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On Grice's Maxim of Quantity: A Comparative Study of Texts Written by Iranian Authors and Native Speakers of English

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of English, Khorasgan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, IRAN

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 4, Issue (1), Pages 44-50, January,2 (2015)


This study aimed to compare the texts produced by Iranian writers and native speakers of English with respect to Grice’s maxim of quantity .To achieve this aim, the researchers selected and compared 30 psychological articles written by Iranian and native English writers. The corpora included 10 Persian articles written by Iranian authors, 10 English articles written by the same Iranian authors, and 10 English articles written by the native English authors. These articles were selected from different journals of psychology. The researchers then rated all the sentences included in the discussion and result sections of the above-mentioned articles with regard to observance/non-observance of the Gricean maxim of quantity. The data quantified as such were then subjected to paired-samples and independent-samples t-test in order to see which factor(s) may have an important role in observing or infringing that maxim. The data obtained from the native English articles were also examined through descriptive statistics to find out the frequency of the quantity maxim violations in the total of discussion and result sections. The findings revealed that not only the native speakers of Persian language but also the native speakers of English language violated the quantity maxim of Grice in their English writings. Statistically, no significant difference existed between Persian and English texts written by the same Iranian writers regarding the observance of quantity maxim. In fact, although Iranian writers infringed the maxim in both English and Persian articles, the frequency of occurred violations in Persian articles was more than that in native English articles and English articles written by Iranian authors. In other words, the frequency of violation of that maxim in native-English articles was less than those in both English and Persian texts produced by Iranian authors.


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