Are Conversational Implicatures Cancellable? A Critical Review of Grice’s Cancellability Test

Yan Jiang


Recent years have witnessed a rather vibrant debate about Grice’s cancellability test. To demonstrate the validity of Grice’s cancellability test, this essay provides a critical review of the debate, covering the sarcasm objection, the intentionality objection and the entailment objection. It is found that the bone of contention of cancellability versus non-cancellability concerns its approach, scope and feasibility, and the cancellability test survives these objections relatively unscathed.

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