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PRAGMATICS – George Yule. 1. DEFINITIONS AND BACKGROUND. “ The study of contextual meaning communicated by a speaker or writer , and interpreted by a listener or reader .” ( G.Yule ) “ The study of the relation of signs to their interpreters .” (Charles Morris)

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1 definitions and background
1. DEFINITIONS AND BACKGROUND
  • “Thestudy of contextual meaningcommunicatedby a speaker orwriter, and interpretedby a listenerorreader.” (G.Yule)
  • “Thestudy of therelation of signstotheirinterpreters.” (Charles Morris)
  • “Thestudy of therelationsbetweenlinguisticforms and itsusers(…)Onlypragmaticsallowshumansintotheanalysis: theirassumptions, purposes, goals, and actionstheyperformwhilespeaking.” (G.Yule)
pragmatics is
PRAGMATICS IS…

1- THE STUDY OF SPEAKER MEANING

WHAT PEOPLE MEAN bytheirutterancesratherthanwhatthewordsorphrasesmight mean bythemselves.

semantics
Semantics
  • It is the study of meaning context free. It says how words literary are connected to things. Semantic analysis makes relationship between descriptions and status of affair in the world. Regardless of how produce that regards.
syntax
Syntax
  • It is the study of relationship between linguistic forms, how they are arranged in a sequence and which sequence is well-formed. It takes place without any attention to the reference or users of it (the form).
what are the advantages and disadvantages of studying language via pragmatics
What are the advantages and disadvantages of studying language via pragmatics?
  • The most important advantages are the clarification of speaker intention, their assumptions, their purposes and kinds of actions (e.g. request) that are performing when they speak.
  • The main disadvantage is that this is very difficult to analyze all aspects of human in a consistent and objective way.
2 the study of contextual meaning
2- TheStudyof Contextual Meaning
  • Importance of the CONTEXT: Thecircumstances and theaudienceorpublic.
3 the study of how more gets communicated than said
3-The study of how more getscommunicatedthansaid.
  • TheINFERENCESmadebylistenersorreaders in ordertoarrive at aninterpretation of theintendedmeaning.
  • A greatdeal of whatisUNSAID isrecognized as part of whatiscommunicated.
  • Thestudy of “invisible meaning”
4 the study of the expression of relative distance
4-The study of theexpression of relativedistance
  • TheCLOSENESS orDISTANCE of thelistenerorreader determines howmuchneedstobesaid.

Forexample:

A: there is a store over there (Let‘s go inside)

B: no (I don‘t want to go inside)

A: why not? (why do you not want to go inside?)

B: I‘m tired. (I don‘t want to because I‘m tired.)

in other words
IN OTHER WORDS…

PRAGMATICS studies HOW PEOPLE MAKE SENSE OF EACH OTHER LINGUISTICALLY.

Forexample:

A: So_ didyou?

B: Hey_ whowouldn’t?

Twofriends in a conversationmayimplysomethings and infersomeotherswithoutprovidinganyclearlinguisticevidence. So, pragmaticsrequiresustomakesense of whatpeoplehave in mind.

regularity
REGULARITY
  • Luckily, peopletendtobehave in fairlyREGULARwayswhenit comes tousinglanguage. As part of social groupswefollow general expectedpatterns of behaviour.

Forexample: “I foundanoldbike. Thechainwasrusted and thetyres flat”.

Itwouldbepragmaticallyoddtosay:

“I foundanoldbike. A bike has a chain. Thechainwasrusted. A bikeaslo has tyres. Thetyreswere flat.”

slide17

1.More was being communicated than was being said.

2.Nothing in the use of the language forms is inaccurate, but getting the pragmatics wrong might be offensive.

context
Context
  • Environment in which a referring expression is used is called context.
  • For example, when in the center of a city you see the word “Bank” on a building you feel that Bank means a financial institute. Here the physicalcontexthelped you to understand the meaning of the word.
co text
Co-text
  • Co-text of a word is the set of other words used in the same phrase or sentence before or after that word.
  • The surrounding co- text has a strong effect on what we think the word probably means.
  • For example, in the sentence: ”the bank will be opened soon“ the co-text help us to understand the intended meaning of the word “bank”.
  • The co-text clearly limits the range of possible interpretations we might have for a word.
  • Of course, co-text is just a linguistic part of the environment in which a referring expression is used.
  • The physical environment, or context, is perhaps more easily recognized as having a powerful impact on how words are to be interpreted.
2 deixis and distance
2.DEIXIS and DISTANCE
  • DEIXIS: “pointingvialangauge”

Toaccomplishthispointingwe use deicticexpressionsorindexicals.

i.e: “What’sthat?” (usedtoindicatesth. in theimmediatecontext.)

Deicticexpressionsdependonthe speaker and hearersharingthesamespatialcontext, in face-tofacespokeninteraction.

slide22

I played tennis. Then I went to the beach.

Each of the utterances above consists of two sentences. Think about the first utterance for a moment and ask yourself who the subject of both sentences is. You'll probably come to the conclusion that it is the same person ('I') in both sentences, but it is not possible to determine who exactly I refers to outside of an actual speech situation. When someone uses I in a real-life chat, you can see and hear that person, and therefore you are able to resolve who the word refers to. But outside of a real discourse situation, this is no longer possible. Words like I, which carry a meaning that can only be retrieved with access to the situation they are used in, are called deictic expressions and the phenomenon of expressions pointing to things in the context is known as deixis.

types of indexicals
Types of indexicals
  • Person deixis: usedtopointpeople. (me, you)
  • Spatial deixis: usedtopointlocation (here, there).
  • Temporal dexis: usedtopointlocation in time (now, then).

i.e: “I’llputthishere, ok?”

person deixis
PERSON DEIXIS

There are 3 categories:

  • SPEAKER (I)
  • ADDRESSEE (YOU)
  • OTHERS (HE- SHE-IT- THEY)

SOCIAL DEIXIS: formsusedtoindicaterelative social status. In manylanguagesdeicticcategoriesbecomemarkers of relative social status.

HONORIFICS: expressionsthatmarkthattheaddresseeis of higher status.

examples of social deixis
Examples of SOCIAL DEIXIS

In Spanishthe“Tú”- “Usted” distinction.

  • Thechoice of oneformwillcommunicatesomething, notdirectlysaid, aboutthespeaker’sview of hisrelationwiththeaddressee.
  • Thehigher, older and more powerful speaker willtendto use the “tú” and viceversa.
  • Nowadays, theagedistinctionremains more powerfulthantheeconomicdistinction in manycountries.
using the 3 rd person form
Usingthe 3rdpersonform
  • Communicatesdistance and non-familiarity. Also, it has anironicorhumorouspurpose.

i.e: Wouldhishighnesslikesomecoffee?

  • Alsousedtomakeaccusations:

“Somebodydidn’tclean up afterhimself” (lessdirectthan “Youdidn’tclean”

spatial deixis
SPATIAL DEIXIS

FormsusedtopointtoLOCATION

i.e: “Here” and “There” “Come” and “Go”

PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTANCE

Whenspeakersmarkhowcloseordistantsomethingisperceivedtobe.

i.e: “Thatmanoverthere” impliespsychologicaldistance.

DEICTIC PROJECTION: whenspeakersact as ifthey are somewhereelse.

i.e: “I´mnotherenow.” (telephoneanswering machine)

Recordingis a performance for a futureaudience in which I project my presencetobe in therequiredlocation.

temporal deixis
TEMPORAL DEIXIS

Formsusedtopointtolocationin time.

i.e: “now” - “then”

In contrasttonow, the distal expressionthenappliestobothpast and future time relativetothespeaker’spresent time.

i.e: “I was in Scotlandthen”

“I’llseeyouthen”

deixis and grammar
DEIXIS AND GRAMMAR

Thedistinctionsforperson, spatial, and temporal deixis can beseen at work in Englishgrammarstructuressuch as DIRECT and INDIRECT (reported)SPEECH.

i.e: Are youplanningtobeherethisevening? –

I askedher.

reported form
REPORTED FORM
  • I askedherifshewasplaningtobetherethatevening

There’ s a shiftfromthe “near speaker” meaning of directspeechtothe “awayfrom speaker” meaning of reportedspeech, withthe use of DISTAL DEICTIC forms.

3 reference and inference
3. REFERENCE AND INFERENCE

REFERENCE: anact in which a speaker orwriter, uses linguisticformstoenable a listenerorreader, toidentifysomething.

Words in themselves do notreferanything. Peoplerefer.

REFERRING EXPRESSIONS: linguisticformslikepropernouns, definiteorindefinitenounphrases, and pronouns.

Thechoice of onetype of theseexpressionsratherthananotherisbasedonwhatthe speaker assumesthelisteneralreadyknows.

for example
FOR EXAMPLE:

“Look at him” (use of pronoun)

“Thewoman in red” (definitearticle)

“A womanwaslooking at you” (indefinitearticle and pronoun)

  • So, referenceistiedtothespeaker’sgoals and beliefsaboutthelistenerknowledge in the use of language.
inference
INFERENCE
  • Forsuccessfulreferencetooccur, wemustrecognizethe role of INFERENCE and COLLABORATION between speaker and listener in thinkingwhattheother has in mind.

Sometimeswe use vague expressionsrelyingonthelistener’sabilitytoinferwhatreferentwehave in mind:

i.e: “Thebluething”, “Thatstuff”

Wesometimeseveninventnames.

pragmatic connection
PRAGMATIC CONNECTION

A conventionalassociationbetween a person’sname and a kind of objectwithin a socio-culturallydefinedcommunity.

i.e: “Can I borrowyour Shakespeare?”

“Picasso’sonthefarwall”

Giventhecontext, theintended and inferredreferentisnot a personbutprobably a book.

the role of co text
THE ROLE OF CO-TEXT

Co- text: thelinguisticenvironment in which a wordisused.

Theco-textclearlylimitsourrange of possibleinterpretationswemighthavefor a word.

i.e: “BrazilwinsWorld Cup”

Brazilwouldbethereferringexpression, and therest of thesentencetheco-text.

slide36
CO- TEXT

CONTEXT

Thephysicalenvironment in which a wordisused.

  • Just a linguisticpart of theenvironment in which a referringexpressionisused.
guess the context for these referring expressions
GUESS THE CONTEXT FOR THESE REFERRING EXPRESSIONS
  • “Your ten-thirtyjustcancelled.”
  • Theheart-attackmustn’tbe moved”
  • “A couple of roomshavecomplainedabouttheheat”
anaphoric reference
ANAPHORIC REFERENCE

Theexpressionsusedtomaintainreferencetosomethingorsomeonealreadymentioned.

i.e: “A manwaslooking at us. Hethendisappeared.”

Theinitialreferenceisoftenindefinite (A man…) and iscalledtheANTECEDENT.

Thesubsequentreferenceisdefiniteor a prononun (He…) and iscalledANAPHORA.

5 maxims of the cooperative principle
5. MAXIMS of the COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLE

1- QUANTITY:

Makeyourcontribution as INFORMATIVE as required. Do NOT makeit more informativethanrequired.

2-QUALITY

Makeyourcontribution TRUE. Do NOT saywhatyoubelieveis false. Do NOT saythatforwhichyoulackadequateevidence.

slide41

3- RELATION: Be relevant.

4- MANNER: Be perspicuous:

  • Avoidobscurity of expression
  • Avoidambiguity.
  • Be brief (avoidunnecessaryprolixity)
  • Be orderly.
these maxims should be recognized as unstated assumptions we have in conversations
Thesemaximsshouldberecognized as unstatedassumptionswehave in conversations

However, there are certainexpressionsspeakers use tomarkthattheymaybe in danger of NOTfullyadheringtotheprinciples.

HEDGES: cautious notes abouthowanutteranceshouldbetakenwhengivinginformation.

examples of hedges
EXAMPLES OF HEDGES:
  • Hedges of QUALITY:

“ As far as I know, they’remarried.”

“I maybemistaken, but I thought I saw a wedding ring onherfinger.”

“I’mnotsureifthisisright, but I hearditwas a secretceremony.”

“He couldn’tlivewithouther, I guess”

hedges of quantity
HEDGES OF QUANTITY:

“ As youprobablyknow,I’mterrified of bugs”

“ So, tocut a longstory short, wegrabbedourstaff and run”

“I won’t bore youwithallthedetails, butitwasanexcitingtrip”

hedges of relevance
HEDGES OF RELEVANCE
  • “ I don’tknowifthisisimportant, but…”
  • “Thismaysoundlike a dumbquestion, but…”
  • Nottochangethesubject, but…”
  • “ Oh, bytheway…”
  • Well, anyway…”
hedges of manner
HEDGES OF MANNER

“Thismaybe a bit confused, but…”

“I’mnotsureifthismakessense, but…”

“I don’tknowifthisisclear at all, but…”

conversational implicature
CONVERSATIONAL IMPLICATURE
  • Thebasicassumption in conversationisthat, otherwiseindicated, theparticipants are adheringtothecooperativeprinciple and themaxims.
  • Thefollowingexamples show a speaker conveying more than he saidviaconversationalimplicature
slide48

a: “I hope youbroughtthe bread and cheese.”

b: “Ah, I broughtthe bread.”

  • Speaker B assumesthat A infers

thatwhatisnotmentionedwasnotbrought.

a: “Do youlike ice-cream?”

b: “Isthe Pope catholic?”

conventional implicatures
CONVENTIONAL IMPLICATURES
  • In contrasttothepreviousimplicatures, theseones are NOTbasedonthecooperativeprinciple’smaxims.
  • They do NOThavetooccur in conversation and don’tdependonspecialcontextsforinterpretation.
  • They are associatedwithSPECIFIC WORDS and result in additionalconveyedmeanings.
for example the english conjunctions but and and
Forexample: theEnglishconjunctionsBUT and AND

Theinterpretation of anyutterancewiththewordBUTwillimplyanimplicature of CONTRAST and withAND an ADDITION.

“Mary suggestedblack, but I chosewhite”.

  • ThewordsEVEN and YET alsohaveconventionalimplicature.
  • Evenimpliescontrarytoexpectation.
  • Yetimpliesthatthepresentsituationisexpectedtobediffererent at a later time.
6 speech acts and events
6. SPEECH ACTS and EVENTS
  • Actionsperformedviautterances are calledSpeechActs.

In Englishthey are commonlyknown as: apology, compliment, complaint, invitation, promise, orrequestandapplytothespeaker’scommunicativeintention.

  • Thecircumstancessurroundingtheutterance are calledtheSpeechEventand it’stheirnaturethat determines theinterpretation of anutterance as performing a particular speechact.
for example1
Forexample:

“This tea isreallycold!”

Thisutterance can beinterpreted as a complaintor as a praise, dependingonthecircumstances. (Ifitiswinterorsummer, a coldor a hotday, etc.)

speech acts
SPEECH ACTS

1- Thelocutionaryact: thebasicact of utterancewhich produces a meaningfullinguisticexpression.

Ifyouhavedifficulty in producing a meaningfulutterance (becauseit’s a foreignlanguageoryou’retongue-tied), thenyoumightfailto produce a locutionaryact.

Ahamokofa

WHAT??

2 illocutionary act
2. ILLOCUTIONARY ACT
  • Thecommunicativeforceof anutterance. Weformanutterancewithsomekind of function in mind:
  • Anoffer, a statement, a promise, a threat, etc.

3. THE PERLOCUTIONARY ACT:

Theeffect of anutterance

the same locutionary act can represent different illocutionary forces
Thesamelocutionaryact can representdifferentillocutionaryforces:
  • A prediction
  • A warning
  • A promise
how can the speaker assume that the intended illocutionary force wil be recognized by the hearer
How can the speaker assumethattheintendedillocutionaryforcewilberecognizedbythehearer?
  • IFIDs: IllocutionaryForceIndicatingDevices
  • FelicityConditions
ifids felicity conditions
IFIDsFelicityConditions

ThemostcommonIFIDs are performativeverbs: verbsthatexplicitlynametheillocutionaryactbeingperformed.

i.e: “I promiseyouthat…”

“I warnyouthat…”

“I predictthat…”

Certainexpectedorappropiatecircumstancesfor a speechacttoberecognized as intended.

i.e: “ I sentenceyoutosixmonths of prison”

Ifthe speaker wasn’t a judge in a court, this performance wouldbeinfelicitousorinappropiate.

other ifids other felicity conditions
OTHER IFIDsOtherFelicityconditions
  • Word order
  • Stress
  • Intonation

i.e: “You’regoing!” (I tellyou)

“You’regoing?”( I requestconfirmation)

“Are yougoing?”( I askyouif)

  • General Conditions:ontheparticipants, forexample, thatthey can understandthesamelanguage, and thattheyaren’tplay-actingorbeing non-sensical.
  • Content Conditions: forexample, a promisemustbeabout a futureevent.
slide60
PreparatoryConditions: specificrequirements prior toanutterance in orderforittocount as a particular speechact.

Sincerityconditions: requirementsonthegenuineintentions of a speaker.

Forexample: for a promise, the speaker genuinelyintendstocarryoutthefutureaction.

the essential condition
TheessentialCondition:

A requirementthattheutterancecommitsthe speaker totheactperformed.

Theutterancechanges my statefrom non-obligationtoobligation.

speech act classification
SpeechActClassification

1- DECLARATIONS: speechactsthatchangetheworldviaanutterance. The speaker has tohave a specific role, in a specificcontext, in ordertoperform a declarationappropiately.

  • “I nowpronounceyouhusband and wife” (Priest)
  • “You’reout” (referee)
2 representatives speech acts that state what the speaker believes to be the case or not
2- REPRESENTATIVES: speechactsthatstatewhatthe speaker believestobethe case ornot.

Statements of fact, assertions, conclusions, descriptions, etc.

  • “TheEarthis flat.”
  • “Chomsky didn’twriteaboutpeanuts”.
3 expressives speech acts that state what the speaker feels
3- EXPRESSIVES: speechactsthatstatewhatthe speaker feels.

Theyexpresspsychologicalstates and can bestatements of pleasure, pain, likes, dislikes, joy, orsorrow.

  • “I’mreallysorry!”
  • “Congratulations!”
4 directives speech acts used to get someone else to do sth
4- DIRECTIVES: speechactsusedtogetsomeoneelseto do sth.

Theyexpresswhatthe speaker wants. They are: commands, orders, requests, suggestions. They can be positive ornegative.

  • “Gimme a cup of coffee. Makeitblack”.
  • “Don’ttouchthat”.
  • “Couldyoulend me a pen, please?”
5 commissives speech acts used by speakers to commit themselves to some future action
5- COMMISSIVES: speechactsusedbyspeakerstocommitthemselvestosomefutureaction.

They are: promises, threats, refusals, pledges, etc.

  • “ I’llbe back”.
  • “We are goingtogetitrightnext time.”
  • “Wewon’t do that”.
direct and indirect speech acts
DIRECT AND INDIRECT SPEECH ACTS
  • DIRECT: whenthere’s a directrelationshipbetweenthestructure (declarative, interrogative, imperative) and itscommunicativefunction (statement, question, commnad/request.)
  • INDIRECT: Indirectrelationbetweenthestructure and function.
example of indirect speech acts
Example of indirectspeechacts:
  • “Moveout of theway!” – (theonlydirectcommand.)
  • “Do youhaveto stand in front of the T.V?”(A questionfunctioning as anindirectcommand)
  • “You’restanding in front of the T.V!”.( a declarativefunctioning as anindirectrequest)
7 politeness and interaction
7. POLITENESS and INTERACTION
  • A linguisticinteractionisnecessarily a social interaction.
  • Wetakepart in a widerange of interactions, mostlywithstrangers, wherethesocial distancedeterminedbyexternalfactorsisdominant.
  • However, there are otherfactors, likeamount of impositionordegree of friendliness, which are oftennegotiated.
politeness
POLITENESS
  • “Polite social behaviour” within a culture. Weassumethatparticipants in aninteraction are generallyaware of such cultural norms and principles of politeness.

Face: thepublicself-image of a person. Itreferstothatemotional and social sense of selfthateveryone has and expectstheotherstorecognize.

Politeness in aninteraction can bedefined as themeansemployedto show awareness of anotherperson’sface.

examples of social distance respect or deference
Examples of social distance: respectordeference

“Excuse, Mr. Buckingham, can I talktoyoufor a second?”

Social closeness: friendliness,camaraderie, orsolidarity.

“Hey, Bucky, got a minute?”

face wants a person s expectations that their pulic self image will be respected
FaceWants: A person’sexpectationsthattheirpulicself-imagewillberespected.
  • If a speaker sayssth. thatrepresents a threattoanotherindividual’sexpectations, regardingself-image, it’sdescribed as a face-threateningact.
  • Whensomeonesaysanutterancethatavoids a potentialthreat t a person’sface, it’scalledface-savingact.

Example

slide73

A: “I’mgoingtotellhimto stop thatawfulnoiserightnow!!” (Face-threateningact)

B: “Perhapsyoucouldjustaskhimifhe’sgoingto stop becauseit’sgetting late and weneedtosleep…” (Face- savingact)

self and other say nothing
Self and Other: Saynothing

Imagine youarrive at a lecturebutyou’veforgotten a pentotakeyour notes. Youthinkthattehpersonnexttoyoumayprovidethesolution.

In thisscenario, you’regoingtobeSELF, and thepersonnexttoyouOTHER.

You: (look in bag, rummage in, search in pockets)

TheOther: “Here, use this.”

that was called a say nothing approach
Thatwascalled a “Saynothingapproach”
  • Withoututtering a word, youhavetheintentionthatyourproblemwillberecognized.
  • Manypeopleprefertohavetheirneedsrecognizedbyotherswihouthavingtoexpressthoseneeds in langauge.
  • Whenthoseneeds are in factrecognized, more has beencommunicatedthanwassaid.
say something off and on record
Saysomething: Off and On record

“Uh, I forgot my pen”

“Hmm, I wonderwhere I put my pen”

Thesestatements are notdirectlyaddressed t theother. Theother can act as iftheyhavenotevenbeenheard.

Off record expressions: utterancesnot

directlyaddressed t anotherone.

on record experssions are direct address froms
On record experssions: are directaddressfroms.

“Give me a pen”

“Lend me yourpen”

These are known as baldon record- they’rethemostdirectapproach, likethe use of imperatives.

Wouldyoulend me a pen, please?” Herewe use mitigatingdevices, likewould and please, thatsoftenthedemand.