Pragmatic Analysis of the Particle ʁadɪ in Najdi Arabic

Murdhy R. Al-Shamari


The ultimate goal of this paper is to investigate the pragmatic use of the particle ʁadɪ in Najdi Arabic. To do just this, both Grice’s Theory of Conversation and the Relevance Theory (RT) are used. In addition to indicating the speaker’s personal certainty of his/her utterance, ʁadɪ is assumed to encode the speaker’s lack of positive evidence to confirm the propositional content of his/her utterance, nonetheless. For Grice, ʁadɪ generates an implicature due to flouting the maxim of Quality ‘Try to make your contribution one that is true’. As a result, the hearer does not repose the speaker’s confidence of his/her utterance. Differently, for RT, ʁadɪ manifests a procedural meaning. This type of meaning guides the hearer not to rely heavily on the speaker’s own certainty which is, in principle, driven by anecdotal (nor conclusive) evidence. Additionally, this paper concludes that ʁadɪ fares better within the general framework of RT which provides a more robust account of its semantic import and pragmatic usage.

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