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Isabel Jaimes

on 14 March 2014

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Transcript of PRAGMATIC

Pragmatics is the study of the use of language in context. It is a subfield of linguistics which studies how people comprehend and produce communicative acts in real world speech situations, usually a conversation
What is pragmatics?

The study of how to say what to whom, when and where. Acquisitional pragmatics in L2 is the study of how speakers learn how to say what to whom when where in a second language.
“ Communication clearly depends on not only recognizing the meanings of words in an utterance, but recognizing what speakers mean by their utterances. The study of what speakers mean, or “ speaker meaning” is called pragmatics.” ( Yules, 2006, p 112)
PRAGMATICS: Crystal (1997)
The study of language from the point of view of users, especially of the choices they make, the constraints they encounter in using language in social interaction and the effects their use of language has on other participants in the act of communication. ( p 301)


It is the ability of a user/ learner to arrange sentences in sequence so as to produce coherent structures of language. It includes knowledge of and ability to control the ordering of sentences in terms of:


Topic/ focus
 Given/ new
 Natural sequencing : e.g. temporal:
+ He fell over and I hit him, as against
+ I hit him and he fell over
 Cause/ effect ( invertible) _ prices are rising/ people want higher wages.
 Ability to manage and structure discourse in terms of:
+ thematic organization
+ coherence and cohesion
+ logical ordering
+ style and register
+ rhetorical effectiveness
+ The “co-operative principle”

( Grice 1975) “make your contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose of directions of the talk exchange in which you are engaged, by observing the following maxims:

• Quality ( try to make your contribution one that is true)
Quantity (make your contribution as informative as necessary, but no more)
• Relevance ( do not say what it is not relevant)
• Manner ( be brief and orderly, avoid obscurity and ambiguity)”

Text design : knowledge of the design conventions in the community concerning, e.g., how information is structured in realizing the various macrofunctions ( description, narrative, exposition, etc); how stories and anecdotes, jokes, etc are told; how a case is built up ( in law, debate, etc);how written texts (essays, letters, etc) are laid out, signposted and sequenced

Illustrative scales are available for the following aspects of discoursecompetence:
- Flexibility to circumstances
- Turntaking ( also presented under interaction strategies
- Thematic development
- Coherence and cohesion

This component is concerned with the use of spoken discourse and written texts in communication for particular functional purposes.
Categories for the functional use of single (usually short) utterances in interaction.
1.1 Imparting and seeking
factual information

- Correcting
- Asking
- Answering
1.2 Expressing and finding out attitudes
(knowledge/ignorance, remembering, forgetting, probability, certainty)
(obligations, necessity, ability, permission)
(wants, desires, intentions, preference)
(pleasure/displeasure, likes/dislikes, satisfaction, interest, surprise,hope, disappointment, fear, worry, gratitude)
(apologies, approval, regret, sympathy)
1.3 suasion
suggestions, requests, warnings, advice, encouragement, asking help, invitations,

1.4 socialising:
Attracting attention, addressing, greetings, introductions, toasting, leave-taking
1.5 structuring discourse:
( 28 microfunctions, opening, turntaking, closing, etc.)
1.6 communication repair
* ( 16 microfunctions )
categories for the functional use of spoken discourse or written text consisting of a (sometimes extended) sequence of sentences,e.g.:
+ description•
+ narration•
+ commentary•
+ exposition•
+ exegesis
+ explanation
+ demonstration
+ instruction•
+ argumentation•
+ persuasion etc.
Functional competence also includes knowledge of and ability to use the schemata (patterns of social interaction) which underlie communication, such as verbal exchange patterns. Interactive communicative activities
in pairs
question: answer
statement: agreement/disagreement
request/offer/apology: acceptance/non acceptance
greeting/toast: response
Interactive communicative activities
in Triplets
(in which the first speaker acknowledges or responds to the interlocutor’s reply)
- form the working group and establish relations among participants;•
- establish common knowledge of the relevant features of the currentsituation andarrive at a common reading;•
- identify what could and ought to be changed;•
- establish common agreement on goals and on the action required tomeet them;•
- agree roles in carrying out the action;•
- manage the practical actions involved•
- recognise the final achievement of the task;•
- evaluate the transaction;•
- complete and terminate the transaction.
The total process can be represented schematically.

example is the general schema offered for the purchase of goods or services
in Threshold Level 1990, Chapter 8:
1. Moving to place of transaction
2. Establishing contact
3. Selecting goods/services
4. Exchanging goods for payment
5. Leave-taking
It should be noted that, as with similar schemata, the availabilityof this schema to shoppers and shop assistants does not mean thaton every occasion this form is used.
Two generic qualitative factors which determine the functional success of the learner/ user are:

a) fluency
, the ability to articulate, to keep going, and to cope when one lands in a dead end

b) propositional precision
, the ability to formulate thoughts and propositions so as to make one’s meaning clear.
Illustrative scales are available for these two qualitative aspects
Full transcript