Gricean maxims and implicature in ‘Amanpour’ CNN programme

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Taha Abdullah Marzoug, Dr. Hutheifa Yousif Turki


Understanding a conversation or a speech requires understanding the language used (i.e., the functions that language achieve). This confirms the necessity of looking for the deep unuttered meaning of the utterance as well as the surface meaning. Put differently, to make any communication in any interview successful, one should grasp the intended meaning of the utterances used in this communication. To this end, pragmatics, as the language in use, plays a great role in interpreting what is implied in and behind utterances used in any interaction. In this sense, to understand what is behind utterances used in political interviews, one should be pragmatically competent and aware of pragmalingustic and sociopragmatic strategies.

However, most political analysts fail to analyse the political utterances delivered by interlocutors in political interviews as they may lack the pragmatic knowledge that enables them to understand the intended meaning of interviews. In addition, they may focus on the literal meaning regardless to the implied one. In this regard, political analysts should be competent in pragmatics to know how and why language is used. Therefore, the current study is conducted to mainly focus on the pragmatic principles used in creating (encoding) and understanding (decoding)the meaning of the utterances delivered in political interviews.

Political interviews usually have an agenda, for both the interviewer (the presenter of the political interview) and the interviewee- (the guest). The interviewer usually tries to discuss matters that of interest to the audience of TV programme. The interviewer indirectly attempts to insert the agenda of the institution he works for, on the one hand, On the other hand, the interviewees, who are usually politicians or decision-makers, try to impose their agenda and their political perspectives through their answering to and commenting on the questions supplied (Archer et al. ,2012, p126)


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