim, as well as the theory from Levinson to support her analysis. The theory

used by the author is also used in this paper, however besides these theory about
maxims of conversation and flouting maxim from Grice and Levinson, theory of

meaning from Leech and additional theory from Paul Grice’s about conversation

implicature are also used to support this paper.

The second undergraduate thesis is Flouting of Grice’s Maxims in The Age

of Adaline Movie written by Lestari (2017). The data used in this thesis were taken

from the utterance between the character in the movie entitled The Age of Adaline.

This movie is a 2015 American movie, which is a fantasy movie about a woman

that stops aging at the age of 29 after an accident befall her. The format of the

research method used in this thesis are the same as previous thesis, however the

method and technique of presenting data were left out. The method for collecting

data in this thesis were documentation method with note taking as the technique. In

addition, the author lists the steps to collecting data namely watching the movie,

find the transcription of the utterance, and listing down the utterance which related

to flouting maxim. Moreover, the method of analyzing data used in this thesis were

descriptive qualitative method, along with descriptive analyzing. The process of the

analyzing the data were started with (i) identifying the utterance in conversation

that can be classified as flouting maxim, (ii) describing the context of situation in

the movie where the utterance take place, (iii) analyzing the reason why the data is

considered as flouting maxim, (iv) lastly, analyzing the implicit meaning of flouting

maxim.

In this thesis the author explained about the types of maxim being flouted

in the utterance between the character, as well as finding out the implicit meaning

of the flouting maxim which were produced by the character in the movie. The
finding of this study showed that all conversational maxims had been flouted in the

data. Moreover, the most flouted maxim where quantity maxim, and maxim of

manner were the least flouted maxims. She also stated that there were some reasons

that encourage the speaker to flout the maxim which resulted in an implicit meaning

namely: (i) the speakers try to explain about something by giving too much

information in hope that the hearer will understand the topic better, (ii) the speakers

want to expect something which means that they act and say more words to show

something, (iii) the speakers want to convince the addressee, (iv) the speakers want

to hide or cover something, (v) the speakers want to avoid certain subject which is

embarrassing to them or to just end the conversation by consciously maneuvering

the topic present into a new topic. Furthermore, the author used the theory from

Paul Grice about maxim of conversation and flouting maxim, as well as the theory

about conversational implicature. The theory used by the author is also used in this

paper, however besides these theory about maxims of conversation, flouting maxim

and conversational implicature from Grice theory of meaning from Leech and

additional theory from Levinson about meaning are used to support this paper.

Apart from the aforementioned undergraduate thesis above, in this section

national journal is reviewed as well. The national journal is Vision, in which the

particular journal related to the topic was written by Asri (2015) entitled An

Analysis of Flouting Maxim in EFL Classroom Interaction, taken from

http://journal.walisongo.ac.id/index.php/vision/article/download/1592/1170. The

focused of the journal were on the occurrence of flouting maxim in conversation

between the teacher and the students. The data used in this journal were taken from
the utterance in dialogue of a teacher and her student during EFL teaching and

learning program. This study was conducted in 2013. This journal used qualitative

approach, and content analysis as the research design. The primary instrument used

in collecting the data were the writer himself along with document analysis.

Moreover, the author listed some ways in which the data were collected such as: (i)

using observation method, (ii) recording), (iii) transcribing the utterances, (iv)

sorting the utterances where the flouting occurred, (v) enlisting this utterance based

on the type of maxim being flouted, and (vi) arranging the obtainable data

systematically. Furthermore, the data analysis process is as follows: (i) data

reduction, (ii) data display, (iii) data analysis), (iv) conclusion drawing. In the

findings the author stated that there were six flouting maxim that can be found in

the dialogue between the teacher and student during the learning process. Out of

357 data from the utterance only 2 percent of data considered as flouting maxim,

thus the author claimed that the student often flouted the maxim of quantity, quality,

and manner, in addition he added that the reason why the speaker flouts the maxim

of quantity is because the speaker doesn’t have sufficient linguistic competence in

order to give proper response toward teacher utterances based on speaker or the

teacher utterance. As a matter of fact, the theory used in this journal were the theory

from Grice about conversational maxim, conversational implicature, and flouting

maxim which is the same theory with the previous thesis. Speaking of the theory

used here, this paper also used the same theory with some additional theory about

meaning which supported the analysis in this paper.


These two undergraduate theses and one national journal have a close

relation with this paper since they all analyzed the maxim which appeared in the

conversation using Grice’s theory about maxim. However, this paper is quite

different with the aforementioned paper as this analysis is more detailed in terms of

beside determining the maxims which is floated, this paper also will analyze the

reason for such occurrence, and why such occurrence happened from the

perspective of situational context and the meaning implied by the speaker.

6.2 Concept

The concepts that are used in this proposal are proposed by experts in

linguistic, pragmatic, and philosophy. The concepts are divided into seven concepts

which are related to this topic in order to help the process in understanding this

topic; they are concept of conversation, concept of implicature, concept of

conversational implicature, concept of cooperative principles, concept of Maxims,

concepts of Flouting Maxims, and concept of context of situation.

6.2.1 Concept of Conversation

Conversation is a major activity in social life (Allen and Guy, 1978: 11).

Conversation is not only seen as a product between speakers and speakers who seek

to exchange information or convey messages from one another. At the same time,

the activity of speakers and speakers is seen as a process of adjustment and

collaboration. The process of adjustment and collaboration is done by speakers and

speakers so that communication can take place regularly and meaningfully.


Therefore, the speech that occurs in a conversation will be conveyed with

procedures, methods, and resources tied to the context in which the conversation is

taking place (Hutchby and Woofit, 1998: 1). The context in conversation is defined

as a background knowledge shared by speakers and speakers and that helps

speakers interpret the meaning of speech and the interplay of behavior between

speakers and speakers.

6.2.2 Concept of Implicature

Implicature according to Yule (1996:35-36) is something that must be more

than just what the words mean, it is an additional conveyed meaning. He further

explained that implicature are primary examples of more being communicated than

is said, but in order for them to be interpreted some basic cooperative principle must

first be assumed to be in operation. Beside Yule, Marmaridou (2000:223) defined

implicature as a product of our conceptual mechanism that appears to account for

this possibility. She added that even though there are different types of implicature,

however the term of implicature mainly associated with a particular type, namely

conversational implicature, as this was introduced by the philosopher H.P. Grice.

Moreover, Allan (2012:55) explained implicature in Grice’s view as one can mean

something either by saying it or by saying (or “making as if to say”) something else.

What one implicates by saying something generally not implied by what one says.

That is why Grice used the verb “implicate” rather than “imply” and the neologism

“implicature” rather than “implication”. Furthermore, Grundy (2000:73) defined


implicature as any meaning which is conveyed indirectly or through hints, and

understood implicitly without ever being explicitly stated.

6.2.3 Concept of Conversational Implicature

According to Huang (2011:407) conversational implicature is any meaning

implied or expressed by, and inferred or understood from, the utterance of a

sentence which is meant without being part of what is strictly said. He further said

that this definition is derived via Grice’s (1975, 1989) cooperative principle, and its

attendant maxims of conversation. Another definition of conversational implicature

by Griffiths (2006:134) is an interference that depend on the existence of norms for

the use of language, such as the widespread agreement that communicators should

aim to tell the truth.

6.2.4 Concept of Cooperative Principles

The concept of cooperative principle was proposed by Grice (1975: 45), he

formulated a rough general principle which participants will be expected (ceteris

paribus) to observe, namely: “ Make your conversational contribution such as is

required, at the sage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the

talk exchange in which you are engaged” It can be assumed from this that it is

assumed that both the speaker and the listener should be cooperative while

conversing in order to have a successful conversation and it can be done by

following the conversational maxims. Moreover, Levinson (1983:101) explained

cooperation principle as a theory about how people use language. He further


explained that Grice suggestion which is cooperative principle is a set of over-

arching assumptions guiding the conduct of conversation. On the other hand, Leech

(1983:80) suggest that politeness principle (PP) is important along with CP

cooperative principle (CP) because in some context when CP in a weak position

where it is apparent that exception to it can not be satisfactorily explained. PP then

become the complement and rescue CP from serious trouble. Furthermore, Yule

(1996:36) defined CP as a general idea that people involved in conversation will

cooperate with each other and give expected amount of information which is

provided in conversation, this cooperation between both the speaker and listeners

is what he means by CP.

6.2.5 Concept of Maxims

Under the assumption that some general principle (CP) is acceptable, Grice

(1975:45-46) distinguished four categories under one another of which will fall into

more specific maxim and sub maxim which in general will yield results in

accordance with CP. He borrowed the names from Kant and called these categories

as Quantity, Quality, Relation, and Manner.

First, the maxim of Quantity, related to the quantity of information to be

provided. It means that the speaker tries to be informative yet do not give unneeded

information. Secondly, the maxim of Quality, related to the quality of information

to be provided. It means that the speaker tries to be truthful, and do not give false

information, especially one without evidence. The speaker also tries to give

evidence to support their claim. Thirdly, the maxim of Relation is where the speaker
tries to be relevant and appropriate within the context. The speaker tries to not speak

about irrelevant matter. Lastly, the maxim of Manner, related to not what is said but

rather to how what is said to be said. It means that the speaker tries to give a clear

information, and avoid ambiguity.

6.2.6 Concept of Flouting Maxim

According to Grice (1975:49) flouting means that the speaker is blatantly

fail to fulfil the maxim. On the assumption that the speaker is able to fulfil the

maxim and to do so without violating another maxim (because of clash), is not

opting out, and is not in view of the blatancy of his performance, trying to mislead,

the hearer is faced with a minor problem. He considered this as a maxim being

exploited. Beside him, Levinson (1983:109) explained that flouting is a kind of

implicature that come about by overtly and blatantly not following some maxim, in

order to exploit it for communicative purpose. Flouting maxims according to

Grundy (2000:760-777) usually can be found in tautology, irony, metaphor,

understatement, overstatement, and rhetorical question.

6.2.7 Context of Situation

In the 1980s, Halliday developed a framework for describing what he

termed the context of situation, the social context of a text which allowed for

meaning to be exchanged.

1. The field of discourse is the general sense of what a text is about and refers to

'what is happening, to the nature of the social action that is taking place'. This
aspect is comparable to Bakhtin's sphere of communication.

2. The tenor of discourse is concerned with the participants, their relationship, their

roles and relative status.

3. The mode of discourse focuses on what the language is being ask to do - its

function - the way it is organized, the medium (print, spoken, and so on) and also

'the rhetorical mode, what is being achieved by the text in terms of such categories

as persuasive, expository, didactic, and the like' (Halliday and Hasan 1985: 12).

Halliday's context of situation denoted only the immediate environment for

a textual event. Moreover, these elements then interact with each other and limit the

choice of form (Zhang in Prativi 2012:13). Based on this definition it can be said

that meaning is determined by the context. Every utterance should be understood

accordingly based on the situation.

According to Baker (cited in Prativi, 2012:13) context of situation is closely

related to various texts. Certain situational context asks for certain text and in return

certain text creates certain context. In the process of communication, the meaning

system is largely determined by the three aspects of situational context: ideational

meanings by field, interpersonal meaning by tenor and textual meaning by mode

Based on the explanation above, it can be concluded that context of situation

is important in interpreting the implicature of speaker’s utterance if the hearer does

not understand the context in the conversation.

6.3 Theoretical Framework


In this part, the discussion deals with the theoretical aspects that have

relevance to the topic of study. The theory that will be mainly used is the theory

proposed by Grice (1975) and this theory will be used to solve the problems which

are going to be proposed in this proposal. Furthermore, to get better understanding

and clear description, the theory of flouting the maxim which is proposed by

Levinson (1983) also will be used to explain about Grice’s flouting maxim. Beside

the theory from Grice and Levinson, there are also theory about conversational

implicature proposed by Grice and theory from Leech about meaning in semantic

which will support the analysis in this paper.

6.3.1 Grice’s Maxim

Cooperative principle is a very important thing when conversing as we often

communicate verbal message which somehow, we unconsciously convey, or with

a certain awareness. Other times, we are aware of how we actually formulate a

phrase, with a specific goal in mind. Regardless of the motive or awareness, Grice

developed the principles of conversation which is later called as Cooperative

Principles of conversation. Below are the four types of cooperative principle

proposed by H.P. Grice (1975):

1) Maxim of Quantity

The category of Quantity relates to the quantity of information to be provided, and

under it fall the following maxims:

 Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current

purposes of the exchange).


 Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.

(The second maxim is disputable; it might be said that to be over-

informative is not a transgression of the CP but merely a waste of

time. However, it might be answered that such over-

informativeness may be confusing in that it is liable to raise side

issues; and there may also be an indirect effect, in that the hearers

may be misled as a result of thinking that there is some particular

point in the provision of the excess of information. However, this

may be, there is perhaps a different reason for doubt about the

admission of this second maxim, namely, that its effect will be

secured by a later maxim, which concern relevance.)

This maxim means that when a speaker asks something, the listener should

answer it as informative as possible or answer it sufficiently. For example, when

girl going to go out and her father asked her “where are you going to?”, then the

girl should answer with “I am going to the mall”. The girl in this example does not

give any more explanation about her ‘hangout’ except if her father asked again.

Another example for this is an analogy, which if you are assisting me to finish a

puzzle, I expect you to give me neither more or less than is required. If for example

I asked for 4 pieces of the puzzle you should give me 4 puzzle pieces and neither 2

or 6 pieces.

2. Maxim of Quality (make your contribution true)

 Do not say what you believe to be false.


 Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.

It means that when the speaker asks something the listener should answer it

honestly and provide evidence if needed. For example, when the lecturer enters the

classroom and he or she starts to fill in the attendance list by calling the student’s

name one by one, the student will respond it by raising their hand honestly.

Furthermore, Grice expect that the contribution should be genuine and not spurious.

In maxim of quality, the speakers are expected to give the evidences. Some speakers

like to get hearer’s attention by saying what they believe to be through, even though

they lack of evidence. Maxim of quality has function to make sure that every

speaker gives the truth information or contribution to their hearers.

3. Maxim of Relation

 Be relevant

It means that when the speakers ask something, the listener should answer

it stick to the point and relevance to the context. For example, when a mother is

cooking a cake, she does not expect her son to come and give her a good book or

even an oven cloth (though this might be appropriate contribution at later stage.)

4. Maxim of Manner (be perspicuous)

 Avoid obscurity of expression

 Avoid ambiguity

 Be brief

 Be orderly
It means that when the speaker asks something the listener should answer it as clear

as possible and not ambiguous. For example, a woman asks her friend in restaurant.

A: What do you like to eat?

B: I would love to eat fried rice. (the answer should not be like “I would love to eat

some rice, eggs, sauce, fried with oil). This maxim has function to avoid

misunderstand or miscommunication between speaker and hearer.

6.3.2 Flouting the Maxim

Although Grice said that the maxims are important, he realized that in some

condition people have to do the deliberate violation or flouting as he calls them. If

they flout their conversation, it does not mean that the communication will not be

successful. In addition, the flouting of the conversational maxims can be many

things, and there is no way of prescribing a particular violation as useful or

detrimental. Then, the participant will understand the implication of the speakers

whether they know the situation or occasion. It means that the speakers have the

same thinking to imply what the speaker said based on the situation. Based on

Grice’s maxims, there are several criteria of flouting the maxims as distinguishing

guidelines by Levinson (1983:109-112)

A. The Flouting Maxim of Quantity

The speakers flout this maxim if they give more or less information than it

is required by the situation. It means that the speaker does not explain to the point.

They usually give uninformative information. It also means that they give less
information or too much information. The examples will explain about the flouting

of maxim of quantity.

I. A: I’ve lost a diamond.

B: Well Julie was wearing one this morning. (Leech, 1983:93)

B’s answer does not fulfill the maxim of quantity. By using indefinite

article, B reuses to commit himself to whether the ring he sees is the same one that

A lost. B is not being informative as required in this conversation.

II. A: We’ll all miss Bill and Agatha, wont we?

B: Well, we’ll all miss Bill. (Leech, 1983:80)

Obviously, B’s answer is categorized as the flouting of maxim of quantity.

A tells B that both of them will miss Billy and Agatha. Yet, B flouts that he/she will

miss Bill only. That’s mean that B gives uninformative by giving too little

contribution.

B. The Flouting of Maxim of Quality

Firstly, the speaker flouts maxim of quality if she/he lies or says and denied

something that is believed to be false. Therefore, it means that he/she misrepresent

his/her information in order to make the addressee understand. The examples below

will explain this flouting.

I. A: Teheran’s in Turkey isn’t teacher?

B: And London is in Armenia I suppose. (Levinson, 1983:110)


In the conversation, B has flouted maxim quality. B answers the statement

about London that is Armenia. Actually, this answer is false because London is in

England, therefore, B gives false statement.

C. The Flouting of Maxim of Relation

First off all, the speakers flout this maxim if they make the conversation

unmatched. Usually, the participants do the wrong causality. Besides, they want to

avoid the topic; they will change the topic or avoid talking about it. This flouting

usually used to hide something. It means that the participants keep secrete or

something in order that nobody knows about it. Two examples below do not fulfill

the maxim of relevance.

I. A: I do think Mrs. Jenkis is an old windbag, don’t you?

B: Huh, lovely weather for March, isn’t? (Levinson, 1983:111)

The conversation between A and B have already made the conversation

unmatched. B might implicate on the appropriate circumstance. Therefore, B gives

respond to speaker A uninformative; therefore, B has flouted the maxim of relation.

II. A: Where’s my box of chocolates?

B: I’ve got a train to catch. (Leech, 1983:94)

The conversation above is showed that B has flouted in maxim of relation,

when A asks B about ‘where’, actually B should answer the question about the

place. However, B has changed the topic of conversation. A asks B about A’s Box

of chocolates, but B answer A’s question about his/her train schedule which he/she

going to get on. Therefore, B’s utterance is unmatched.


D. The Flouting Maxim of Manner

The speaker flouts the maxim of manner when he/she uses ambiguous

language. Besides, their utterance is to long winded or too short, obscure, etc.

I. A: Let’s get the kids something.

B: Ok, but I veto I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M-S (Levinson, 1983:104)

B’s answer obviously breaks the maxim of manner (be perspicuous) by

spelling out the word ice cream, and tells A that B does not say the word ice cream

in front of the children before they ask their parents to buy some.

In addition, according to Leech, in the same utterance it can have more than

one flouting of maxims as long as the speakers gives the right reasons. Besides,

people usually have different interpretation about their communication so that their

utterance can be contained by two or more (Leech, 1983: ...). For example:

A: Where’s my box of chocolate?

B: The children were in your room this morning. (Leech, 1983)

This example has two kinds of flouting those are maxim of relevance and

quantity. It contains of the flouting of maxim relevance because B does not give the

causality answer. It means B should answer some places where B has put the

chocolates. In addition, B’s answer is also flouting the maxim of quantity. B does

not explain to the point that the children were in A’s room this morning. If B follows

the maxim of quantity, B should answer to the point.

Therefore, based on Grice, flouting of conversational maxims can make the

listeners misunderstand the message conveyed by the addressor. Yet, it does not
mean that the communication will be breakdown as long as the addressor gives a

strong reason.

6.3.3 Meaning in Semantic

Semantic is the study of meaning. According to Leech (1981) it was also

central to the study of communication. Though the ‘meaning’ or the information

one wants to communicate can be conveyed through a number of means like

gesture, picture, signals, etc. language was the main tool of communication of the

human beings. Semantics as a branch of linguistics was mainly concerned with how

the ‘meaning’ was conveyed by the linguistics system consisting of different unit

structures like sentence, phrases, words, morphemes etc. semantics as a study of

meaning, which relates language to the various aspects of non-linguistics reality,

was also of interest to various disciplines such as philosophy, anthropology,

psychology, communication theory etc. Leech divided meaning into seven different

types in which he gave a primary importance to logical meaning or what he refers

as conceptual meaning.

A. Conceptual Meaning

Conceptual meaning sometimes called ‘denotative’ meaning or ‘cognitive’

meaning is widely assumed to be the central factor in linguistic communication.

Leech (1981:10) said that this meaning is the most important element of every act

of linguistic communication as it can be shown that it is integral to the essential

functioning of language. The main reason why Leech said so because conceptual
meaning has a complex and sophisticated organization of a kind which may be

compared with, and cross-related to similar organization on the syntactic and

phonological levels of language. There are three kinds of principles according to

Leech which seems to be the basic of all linguistic pattern, they are principle of

contractiveness, principle of structure, and principle of linguistic organization.

Contrastive features underlie the classification of sounds in phonology, for

example in any label we apply to a sound defines it positively by what features is

possesses, and also by implication negatively which is the features it does not

possess. Thus, the phonetic symbol /b/ may be explicated as representing a bundle

of contrastive features + bilabial, + voice, + stop, - nasal; the assumption for this is

the distinction sounds or phonemes of a language are identifiable in terms of binary,

or largely binary, contrasts. In a similar way, the conceptual meaning of a language

can be studied in terms of contrastive features, so that the meaning of word ‘woman’

could be specified as + HUMAN, - MALE, + ADULT, as distinct from ‘boy’ which

could be defined as + HUMAN, + MALE, - ADULT.

The structure principle is the principle by which larger linguistic units are

built out of smaller units, or by which we are able to analyze a sentence syntactically

into its constituent parts, moving from its immediate constituents through a

hierarchy of sub division to its ultimate constituents or smallest syntactic elements.

This aspect of the organization of language is often given visual display in a tree-

diagram.

The principle of linguistic organization is any given piece of language

structured simultaneously on more than one level. At least there are three levels
which is necessary for a full account of the linguistic competence they are

phonological representation, syntactic representation, and a semantic

representation. Furthermore, the stages by which one level of representation can be

derived from one another. The aim of conceptual semantics is to provide for any

given interpretation of a sentence a configuration of abstract symbols which is it

‘semantic representation’ and which shows exactly what we need to know if we are

to distinguished the meaning from all other possible sentence meanings in language

and to match that meaning with the right syntactical and phonological expression.

From this picture it can be seen that the ability to match levels operated in

one direction (A-B-C) occurred when we are decoding (listening to a sentence and

interpreting it), and the opposite direction (C-B-A) when we are encoding

(composing and speaking a sentence). Thus, from this account it will be clear that

conceptual meaning is an inextricable and essential part of what language is, such

that one can scarcely define language without referring to it, and a ‘language’ which
communicated solely by means of expletive words like Oh! AH! Oho! Alas! And

Tally ho! Would not be language at all.

B. Connotative Meaning

Connotative meaning is the communicative value an expression has by

virtue of what it refers to, over, and above its purely conceptual context. However,

most of the time he notion of “reference” overlaps with conceptual meaning. For

example, if the word woman is defined conceptually by three features (+ HUMAN,

- MALE, + ADULT), then the three properties ‘human’, ‘adult’, and ‘male’ must

provide a criterion of the correct use of that word. These contrastive features,

translated into ‘real word’ terms become attributes of the referent of woman to

possess. They include not only physical characteristic such as having a womb, but

also psychological and social properties such as maternal instinct, and may extend

to features which are merely typical rather than invariable accompanied the

womanhood features (capable of speech, experienced in cookery, skirt or dress

wearing).

Furthermore, connotative meaning can also embrace the ‘putative

properties’ or common properties of the referent due to the viewpoint adopted by

an individual or a group of people or a whole society. In the past woman has been

burdened with such attributes namely frail, prone to tears, cowardly, emotional,

irrational, and inconstant. Moreover, the dominant male has been pleased to impose

on the woman, with more becoming qualities such as gentle, compassionate,

sensitive, and hard-working. From this it can be seen that connotation are changed
from age to age and society to society. The evidence for it that in the past ‘non-

trouser wearing’ was the connotative for woman. Not only connotative vary through

age to age and society to society but also to some extent vary from individual to

individual within the same speech community.

In addition, connotative meaning is not specific to language, but is shared

by other communicative systems such as visual art and music. It is also relatively

stable which means it vary considerably according to culture, historical period, and

the experience of the individual. This means that connotative meaning is

indeterminate and open ended in a sense in which conceptual meaning is not, it is

open ended in the same way as our knowledge and belief about he universe are open

ended because it is not static and changed throughout the age and society. Thus, to

sum it up when we are talking about connotation we are talking about the ‘real

world’ experience one associates with an expression when one uses or hear it.

C. Social Meaning

Social meaning is a piece of language that convey about the social

circumstances of its use. In part, we decode the social meaning of a text through

our recognition of different dimensions and levels of style within the same

language. We recognize some words or pronunciations as being dialectal, i.e. telling

us something about the geographical or social origin of the speaker; other features

of language tell us something about of the social relationship between the speaker

and hearer.
Crystal and Davy cited in Leech (1981:14) recognized the following

dimension of socio-stylistic variation (Leech added examples of the categories of

usage which would help people to distinguish each dimension)

Variation according to:

Dialect (The language of a geographical region or of a social class)

Time (The language of eighteenth century, etc.)

Province (Language of law, science, advertising, etc.

Status (Polite, colloquial, slang, etc.)

Modality (Language of memoranda, lectures, joke, etc.)

Singularity: (The styles of Dickens, Hemingway, etc.)

This list indicates something of the range of style differentiation possible

within a single language. It is not surprising, perhaps that we rarely find words

which have both the same conceptual meaning and the same stylistic meaning. This

observation led people to declare that ‘true synonyms do no exist’. Moreover, the

style dimension of ‘status’ is particularly important in distinguishing synonymous

expression. For example:

(1) They chucked a stone at the cops, and then did a bunk with the loot.

(2) After casting a stone at the police, they absconded with the money.

From this example, we can see that sentence (1) could be said by two criminals that

talked about the afterwards of the crime, whereas sentence (2) might be said by the

chief inspector in making his official report. Both describe the same thing, yet the

status whom utter the sentence make the meaning differ as in their common ground

of conceptual meaning is evident in the difficulty anyone would have in assenting


to the truth of one of these sentences and denying the truth of the other. In more

local sense, social meaning can include what has been called the illocutionary force

of an utterance, for example whether it is to be interpreted as a request, and

assertion, an apology, a threat, etc. The function of utterance perform in this respect

may only be indirectly related to its conceptual meaning. The sentence I haven’t got

a knife has the form and meaning of an assertion, and yet in social reality if said to

the waiter in a restaurant it can readily take on the force of request such as ‘please

bring me a knife’.

D. Affective Meaning

Affective meaning is the sort of meaning which is often explicitly conveyed

through the conceptual or connotative content of the words used. Someone who is

addressed “You are a vicious tyrant and a villainous reprobate, and I hate you for

it!” is left in little doubt as to the feelings of the speaker towards him. But there are

less direct ways of disclosing our attitude than this; for example, by scaling our

remarks according to politeness. With the object of getting people to be quiet, we

might say either:

(1) I am terribly sorry to interrupt, but I wonder if you would be so kind as

to lower your voices a little.

(2) Will you belt up.

Factors such as intonation and voice timbre (tone of voice) are also important here.

The impression of politeness in (1) can be reversed by a tone of biting sarcasm; and
sentence (2) can be turned into a playful remark between intimates if delivered with

the intonation of a mild request.

Affective meaning is largely a parasitic category in the sense that to express

our emotions we rely upon the mediation of other categories of meaning

(conceptual, connotative, or stylistic). Emotional expression through style comes

about when we adopt an impolite tone to express displeasure (as in sentence 2), or

when we adopt a casual tone to express friendliness. On the other hand, there are

elements of language (mainly interjections such as like, Aha! and Yippee!) whose

main function is to express emotion and attitudes without the mediation of any other

kind of semantic function.

E. Reflected Meaning

Reflected meaning is the meaning which arises in cases of multiple

conceptual meaning, when one sense of a word forms part of our response to

another sense. On hearing a church service, the synonymous expression of The

Comforter and The Holy Ghost, both referring to the Third Person of the Trinity,

however these terms conditioned with everyday non-religious meanings of comforts

and ghost. Thus, one sense of a word seems to rub off on another sense in this way

only when it has dominant suggestive power either through relative frequency and

familiarity or through strength of its associations. Only in poetry, which invites a

heightened sensitivity to language in all respects do we find reflected meaning

operating in less obvious favorable circumstances.


The case where reflected meaning intrudes through the sheer strength of

emotive suggestion is most strikingly illustrated by words which have a taboo

meaning since their popularization in senses connected with the physiology of sex,

it has become increasingly difficult to use terms like intercourse, ejaculation, and

erection in ‘innocent’ senses without conjuring up sexual associations.

F. Collocative Meaning

Collocative meaning consists of the associations a word acquires on account

of the meanings of words which tend to occur in its environment. Pretty and

handsome share common ground in the meaning ‘good-looking’; but may be

distinguished by the range of nouns with which they are likely to co-occur or to use

the linguist terms collocate.

This, range may overlap each other: handsome woman and pretty woman

are both acceptable, although they suggest a different kind of attractiveness because

of the collocative associations of the two adjectives. Further examples are quasi-

synonymous verbs such as wander and stroll (cows may wonder, but may not stroll)

or tremble and quiver (one trembles with fear, but quiver with excitement). To sum
it up, it can be said that collocative meaning is simply an idiosyncratic of individual

words.

G. Thematic Meaning

Thematic meaning is what is communicated by the way in which a speaker

or writer organized the message, in terms of ordering, focus, and emphasis. It is

often felt, for example, that an active sentence such as (1) has a different meaning

from its passive equivalent (2) although in conceptional content they seem to be the

same

(1) Mrs. Bessie Smith donated the first prize

(2) The first prize was donated by Mrs. Bessie Smith.

It can be seen clearly that both sentences have different communicative

values in that they suggest different contexts. The active sentence seems to answer

an implicit question “What did Mrs. Bessie Smith donate?”, while the passive

sentence seems to answer an implicit question “Who donated the first prize”. The

sentence (1) that contrast with sentence (2) suggest that we know who Mrs. Bessie

Smith is. The same truth condition however, apply to each it would be impossible

to find a situation which (1) was an accurate report while (2) was not or vice versa.

5.3.4 Conversational Implicature

The theory of conversational implicature is proposed by Paul Grice (1975).

Jenny (2013:66) defined conversational implicature as the additional meaning


which arise only in particular context of utterance. Sadock (1978:283) cited in

Moeschler give a schema of Grice’s theory as shown below:

From this scheme it can be seen that Grice divided conversational

implicature into two types: generalized conversational implicature and

particularized implicature.

A. Generalized Conversational Implicature

According to Yule (1996:40-41) generalized conversational implicature

occurred when no special background knowledge is required in the context to

calculate the additional conveyed meaning. Moreover, Zhang (2011: 409) defined

generalized conversational implicature as implicature which arise without requiring

any particular contextual condition. For instance:

A: I hope you brought the bread and cheese

B: Ah, I brought the bread. (Yule, 1996:40)


It can be seen from the example above we do not need any particular knowledge to

interpret the additional meaning from that conversation. It can be seen clearly that

B for some reason only brought the bread and thus this shows that B only buy the

brought and forgot about the cheese.

B. Particularized Conversational Implicature

According to Yule (1996:42) particularized conversational implicature

occurred when the conversation takes place in very specific context in which locally

recognized inferences are assumed. It is also the most common implicature that

occur in conversation. Moreover, Zhang (2011:409) also give a definition of

particularized conversational maxim as implicature that arise in particular

contextual conditions and require this condition to find out the conveyed meaning

behind the utterance. For instance:

A: Hey, coming to the wild party tonight?

B: My parents are visiting (Yule, 1996:43)

In order to make B’s response relevant, A has to draw on some assumed knowledge

that one college student in this setting expect another to have. B will spend the

evening with his parents, and time spend with parents is quiet, thus B’s are not

going to the party.

Furthermore, Zhang (2011:408-409) put the characterized of conversational

implicatures which are proposed by Grice and modified by Leech and Zhang. The

characterization properties are:


1. Defeasibility: Conversational implicatures can simply vanish in certain linguistic

or non-linguistic context. This happened because conversational implicature are

cancelled if they are inconsistent with (i) semantic entailment, (ii) background or

ontological assumption, (iii) context, or (iv) priority conversational implicatures.

2. Nondetachability: Any linguistic expression with the same semantic content

tends to carry the same conversational implicature. A principled exception is those

conversation implicatures that arise via the maxim of Manner. This is because the

conversational implicature are attached to the semantic content, rather than the

linguistic form, of what is said. Therefore, they cannot be detached from an

utterance simply by replacing the relevant linguistic expression with their

synonyms.

3. Calculability: Conversational implicatures can transparently be derived via the

cooperative principle and its component maxims.

4. Non-conventionality: Conversational implicatures, though dependent on the

saying of what is coded, are non-coded in nature. In other words, they rely on the

saying of what is said but they are not part of what is said.

5. Reinforceability: Conversational implicatures can be made explicit without

producing too much of a sense of redundancy. This is because conversational

implicatures are not part of the conventional import of utterance.

6. Universality: Conversational implicatures tend to be universal, because they are

motivated rather than arbitrary. For example, if a language has ‘all’ and ‘some’ the

use of semantically weaker ‘some’ will universally carry the conversational

implicature ‘not all’


7. Indeterminacy: Some conversational implicatures may be indeterminate. They

can be taken as conveying an open-ended range of implicatures relating to matters

in hand.
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