MEANING-IMPLICATION AND INFERENCE-FORMATION IN THE UNITED STATES PRESIDENTIAL PRESS CONFERENCES
The question of how people understand what others are saying, even when they do not state their intentions straightforwardly, has been debated ever since Grice put forward a theory of implicature in 1967 (Thomas, 1995). That is, speakers can implicate more or different meanings via the use of implicatures. After Grice’s work, there have been a number of other works on implicatures. On the other hand, there is some research on how people infer each other’s intentions. What has not gained attention yet is developing both implicature and inference into one unified theory; this issue is dealt with within this paper. The paper also investigates how different types of implicatures are produced and how possible inferences are formed in fourteen press conferences, held for Barack Obama the ex-president of the United States of America , as a type of political discourse in which language plays a vital role. Purposes of implicaturegeneration, different models and methods of inferenceformation are also discussed and analyzed. The paper, which is an extract of an MA thesis entitled (An Investigation of Syntax-Pragmatics Interface of Implicature and Inference Formation in the US Presidential Press Conferences), mainly concludes that implicature and inference-formation are two sides of the same coin, and forming inferences by the journalists and the audience for implicatures generated by US ex-president, Barack Obama is not necessarily deductive, inductive or abductive alone, but it apparently enjoys all.