Insinuation, common ground, and the conversational record

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Most philosophical and linguistic theorizing about meaning focuses on cooperative forms of communication, and for good reasons. However, a significant amount of verbal communication involves parties whose interests are not fully aligned, or who do not know their degree of alignment. Such strategic contexts are theoretically revealing because they lay bare minimal conditions on communication that can be occluded in more fully charitable contexts. In such contexts, speakers sometimes turn to insinuation: the communication of beliefs, requests, and other attitudes 'offrecordi', so that the speaker's main communicative point remains unstated in away that permits deniability. I argue that insinuation is a form of speaker's meaning in which speakers communicate potentially risky attitudes and contents without adding them to the conversational record, or sometimes even to the common ground.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNew Work on Speech Acts
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9780198738831
StatePublished - Aug 23 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


  • Common ground
  • Grice
  • Implicature
  • Insinuation
  • Lewis
  • Meaning
  • Scoreboard
  • Stalnaker
  • Strategic contexts

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