Herbert H. Clark, Stanford University
How we time our actions in coordination with others, and why
According to Grice’s classic paper “Logic and conversation,” people cannot succeed in conversation without coordinating on the content of what they say. If my sister tells me “Some of our ancestors were Scots,” I should take her as implicating that not all of our ancestors were Scots. Scalar implicatures like this are just one of many types of implicatures that follow from Grice’s cooperative principle. It is equally obvious, however, that people also cannot succeed in conversation without coordinating on the timing of what they say. And yet Grice—and almost everyone since Grice—have ignored time as something that needs coordinating. I will take up the timing of what people do and say in conversation and bring out some of its parallels with the content of what they do and say.