Relevance theory is a proposal by Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson that seeks to explain the second method of communication: one that takes into account implicit inferences. It argues that the hearer/reader/audience will search for meaning in any given communication situation and having found meaning that fits their expectation of relevance, will stop processing.
Famous quotes containing the words theory and/or relevance:
“We commonly say that the rich man can speak the truth, can afford honesty, can afford independence of opinion and action;and that is the theory of nobility. But it is the rich man in a true sense, that is to say, not the man of large income and large expenditure, but solely the man whose outlay is less than his income and is steadily kept so.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“... whatever men do or know or experience can make sense only to the extent that it can be spoken about. There may be truths beyond speech, and they may be of great relevance to man in the singular, that is, to man in so far as he is not a political being, whatever else he may be. Men in the plural, that is, men in so far as they live and move and act in this world, can experience meaningfulness only because they can talk with and make sense to each other and to themselves.”
—Hannah Arendt (19061975)