Logical Entalilment and Conversational Implication:A Discourse-Pragmatic Account of Taiwanese Toh(就) and Ciah(才)

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Cherry Ing Li

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Office of Research and Development


台語<就>和<才>一般認為是語意對立、用法相彷的一組副詞,但在本研究所收集之四小時真實交談語料中,卻顯示<就>的出現頻率遠高於<才>,約為其5.4倍,且其語用功能各不相同。本文從言談語用的角度分析,認為<就>和<才>在不同語境中所呈現的限制用法和連繫用法及隨附的意義,乃源於此二副詞的基本語意與Grice (1975) 提出之 “交談合作原則” 內各項細則交互作用而得的 “對話隱涵” (conversational implicature) 。<才>本意為 “小量” ,因此必須用於牽涉等級 (linguistic scale) 的句子中,而且也由於<才>與等級詞的語意和 “合作原則” 的運作,而衍生出 “與預期相反” 或 “較預期嚴苛” 的意涵。而<就>之本意並不要求其與等級詞共現,因此出現範圍較廣,使用頓率也較高。其本意與 “交談合作原則” 交互作用,產生限制用法中加強語氣的功能;而當句意牽涉到等級時,也由於等級詞在句中的邏輯必然推論 (logical entailment) 與其本意和 “合作原則” 的互動而產生 “較預期寬容” 的對話隱涵。
Taiwanese toh (就) and ciah (才), which are often considered as forming an antonymous pair, show significant difference in their distribution and functions. A corpus of 4-hour recording shows as many as 275 toh occurrences, while ciah is used only 51 times. The difference in their frequency rates is due to their different basic meanings: ciah, meaning ‘only, just’. intrinsically involves size and quantity, and thus has to co-occur with a scalar term; while toh; meaning ‘precisely’, does not show such a restriction. Their different core meanings, when used in the context of conversation, interact with the Maxims in the Cooperative Principle as proposed by Grice (1975) and derive their various interpretations. The emphatic tone that toh may carry and its function to mark a less-demanding situation both arise as conversational implicatures from the interaction of its basic meaning, its logical inference entailed by the proposition, and the Maxims of Manner, Relevance, and Quantity. Ciah’s function of expectation-denying and marking of a more-demanding condition may also be accounted for in terms of pragmatic implicature, though it may have already been conventionalized.