Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 April 2021
This chapter covers the notions of inference and implicature from a broad pragmatic and sociopragmatic perspective. Starting from the fact that inference has wide applicability also in psychology and logic, while implicature is limited only to pragmatics, it opens by drawing three distinctions: (1) between inference in a broad and in a narrow sense, (2) between inference and implicature and (3) between inference and implicature as both product and process. It then discusses processes of implicature generation within Gricean and post-Gricean accounts. While the general position taken is that 'speakers implicate, hearers infer', this position is also problematized by drawing on sociopragmatics research that challenges the notion of the speaker’s intention and explores how (else) meaning can be generated.