Can pictures have explicatures?


Forceville, C. and Clark, B. 2014. Can pictures have explicatures? Linguagem Em (Dis)curso. 14 (3), pp. 451-472.
TitleCan pictures have explicatures?
AuthorsForceville, C. and Clark, B.

This paper considers the question of whether pictures can be understood to give rise to explicit meanings. In relevance-theoretic terms, this means asking whether pictures give rise to ‘explicatures’. The definition of the term ‘explicature’ seems to rule out this possibility except in cases where pictures include or are accompanied by material with coded meanings. The paper considers a range of non-verbal phenomena with coded meanings, including pictograms (Forceville 2011, Forceville et al 2014). It then considers whether the explicature-implicature distinction could be relevant to pictures without such elements. Some assumptions communicated by pictures seem to be more ‘explicature-like’ than others, so it is possible that the distinction will be useful. The question is not merely terminological as the discussion leads to a fuller understanding of ways in which pictures communicate.

Research GroupEnglish Language and Literature
PublisherUniversidade do Sul de Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina, Brazil
JournalLinguagem Em (Dis)curso
Publication dates
Print02 Dec 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited03 Dec 2014
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
Copyright Statement

Permission granted to make available here 13th August 2014
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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