22 terms

Pragmatics (with examples)

STUDY
PLAY

Terms in this set (...)

pragmatics
the study of various aspects of language use in particular situations, dealing with the ways in which language users use and interpret words and utterances
linguistic context
the environment of a given word in an utterance

EXAMPLE
THE RESTAURANT IS ON THE RIGHT bank OF THE RIVER.
discourse
the physical product of language use in a particular situation consisting of all the utterances made in the same situation

EXAMPLE
John gave the sheriff the gun the man had dropped. The sheriff killed the man with the gun.
physical context
the real life situation in which language is used
deictic elements
pronominal and adverbial expressions which can only be interpreted if the speaker's immediate physical context is known
deixis
the use of deictic elements
presupposition
a proposition that follows from both a positive sentence and its negative counterpart, and which both the speaker and the hearer assume to be true

EXAMPLE
Your brother wants to see you. Your brother doesn't want to see you. --> YOU HAVE A BROTHER.
language functions
any of the functions in which language can be used: cognitive, expressive, directive, phatic, metalinguistic, poetic
cognitive function, a.k.a. propositional fuction or descriptive function
the communication of a state of affairs

EXAMPLE
Today is Monday.
expressive function, a.k.a. affective function
the expression of the speaker's attitudes, emotions and feelings

EXAMPLE
Oh!
directive function
influencing the hearer's behaviour or attitude

EXAMPLE
Come here!
phatic function
establishing and maintaining contact with the hearer

EXAMPLE
Hi!
metalinguistic function
talking about language in order to clarify certain aspects of it

EXAMPLE
The word 'run' is a verb.
poetic function, a.k.a. aesthetic function
the use of language for its own sake, that is for the pleasure it gives speaker and hearer, rather than for perfoming any other function

EXAMPLE
Pat a cake, pat a cake, baker's man.
speech act theory
Austin and Searle's theory of illocutionary acts
illocutionary act
the act the speaker performs in and while saying an utterance realising his communicative intention (e.g. stating, asserting, reporting, ordering, requesting etc.)
performative verb
verb which explicitly performs an illocutionary act

EXAMPLE
I hereby CERTIFY that ...
direct speech act
a speech act realised by a syntactic structure which is most obviously associated with that speech act

EXAMPLE
Go away! / Leave! / Do you have a house?
indirect speech act
a speech act using syntactic structures that are more usually associated with other speech acts

EXAMPLE
It's time you left. / You'd better leave. (instead of 'Leave!')
conversational implicatures
implications following from an utterance on the basis of Grice's maxims

EXAMPLE
'it is raining.' --> WE'D BETTER CLOSE THE WINDOW
Grice's maxim 1
Make your contribution as informative as required but not more informative than is required.

EXAMPLE
A: Have you cleaned your room and done the shopping?
B: I have cleaned my room. --> B hasn't done the shopping.
Grice's maxim 2
Be relevant.

EXAMPLE
A: The doorbell rang.
B: I'm in the bath. --> B means: I can't go, please, go yourself.