Pragmatics

Topics: Pragmatics, Illocutionary act, Speech act Pages: 6 (1439 words) Published: July 20, 2014
University of San Carlos – Technological Center

ENGL 102N – Introduction to Linguistics
A Written Report on Pragmatics

Presented by:
John Reyrani E. Cadeleña
Mark Christian A. Generalao
Jan Kentrex C. Palalay
AB Linguistics & Literature – III

Presented to:
Ms. Cindy Augusto, MA
12:30-1:30 PM MWF

PRAGMATICS

A subfield of linguistics that studies how people comprehend and produce a communicative act or speech act in a concrete speech situation which is usually a conversation. It studies the aspects of meaning and language use that are dependent on the speaker, the addressee, and other features of the context of utterance.

ETYMOLOGY

The word pragmatics derives via Latin pragmaticus from the Greek πραγματικός (pragmatikos), meaning amongst others "fit for action",which comes from πρᾶγμα (pragma), "deed, act", and that from πράσσω (prassō), "to pass over, to practise, to achieve".

HISTORY

Pragmatics, the youngest linguistic discipline, has a venerable past: all the way from the Greek sophists through the medieval nominalists and nineteenth-century pragmatic thinkers to today’s workers in various sub-disciplines of linguistics, sociology, psychology, literary research, and other branches of the humanities and social sciences. 

There are three stages in the development of pragmatics:

1st Stage

1930 - The term “Pragmatics” was used at for the first time. It was the branch of Semiotics. 1938 - Carnap said that pragmatics should focus on relationship between users, words and reference relationship.

1940 - Charles Morris divided semiology into 3 parts: syntactics/syntax, semantics and pragmatics.

2nd Stage

1950 – 1960 - 3 philosophers: Austin, Searle and Paul Grice established their theory of Speech act and implicature theory.

3rd Stage

1977 - Jacob L. Mey published the 1st Journal of Pragmatics in Holland 1983 - Levinson wrote his book “Pragmatics” whereas Geoffrey Leech wrote his “Principle of Pragmatics”.
1988 - the set-up of International Pragmatics Association (IPrA). This was a year which noted as a year when pragmatics turned into an independent discipline.

FOCUS AND CONTENT

Some of the aspects of language studied in pragmatics include: 

- Deixis: meaning 'pointing to' something. In verbal communication however, deixis in its narrow sense refers to the contextual meaning of pronouns, and in its broad sense, what the speaker means by a particular utterance in a given speech context. 

- Presupposition: referring to the logical meaning of a sentence or meanings logically associated with or entailed by a sentence. 

- Performative: implying that by each utterance a speaker not only says something but also does certain things: giving information, stating a fact or hinting an attitude. The study of performatives led to the hypothesis of Speech Act Theory that holds that a speech event embodies three acts: a locutionary act, an illocutionary act and a perlocutionary act (Austin, 1962; Searle, 1969). 

- Implicature: referring to an indirect or implicit meaning of an utterance derived from context that is not present from its conventional use. 

- Ambiguity: is an attribute of any concept, idea, statement or claim whose meaning, intention or interpretation cannot be definitively resolved according to a rule or process consisting of a finite number of steps.

AREAS OF INTEREST
The study of the speaker's meaning, not focusing on the phonetic or grammatical form of an utterance, but instead on what the speaker's intentions and beliefs are. The study of the meaning in context, and the influence that a given context can have on the message. It requires knowledge of the speaker's identities, and the place and time of the utterance. The study of implicatures, i.e. the things that are communicated even though they are not explicitly expressed....
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