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Hello, Everyone!. Part One. Review Exercises. Questions. 1. Define the following 2 terms: (1) Componential analysis (2) Predication analysis 2. What does a predication consist of?. Part Two. New Content. Chapter 6. Pragmatics. 6.1. Some Basic Notions. 6.1.1. Definition.

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part one

Part One

Review Exercises

  • 1. Define the following 2 terms:
  • (1) Componential analysis
  • (2) Predication analysis
  • 2. What does a predication consist of?
part two

Part Two

New Content

chapter 6

Chapter 6




Some Basic Notions

6 1 1



definition 1
Definition 1
  • Pragmatics is the study of those relations between language and context that are grammaticalized(语法化), or encoded in the structure of language.
definition 2
Definition 2
  • Pragmatics is the study of all those aspects of meaning not captured in a semantic theory.
  • (语用学似乎成了语义学什么都可以往里仍的“废纸篓”。(熊学亮 2003:140))
definition 3
Definition 3
  • Pragmatics is the study of the relations between language and context that are basic to an account of language understanding.
definition 4
Definition 4
  • Pragmatics is the study of the ability of language users to pair sentence with the context in which they would be appropriate.
definition 5
Definition 5
  • Pragmatics is the study of deixis, implicature, presupposition, speech acts, and aspects of discourse structure. (Levison 1983: 6-27)
definition 6
Definition 6
  • Pragmatics is the study of linguistic acts and the contexts in which they are performed. (Stalnaker 1972: 383)
definition 7
Definition 7
  • Pragmatics is a theory which seeks to characterize how speakers use the sentences of a language to effect successful communication. (Kempson 1975: 84)
definition 8
Definition 8
  • Pragmatics is the theory of language use and linguistic communication. (Akmajian 1979: 267)
definition 9
Definition 9
  • Pragmatics can be defined as the study of how utterance have meanings in situations. (Leech 1983: x)
definition 10
Definition 10
  • Pragmatic is the science of language seen in relation to its users. (Mey 1993: 5)
definition 11
Definition 11
  • Pragmatics is the study of meaning in interaction(互动意义). (Thomas 1995: 22)
definition 12
Definition 12
  • Pragmatics is concerned with the study of meaning as communicated by a speaker (or writer) and interpreted by a listener (or reader). (Yule 1996: 3)
common place
Common Place
  • 试图去比较各种不同的定义之间的优劣是没有意义的。它们的差别只不过是个侧重面和措辞的问题,它们的共同点是它们都围绕了语言交际中的意义这同一个中心。各种说法不一的定义的存在有利于加深我们对语用学这门学科的理解。(何兆熊等 2000:10)
definition in our book
Definition in our book
  • Pragmatics is the study of how speakers of a language use sentences to effect successful communication.
topics in pragmatics
Topics in pragmatics
  • Pragmatics studies such top;ics as related to language communication, including:
  • deixis, speech acts, indirect language, conversation, politeness, cross-cultural communication, andpresupposition.
appendix origin and development of pragmatics
Appendix:Origin and development of pragmatics
  • 1. The term “Pragmatics” comes from Morris’ (1938) general theory of signs.In his semiotic model, Morris distinguishes the following areas of study:
  • (1) the syntactic aspect, i.e. the relation between different signs Syntax;
  • (2) the semantic aspect, i.e. the relation between sign and its meaning Semantics; and
  • (3) the pragmatic aspect, i.e. the relation between the sign and the sign user Pragmatics.
origin and development of pragmatics
Origin and development of pragmatics
  • 2. Development in linguistics
  • (1)Saussure: 语言学所要研究的是“语言”(langue),而不是“言语”(parole),因为语言是一个手一定规则制约的体系,而言语则不是,只有语言才能经得起严谨的、科学的分析,而言语则不能。
  • (2)Chomsky: 以句法为中心,把语言的意义排除在语言研究之外。
  • (3)The rise of semantics.
  • (4) The rise of Contextualism: Malinowsky, Firth, Halliday
origin and development of pragmatics25
Origin and development of pragmatics
  • 3. Development in philosophy
  • 哲学家对语言的兴趣源于他们对语言逻辑的研究。他们发现严密的形式逻辑不能完全结实自然语言,自然语言似乎具有它自己不合乎形式逻辑的“逻辑”:
  • (1)Austin: speech act theory
  • (2) Grice: cooperative principle
  • (3) Sperberand Wilson: relevance theory
6 1 2


Pragmatics vs. semantics

1 research methods
1. Research methods
  • 1. Semantics: The meaning of language was considered as something intrinsic , and inherent, i.e., a property attached to language itself. Therefore, meanings of words, sentences were all studied in isolation from language use.
  • 2. Pragmatics: It would be impossible to give an adequate description of meaning if the context of language use is left unconsidered. Therefore, context is taken into consideration.
2 scope
2. Scope
  • 逻辑语义学首先关心的是和真实值有关的那些意义范畴。而只有“思想”才可能具有真实值,也就是说只有“思想”才会有真实与否这个问题。(Frege 1967: 20)
  • 三类句子:
  • (1)表达思想
  • (2)不具有表达思想的那种意义
  • (3)表达了比思想更多的的内容
  • (4) 不足以表达思想




  • (1)不具有表达思想的那种意义
  • (2)表达了比思想更多的的内容
  • (3) 不足以表达思想
  • (1):表示请求、命令、意愿、感叹的句子,以及除问句之外的其他问句 言语行为
  • (2):包含暗示意义(会话含义、间接语言)的句子 语用推理
  • (3):包含指示性词语的句子 指示
3 key in the distinction
3. Key in the distinction
  • Both semantics and pragmatics study the meaning of a linguistic form. However, they are different in many respects, such as their research methods, their research scope. What essentially distinguishes them is whether in the study of meaning the context of use is considered. If it its not considered, the study is confined to the area of traditional semantics; if it is considered, the study is being carried out in the area of pragmatics.
6 1 3



1 definition
1. Definition
  • As a comprehensive concept, ‘context’ refers to all elements of a communicative situation: the verbal and non-verbal context, the context of the given speech situation and the social context of the relationship between the speaker and hearer, their knowledge, and their attitude. (Bussmann 1996: 100)
  • Pp. 70:
  • Context = linguistic context + situational context
  • +
  • Cognitive context
2 cognitive context
2. Cognitive Context
  • It is generally considered as constituted by the knowledge shared by the speaker and the hearer: (1) knowledge of the language they use, (2) knowledge of what has been said before,(3) knowledge about the world in general, (4) knowledge about the specific situation in which linguistic communication is taking place, and (5) knowledge about each other.
3 importance of context
3. Importance of Context
  • Context determines the speaker’s use o language and also the hearer’s interpretation of what is said to him.
4 examples
4. Examples
  • 1. What may the speaker mean by the following?
  • (1) How did it go?
  • (2) It is cold in here.
  • 2. How can the following sentence make sense for the hearer?
  • (3) it was a hot Christmas day so we wnt down to the beak in the afternoon and had a good time swimming and surfing.
6 1 4


Sentence meaning vs. utterance meaning

1 sentence vs utterance
1. Sentence vs. utterance
  • 1. Sentence: Sentence is a unit of speech constructed according to language-dependent rules, which is relatively complete and independent in respect of content, grammatical structure, and intonation. It is a grammatical unit, abstract, self-contained, and independent of context.
sentence vs utterance
Sentence vs. utterance
  • 2. Utterance: When a sentence is taken as something a speaker utters in a certain situation with a certain purpose, it is treated as an utterance. Therefore, utterance is the string of sounds or written symbols produced by a speaker between two pauses. An utterance can consist of a single word or several sentences.
sentence vs utterance39
Sentence vs. utterance
  • While most utterances take the form of grammatically complete sentences, some utterances do not, and some cannot even be restored to complete sentences.
2 sentence meaning vs utterance meaning
2. Sentence meaning vs. utterance meaning
  • While the meaning of a sentence is abstract and decontextualized, that of an utterance is concrete and context-dependent. The meaning of an utterance is based on sentence meaning; it is the realization of the abstract meaning of a sentence in a real situation of communication, or simply in a context.
3 examples
3. Examples
  • “My bag is heavy”
  • 1. Sentence meaning: BAG (BE HEAVY)
  • 2. Possible utterance meanings:
  • (1) A straightforward statement, telling the hearer that his bag is heavy.
  • (2) an indirect, polite request, asking the hearer to help him carry the bag. (When?)
  • (3) A declining of someone’s request for help. (When?)
4 more examples
4. More examples
  • Try to think of contexts in which the following sentences can be used for other purposes than just stating facts.
  • (1) The room is messy.
  • (2) Oh, it is raining.
  • (3) The music of the movie is good.
  • (4) You have been keeping my notes for a whole week now.

1. Review

2. Pp. 94:

Ex. 1-3 (oral)

3. Prepare 6.2