The communicative scale is introduced. What is fundamental to communication is the intention of the communicator rather than the codes that languages employ. Following the model first proposed by Paul Grice and developed in Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson’s ‘relevance theory’, the structure of communicative intentionality is understood to be recursive: its underlying form is ‘I want you to know that I want you to know’. This leaves room for a simpler kind of transmission, to be called ‘intimation’, whose underlying form would be ‘I want you to know’. If communication is a transmission at the ‘full-on’ position of the scale, and if the switch is off when no communication is intended, then intimation would be at the intermediate, ‘half-on’ position. Intimation is particularly useful in contexts where discretion, suggestiveness, or plausible deniability are needed. It is strongly connected to self-presentation in social life (as studied by Erving Goffman).
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.