Gricean Implicature in Usman Ali’s “The Last Metaphor”


  • Fatima Khaliq lecturer
  • Dr. Rubina Rahman Chairperson, Department of English and Applied Linguistics, University of Peshawar


This paper takes pragmatic view of Usman Ali's play- The Last Metaphor (2014) by applying H.P. Grice's concept of implicature (1975). The purpose of this research is to discuss the issue of non-compliance to the maxims of conversation and argue that flouting can be a useful, deliberative plan of author to highlight critical issues in absurdist fiction. The study furthers that the dramatic and stylistic effects of language are achieved through flouting the conversational maxims (implicature). This also establishes that words and sentences of the text which apparently violate rules of syntax and grammar, do not necessarily flout the sense of meaning. This research takes a qualitative approach of instances where Grice’s maxims are flouted for pragmatic significance. The study concludes with an interesting observation that adaptation to the maxims of conversation is not the only way to make language meaningful; the avoidance of these rules is equally helpful. Flouting enables the text to achieve metaphoric value through sarcasm, irony and exaggeration which make the text semantically rich and analytically debatable.

          Key Words: pragmatics, Grice’s Maxims, cooperative principle, flouting, implicature