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Pragmatics. Terminology & Context. Pragmatics: the study of intended meaning often this meaning is “ invisible ” and consists of “ shared assumptions” between speaker and listener Linguistic context: other words used in conjunction with the targeted phrase

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terminology context
Terminology & Context
  • Pragmatics: the study of intended meaning
    • often this meaning is “invisible” and consists of “shared assumptions” between speaker and listener
  • Linguistic context: other words used in conjunction with the targeted phrase
  • Physical context: where and when the targeted words appear
deixis
Deixis
  • Deixis: words that have no specific meaning outside of context; “pointing” words
  • Place
    • here, there, somewhere on the desk
  • Time
    • now, then, later, yesterday, last year, every Tuesday during the term
  • People
    • I, you, she, he, they, someone else, anyone, all of them
inference
Inference
  • Inference is additional information used by the listener to create a connection between what has been said and what must be meant.
  • Inference depends on the listener, not the speaker.
    • Student P: Is American Englishes a gender?
    • Student Q: No, it’s a race and ethnicity.
    • Q has inferred that P is asking if the class meets the gender requirement – not if it is the new third gender after female and male.
reference
Reference
  • Reference: an act by which a speaker uses language to enable a listener to identify something
  • Anaphora: a word used to replace or refer to another—
      • Call Jim; I need his help!
  • Antecedent: the word replaced—
      • Call Jim; I need his help!
  • Vague referents –a writing problem in which the reader cannot infer the writer’s referents.
presuppositions
Presuppositions
  • Presupposition: knowledge the speaker assumers the listener has.
  • Negate the sentence to test for presuppositions
  • Whatever is still true is the presupposition.
    • Peter is an excellent student
    • Peter is not an excellent student
      • Peter is a student
    • Mary loves her husband John.
    • Mary doesn’t love her husband John
      • Mary and John are wife and husband
3 moods 3 speech acts
3 Moods 3 speech acts
  • Imperative mood – commands
    • Don’t sit there!
    • Please come by nine.
    • Let’s not eat here.
  • Indicative mood – statements
    • We bought that yesterday.
    • She doesn’t know the answer.
  • Interrogative mood – questions
    • Want to go now or tomorrow?
    • Don’t you have any money?
direct speech acts
Direct Speech Acts
  • A question is a question
    • What time is it?
    • Where did I put that notebook?
    • Didn’t he write that paper yet?
  • A statement is a statement
    • It’s 12 noon.
    • Alice has not found the lost car keys.
  • A command is a command
    • Tell her what time it is!
    • Tuck in your shirt and stop slouching.
indirect speech acts
Indirect speech acts
  • A statement in form is heard as a command
    • Your bedroom needs to be cleaned before Mom arrives.
    • Exercise and diet are what you need.
  • A statement in form is heard as a question
    • I believe the trash was last taken out by your sister?
    • You put this on the shopping list for a reason.
m ore indirect speech acts
More indirect speech acts
  • A question in form is heard as a statement
    • John knows where the airport is, doesn’t he?
    • Why do I want to buy those expensive pearls?
  • A question in form is heard as a command
    • Is it your turn to do the dishes?
    • Shouldn’t someone your age know better than to skip breakfast?
more indirect speech acts
More indirect speech acts
  • A command in form is heard as a statement
    • You should make yourselves at home.
    • Eat as many cookies as you would like.
  • A command in form is heard as a question
    • If you can stay, please sit down and be comfortable.
    • Let’s try again if everyone is ready.