[lit-ideas] Re: 'Significant' "Significant"

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2012 11:57:47 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 7/24/2012 11:45:43 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
a 'Good morning' may have (in some sense)  the same sense whether it is 
said by a husband to a wife at breakfast or by a  soldier addressing his 
firing-squad - yet (in some other sense) the 'Good  morning' may have a very 
different sense on these different occasions. These  differences and 
are, for W, not said by 'Good morning' but may be  shown when we consider 
the tone, context etc. It might even alter the sense if  the soldier was 
speaking to a gloomy silent firing-squad or a chatty, joky one. 
We are considering the significance of "Good morning".
McEvoy raises the point of the performative analysis:

-----> "I  WISH you a good morning".
Note that 'good' applies, strictly, to the deleted 'wish'.
It isa GOOD wish of a morning. "Good", strictly, and semantically, applies  
then to the deleted 'wish'.
The idea behind 'good morning' is thus 'significant' in that the utterer  
(of "Good morning!") IMPLICATES (in Grice's technical use of this verb -- for 
he  can always cancel this) that he (or she) desires that the addressee 
will have a  morning that correlates to a good wish, on the utterer part.
Note that "Bad morning!" does not work the _same_ way (since the  
cancellation is hardly defeasible under this circumstance). -- Plus, the 
form of 'bad', as Michael Jackson notes, depends on the logical form of 'good'  
Note that this yet does not render 'Bad morning!' INSIGNIFICANT -- only  
perhaps otiose in terms of a pragmatic analysis.
The implicature carried by the significant "Good morning!" should be  
distinguished with the one carried by the far more general -- and thus  
'philosophical', "Good day!"
Note that as a 'closing move' in a sequence, 
"Have a good _one_" 
is understood to implicate, "have a good DAY", rather than a good  
"Good noon" is usually otiose.

But "Good afternoon!" and "Good night" vs. "Good evening" present many  
implicatural problems in terms of their interactive significance. Witters was  
perhaps unaware of this since in German, there use of "Nacht" is thought 
Witters was perhaps confused, too, in this in that in colloquial Austrian,  
it's the "good" that gets deleted, with soldiers greeting each other with 
"Tag!"  rather --. 
And so on.

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