The aim of the present work is to provide a brief account of the meaning and use of the Basque reportative particle 'omen'. It is a general belief that the speaker using an 'omen'-utterance expresses uncertainty. That is, for example, what Euskaltzaindia says in its grammars. I try to show, however, taking as a basis some concepts and theories of semantics and pragmatics, that the content of uncertainty often attached to 'omen', if present, belongs to the pragmatic content of the utterance. Although it is the case that in some examples the speaker implicates uncertainty by using 'omen', in many other cases the speaker conveys total certainty; sometimes she is certain that things have happened the way someone else has reported, and other times she is totally certain that things have not happened the way someone else has reported. Therefore, the uncertainty cannot be part of the meaning of the 'omen'-sentence. Neither can it be part of what is said by an 'omen'-utterance, since the results of Grice's (1967a, 1967b) cancellability 'test' show that the content of uncertainty can be cancelled. So, I conclude that it is a conversational implicature; more precisely, a generalized conversational implicature, that can be generated by using an 'omen'-utterance. Then, the context will help to clarify, in each case, whether such an implicature was generated or not. I finally try to find the reason of attaching the content of uncertainty to the meaning of 'omen'-sentences.
Zubeldia, L. (2012). ’Omen’ partikula: ziurtasunak eta ziurtasunik ezak. Gogoa, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1387/gogoa.6648