Tag Archives: Semantic Meaning

Inferences and Background Assumptions as Key to Meaning Interpretation in Side Attraction (A Nigerian Film) (Published)

This paper is a pragmatic study of the role of inferences and assumed background knowledge in the interpretation of meaning in Side Attraction (a Nigerian film produced by Franca Brown). The study revealed a considerable reliance on conversational implicatures, presuppositions, entailment and other background assumptions in the advancement of the message of the film. In conversations (including the dialogues in films), if speakers and listeners (or viewers) do not share the same cultural values and background knowledge, wrong inferences could be made from utterances. The inferential gaps remain unfilled or partially so. This could affect meaning interpretation. This study has attempted to draw from the cultural context of the film to explicate pragmatically the utterances which trigger the inferences. The aim is to enhance the understanding of the film by foreigners who form part of the film’s target audience on YouTube and other international media. 

Keywords: Cultural Meaning, Film Discourse, Pragmatic Inferences, Semantic Meaning