Face management

When some is actually all: Scalar inferences in face-threatening contexts

Accounts of the scalar inference from ‘some X-ed’ to ‘not all X-ed’ are central to the debate between contemporary theories of conversational pragmatics. An important contribution to this debate is to identify contexts that decrease the endorsement …

Tactful or doubtful?: Expectations of politeness explain the severity bias in the interpretation of probability phrases

When a statement about the occurrence of a medical condition is qualified by an expression of probability, such as the word possible, listeners interpret the probability of the condition as being higher the more severe the condition. This severity …