Pragmatics


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  • Pragmatics
    • Pragmatics is when contextual factors govern our choice of language and the way we interpret the language of other speakers
      • To understand a text with pragmatic meaning, we need to do more than decode the semantic meaning of individual words
        • Each word evokes a store of knowledge that we make use of to interpret a whole piece of text
          • This unique store of contextual knowledge  built up from our experience =  a schema
    • Deixis
      • Deictic expressions are context bound and characterised by the use of 3 types of deictic terms
        • Person deixis = names and personal pronouns
          • We
          • I
          • him
        • Spatial deixis = words of place
          • Adverbs
            • Here
            • There
          • Demonstratives
            • This
            • That
          • Orientational
            • Left
            • Right
          • Deictic verbs
            • Come
            • Go
        • Deictic expressions are often used between speakers within a shared context
          • But there can be two types of deictic expressions
            • Proximal deixis = Refer to things close to the speaker
            • Distal deixis = Refer to things at a distance form the speaker
        • Temporal deixis = indicators of time
          • Adverbs
            • Today
            • Tomorrow
            • Yesterday
    • Theories
      • The Cooperative Principle
        • The general idea that people work together to communicate
        • To explain this principle Grice came up with four conversational maxims
          • Quality
            • Speak honestly
          • Manner
            • Be clear and avoiding ambiguity
          • Relevance
            • Speak about what is relevant to the topic being discussed
          • Quantity
            • Do not say too little/too much
          • These are not rigid rules, but breaking them indicates there is something abnormal about the conversation
            • This creates implicatures = implied meanings for a listener to infer from a speaker when a maxim has been broken
      • Politeness
        • Goffman's Face Theory stated that people are mindfulof others' face needs
          • Negative face need `= the need to feel independent and not be imposed upon
            • Achieved by negative politeness strategy that tries to minimise nay threat to face
              • An indirect request
              • Apologising
          • Positive face need = the need to feel valued and appreciated
            • Achieved by positive politeness strategy
              • Compliments and flattery
  • Context

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