Jn the field of pragmatics, it is now generally accepted that the reception or production of optimally felicitous use of language necessarily requires that "some small but powerful set of general principles of inference to interlocutors' communicative intentions in specific contexts" is systematically invoked (Levinson 1981:481-2). In this respect, Paul Grice has made a valuable contribution, raising a number of exciting questions which have remarkably influenced our whole attitude to language use. According to Grice, . meaning is not determined beforehand but is negotiated only while utterances are made. Indeed, meaning may well become fixed in the process, but all the way, this is informed by a variety of contextual factors, including hearers' cognitive processing abilities to infer 'meaning from context. Background knowledge and related assumptions feature prominently in these activities and, along with situationality and a range of co-textual clues, essentially form the context of an utterance.