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M Mercader Urquizar

on 9 November 2015

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Transcript of Pragmatics

*Language is unambiguous
*Determined communicative intention
*Literally speaking
*Use of words, phrases and sentences only to communicate.
The Message Model of Linguistic communication
Message Model
Inferential Model
Message Model :
Communication is successful when the hearer decodes the same message that the speaker encodes.

Six problems
Third Problem
Underdetermination of Communicative intention (by meaning)
Fourth Problem
We may not mean what our words mean
Fifth Problem
-Someone means to communicate more than sentences mean.
-One communicates by means of performing another communicative act.
-Indirect communication is when the true intentions are hidden.
Sixth Problem
Institutional acts: change the institutional status of a person.Communicative success is not the point of the utterance.
First Problem
Second Problem
Underdetermination of reference (by meaning)
Is missing an account of the speakers Communicative intention
The study of language use, in particular the study
of linguistic communication, in relation to language
structure and context of utterance
The expression: "I'll be there tonight"

(1) Prediction
(2) Promise
(3) Threat
What is pragmatics for?
to identify central uses of language
to specify the conditions for linguistic expressions to be used
to seek to uncover general principles of language use
In the appropriate context can be taken to mean the opposite of what the words mean.

Central use of language: Communication
Speakers of English know facts such as:
is used to greet
How old are you?
is used to ask someone's age
Can you pass the salt?
is used to request some salt
Inferential Model
Linguistic Communication
Hearer and speaker share a system of Inferential Strategies
-Intentions, purposes, beliefs, desires of speaker
-social affair, context,well defined social situation
-What is succesful linguistic communication?
-Which is the nature of communication?
Presumptions or Shared Beliefs
Allow us to presume certain helpful things about potential hearers (or speakers).
Inference Strategies
Provide communicants with short effective patterns of inference from what someone utter to what that person might be trying to communicate.
There are several expressions that are linguistically ambiguous because of the multiple possible meaning they can have.
Speaker: "transmitter"
Hearer: "receiver"
Vocal auditory path(sound wave)
Communication is successful when the hearer decodes the same message that the speaker encodes...?
Direct Strategy
Direct communication:
When we communicate directly, we perform just one communicative act.
Literal Strategy
Non literal Strategy
Non literal communication:
When we mean something other than what our words mean.
Non literal Strategy:
When the hearer recognizes that it would be contextually inappropriate for the speaker to be literal
Indirect Strategy
Literal communication:
what we say is compatible with what we mean.

The hearer really has a choice to make upon hearing an utterance: Is the speaker speaking literally? (and if not, what is he trying to communicate?)

The hearer recognizes that it would be contextually appropriate for the speaker to be speaking literally and that he is intending to communicate literally (and directly)

Presumption of Literalness: Literal utterances have a communicative priority

The message often contains extra information about particular things being referred to, but such reference is not always determined by the meaning of expressions.
Examples of expressions uttered non literally:
a) No one understands me. (Not enough people understand me).

a) This food is terrific! (terrible)
b) You are a genius! (Not genius at all)
Figures of speech:
a)I've got three hands (workers) here to help
Take the subway is a pleasure!
Indirect communication:
When we mean something more than we mean directly.

It's getting late...
Noncommunicative acts
Linguistic communication is successful if the hearer receives the speaker's message.
The hearer can recognize the speaker's intention.
Sentences which are not only describing a given reality, but they are

the reality they are describing.
Performative utterances are

true or false
The uttering of a performative is the doing of a certain kind of action
it is not "saying" or "describing" something, but "
" something
Explicit performatives
; to utter an "explicit" performative sentence is to make explicit
what act

one is performing with words
"I promise to be there"
"I apologize for that"
"I do (take this woman to be my lawful
wedded wife)"
"You are under arrest"
"War is declared"
context & presumptions
Pragmatic Presupposition
Situations that must exist for utterances to be appropriate are called
implicit assumption
about the world or background belief relating to an utterance whose truth is taken for granted in discourse. Examples :

Jane no longer sings Jazz music.

Jane once singed Jazz music

Have you stopped eating meat?


you had once eaten meat
• Have you talked to ET?

ET exists

Inferential Model:
Connects the message with the meaning of uttered expression by a sequence of inferences.
1. Hearer recognizes the speaker's expressions
2. Hearer recognizes the speaker's meaning of expression
3. Hearer recognizes what the speaker is referring to
4. Hearer recognizes what the speaker is intending to communicate directly.
Speech Acts
Speech acts are acts performed in uttering expressions.
Utterance acts
Perlocutionary act
Illocutionary act
It is an act performed in saying something; central element in linguistic communication.

: Letters, jokes, stories, sermons.
: arguments, interviews, instructions.
Acts of uttering sounds, syllables, words, phrases, etc. from a language.
*Language and context

Hello, Hi! Good day!

Turn Taking

See you, Goodbye
I'm going to get you a cookie
I'll come back for you!
I would like a glass of water, please
A perlocutionary act is an
act performed


saying something
. This kind of speech act produces a direct effect on the hearer.
where do you want to go?
If you cross that line, I'll shoot you!
Give me your money!
e.g: The door is over there...

That sunglasses are perfect!
Indirect strategy
I'm sure the cat likes having its tail pulled
The hearer recognize what the speaker is communicating (literally or nonliterally).
Contextual inappropriateness
The hearer recognizes what the speaker is also communicating indirectly.
When presuppositions are
, we get the confusion
in this passage from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:
“Take some more tea,”
the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
“I’ve had nothing yet,”
Alice replied in an offended tone,
“so I can’t take more.”
“You mean you can’t take less,”
said the Hatter:
“It’s very easy to take more than nothing.”
Utterances like
Take some more tea
carry the presupposition that one has already had some. The March Hare is oblivious to this aspect of language, of which the annoyed Alice is keenly aware.

Communicative Presumption:
Unless there is evidence to the contrary, a speaker is assumed to be speaking with some identifiable communicative intent.
Problems with the message model
e.g: Maria saves the magazines that Pablo left under the bed
1. Maria saves the magazines, that Pablo left, under the bed.

2. Maria saves the magazines that Pablo left, under the bed.
e.g: answering machine.
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