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Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 2023, 6(18); doi: 10.25236/AJHSS.2023.061803.

A Pragmatic Analysis of Conversations in A Woman on a Roof in Terms of Grice’s Conversational Implicatures


Yuanyuan Zhang, Qianping Gu

Corresponding Author:
Qianping Gu

School of Foreign Languages, Southeast University, Nanjing, China


Conversation is used to convey thoughts, share information, and establish connections with others. However, beyond the explicit information we exchange, dialogue often contains rich implied meanings, enriching our understanding of the expected information. This study applies Paul Grice’s Theory of Conversational Implicatures to conduct a pragmatic analysis of character dialogues in Doris Lessing’s short story A Woman on a Roof. By examining the implicit information conveyed in dialogues, this research reveals how these understated cues influence the narrative of the story and elucidate its theme. The investigation reveals that by breaching communicative norms, the four main characters reveal their attitudes, psychological motives, and power dynamics, enriching the characteristics of the figures and enhancing the interpretation of the story's theme. By utilizing Grice’s theory of conversational implicatures, we deepen our understanding not only of the characters’ traits but also of the central themes of the story. This research provides a novel perspective and tool for pragmatic analysis in literary works, thus contributing to the advancement of pragmatics in the field of literary research.


Theory of Conversational Implicatures, A Woman on a Roof, Pragmatic analysis

Cite This Paper

Yuanyuan Zhang, Qianping Gu. A Pragmatic Analysis of Conversations in A Woman on a Roof in Terms of Grice’s Conversational Implicatures. Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences (2023) Vol. 6, Issue 18: 12-18. https://doi.org/10.25236/AJHSS.2023.061803.


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