This is a question similar to the question about the semantics/pragmatics divide, but I have a more specific interest.
I'm thinking of two different ways of conceiving of the way statements come to have a range of admissible interpretations within a context:
Semantics generates an abundance of possible interpretations and pragmatics serves to cut down this stock to those interpretations admissible in the context.
Semantics generates a stock of admissible interpretations and pragmatics adds additional interpretations.
Thinking of conversational implicature, for example, I could see either view as plausible. For instance, take the Gricean example:
A is writing a testimonial about a pupil who is a candidate for a philosophy job, and his letter reads as follows: 'Dear Sir, Mr. X's command of English is excellent, and his attendance at tutorials has been regular. Yours, etc.'
This suggests that Mr. X is a rather poor philosopher, and this can be explained by appeal to Grice's Principle of Quantity (i.e., "If the speaker uttered F, F is optimally informative within a class (to be defined) of alternative utterances."; this formulation is taken from this Phillipe Schlenker survey article on the pragmatics/semantics interface). I could see this reading as either being already generated by the semantics and made salient by the context, or as being unavailable outside of a range of similar contexts (e.g., writing recommendation letters) where the context serves to introduce the implicated claim to the meaning of the sentence. These correspond to (1) and (2), respectively.
I know that the semantics/pragmatics distinction is a very thorny one, but is there reason to favor one of these views over the other? Does my thinking here even make sense?