Published: June, 2020


Immaculate Uchechi Enyeribe


About Author(s):

Department of Linguistics,

Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka

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The study, a pragmatic analysis of the language of cooperative principle in interviews in the Guardian newspaper was designed to determine the applicability of Grice’s (1975) cooperative principles on media interview with the prime focus of identifying instances of observance and non-observance of the maxims, and to particularly find out if participants flout, violate, infringe, suspend or opt out of the maxims. Data for analysis was collected from The Guardian published in February, March, April, May, November and December 2017. The study finds that there are both cases of observance and non-observance of the Grice (1975) conversational maxims; that the cases of maxims’ flouting are more recurrent than those of violation in the interview data analysed; and there are no cases of infringement, suspension and opting out. Also, in a single discourse contribution, an interlocutor can flout or violate more than one conversational maxim. Based on the findings of the study, the researcher reaches the conclusion that since there is no case of maxim infringement, the discourse participants are competent, however, interviewees often fail to cooperate with their interviewers by either deviating or concealing the required information that are meant to answer certain questions with a view to in most cases, generate an implicature by giving responses that would imply their opinion on the matter that is being discussed and in some case mislead media personnel and the general public who constitute their audience.

Key Words: Cooperative principles, conversational implicature, Grice maxims, maxims of conversation, media discourse, media interviews, interviewers, interviewees.