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Pragmatics

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Re Becca

on 28 January 2015

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Transcript of Pragmatics

Pragmatics
The Study of Meaning in Context
Deixis
there are expressions with a context-dependent meaning
Speech Acts
Pragmatics focus on...
- the process of communication which results from the interaction
between speakers and hearers
- concepts such as utterance meaning, intention and inference
> communication is primarily seen as the negotiation of meaning
between interlocutors
> recognition of the speaker's communicative intention
> inferences
The telephone is ringing.
A: "That's the telephone."
B: "I'm in the bath."
A: "OK."

Bibliography
Justus-Liebig- Universität Gießen
Introduction to English Linguistics
Instructor: Dr. Beate Damm
Wintersemester 2014/2015

assertives/representatives

directives

commissives

expressives

declarations
A presentation by Marlene Beller, Catharina Erbe, Ina Herkenhoff,
Rebecca Jänicke, Milena Jung, Vanessa Pisching, Jana Zelder

"Pragmatics = meaning minus semantics"

>
semantics
: What does X mean?
>
pragmatics
:
What does the speaker mean
by uttering X?
Classification of illocutionary acts (Searle)
Devices indicating illocutionary force:

speech act verbs

performative utterances

particles

the sentence type

intonation
Indirect
speech acts
the speaker performs a primary speech act via a secondary speech act

the hearer has to interfere the speaker's real intention
“Meet
me

here

same

time

tomorrow
with a book about

this size
.”

me
- who is the writer?
here
- where?
same time
- what point of time?
tomorrow
- what date?
this size
- how big?
we can only understand the sentence if we know the context-dependent meaning of this expressions
Deictic Centre
speaker, place and time

normally shifts when another speaker starts talking

can be projected on the hearer or reader
“When you read these lines
today
, I’ll be no longer in the country.”
Indirect Speech
deictic expressions have to be replaced

I
won’t be
here

next Monday
.”


He
said he wouldn’t be
there

the following Monday
.”
Types of Deixis
Person Deixis
personal and possessive pronouns are used

I/we

– speaker(s)
you

– addressee(s)
he/she/it/they
– other persons
Place Deixis
here - there
near - far
left - right

come - go
bring - take
borrow - lend
Time Deixis
now
soon
then
ago
today
yesterday
tomorrow
present
actual
current
former
future
next
last
Inferences
1. Semantic or logical inferences
based on conventional meaning of words, phrases
two examples:

semantic implications
X: There is a bobtail.
Y: There is a dog.
-> If sentence X is true, sentence Y is also true.

presuppositions
John managed to repair his computer.
pre 1: John tried to repair his computer.
pre 2: John has a computer.
-> predications that are taken for granted when sb. says sth.

2. Pragmatic inferences
require some contextual knowledge

A: What time is it?
B: The evening news just started.

principles, which are basic for human interactions

politness
cooperative behaviour

levels of cooperation
(Grice)

content related maxims form related maxims


quality quantity relation manner


KORTMANN, Bernd: English Linguistics: Essentials. Anglistik.Amerikanistik. Cornelsen Verlag: Berlin, 2005. 223-235.
a. Happy Birthday!
b. Merry Christmas!
c. I hereby declare the meeting is closed
d. A: Will you come to my party tonight?
B: I'm still fighting the flu.
a. to c => The truth is not relevant

It's crucial that the message is conveyed successful
d. => Truth value

Crucial intention B is not coming to the party
Origin of Pragmatics
True origin of pragmatics

->
ordinary language philosophy
study of meaning in context
Two concepts which are important to logic
1. Truth conditions
2. Truth values
1. Speech Act Theory

2. Theory of conversational implicatures
Speech Act Theory
Example:

developed by
Austin
and
Searle
Speech

act
=
utterance
made by a certain
speaker
to a
hearer
in a certain
context
structure
or
semantic properties
are not important
crucial aspect =
intention (illocution)
"There is a policeman at the corner."
statement
request
warning
threat
One statement -> four illocutions

conversational implicatures
a) speakers follow the maxims or
b) speakers violate the maxims

A: Would you like some dessert?
B: Do they eat rice in Japan?
(conversational implicature: Yes, of course)

A: Where does John spend his holidays?
B: Somewhere in Germany.
Social Deixis
relates to the social status of a person

to indicate the social status expressions like
Sir, Madam, Your Honor, Mr President
or

titles
(Doctor, Professor)
are used.
Deixis of Manner
is always accompanied by gesture

The book was
this
thick.
The fish was
so
big.
Why don´t you do it like
this
?


Discourse Deixis
I bet you haven´t heard this story.

in the last chapter, in the next paragraph, as mentioned above...

in conclusion, all in all, anyway, however...
scalar implicatures

a) <all, most, many, some>
b) <always, often, sometimes>

A: Many kids ate biscuits.

B: John often lies.

Cooperative Principle

We always assume that the person we are talking to is cooperative and observes the maxims, at least to a certain extent.

hedges:
As far as I know...
This may be irrelevant but...
I'm not sure whether it's true but...

(Ana)phoric use of Deictic Expressions
entity which has already been introduced

or

will be introduced later in the conversation or text
Examples
In 1998 Fiona worked as a part-time teacher.
She
was married
then
and had three children.
They
were two, four and eight years old.

Mandy wants to go to the theatre, but doesn´t know how to get
there
.

He
is a kind man who gives a million dollars to the poor.
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