An Analysis of the Pragmatic Implicatures of Selected Advert Billboards around Jos Metropolis in Terms of Grice (1975) Maxims of Cooperative Principle

Ishaya Yusuf Tsojon, Pam Keziah Jonah


The essence of utterance in discourse, whether spoken or written is that it should elicit some response from the listener (addressee). At times we wonder why people do not behave in conformity with the message intended by the speaker or writer. Could it be due to the non-adherence of the communication to certain pragmatic, syntactic and semantic rules among other things? It is on this basis that this paper focuses on the analysis of pragmatic implicatures observed on selected advert billboards around Jos metropolis in Plateau State, Nigeria. It is primarily aimed at ascertaining the extent of adherence or otherwise of these advert billboards to Grice (1975) Maxims of Cooperative Principle (CP). The study reveals that the strength of the Cooperative Principle lies in the distinction between the Gricean Maxims. In trying to observe a Maxim they violate another. But this does not make the writers poor writers since at times they violate certain maxims in order to arouse the interest of the public to that which is advertised. The paper concludes that CP is important to our understanding of language use in the society because it enables us to know why communication: spoken or written quite often fails and how it can be more successful. Therefore, this paper suggests that advert billboards writers must always note that informativeness is what the public desires.

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International Journal of English Language Teaching ISSN 2329-7913 (Print) ISSN 2329-7921 (Online)

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