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PRAGMATICS HOW TO DO THINGS WITH WORDS
What is Pragmatics? Pragmatics is the study of invisible meaning. Identifying what is meant but not said. J. L. Austin
Considerations within Pragmatics Context – Linguistic – Physical Deixis Reference Anafora Presupposition
Speech Acts LOCUTIONARY ACT: THE RECOGNITION OF THE COMMUNICATIVE ACT. ILLOCUTIONARY ACT: SPEAKER MAKING THE UTTERANCE. PERLOCUTIONARY ACT: THE RECEPTION AND INTERPRETATION OF THE UTTERANCE BY THE HEARER
REPRESENTATIVES: The speaker is committed, in varying degrees to the truth of a proposition, e. g AFFIRM, BELIEVE, CONCLUDE, DENY, REPORT. DIRECTIVES: The speaker tries to get the hearer to do something, e. g. ASK, CHALLENGE, COMMAND, INSIST, REQUEST. COMMISSIVES: The speaker is committed, in varying degrees, to a certain course of action. e. g. GUARANTEE, PLEDGE, PROMISE, SWEAR, VOW. EXPRESSIVES: The speaker expresses an attitude about a state of affairs, e. g. APOLOGIZE, DEPLORE, CONGRATULATE, THANK, WELCOME. DECLARATIVES: The speaker alters the external status or condition of an object or situation solely by making the utterance, e. g. I RESIGN, I BAPTIZE, YOU’RE FIRE, WAR IS HEREBY DECLARED.
Speech Acts Direct Speech Acts Indirect Speech Acts
Examples 'BABY SALE - GOING CHEAP' (poster seen in shop window - but no babies are for sale). 'Quick! Fire!' (and you know you must run). 'Pass the salt' (and you know it's not an order). 'Are you going into town? ' (and you know it's a request for the person to come with you). 'He's got a knife!' (and you don't ask how sharp it is) 'I promise to be good. ' (and you don't expect a repeat of the bad deed). 'Another pint. . . ? ' (and you know you've already had one). 'I said, 'Now!'' (and you know when). 'I put him forward for the honour. ' (and you know who gets it). 'Gosh - it's cold in here!' (and someone shuts the door or window).
Politeness Face – The presentation of the self to the other. – Could be in positive or negative terms. Face-threatening act – Something that does damage to one’s face. Face-saving act
Two types of face: Positive and Negative Positive Face: Honor – The public self. – The positive consistent self-image or ‘personality’ (crucially including the desire that this self-image be appreciated and approved of) by interactants. – the want of every member that his wants be desirable to at least Negative Face: Privacy – The concept of the right to privacy. – The basic claim to territories, personal preserves, rights to nondistraction – the want of every ‘competent adult member’ that his actions be unimpeded by others.
The Cooperative Principle Grice suggested that conversation is based on a shared principle of cooperation, something like: “Make your conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged. ”
Grice’s Maxims of Quantity: 1. “Make your contribution as informative as required. ” 2. “Do not make your contribution more informative than is required. ” Maxims of Quality: Be truthful. 1. “Do not say what you believe to be false. ” 2. “Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence. ”
Grice’s Maxim of Relation: “Be relevant. ” Maxims of Manner: “Be perspicuous. ” 1. “Avoid obscurity of expression. ” 2. “Avoid ambiguity. ” 3. “Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity). ” 4. “Be orderly. ” 5. “Be Polite. ”
Implicatures These maxims (or, more precisely, their violation) form the basis for inferences that we draw in conversation, which Grice called implicatures (to distinguish them from formal logical implications). Grice asserted that different ways of violating these maxims give rise to different types of implicatures.
How to Violate Conversational Maxims “Quietly and unostentatiously” I ask, Do you love me? And you answer Yes. (quietly violates maxim of quality; hence, a lie) Overtly opting out of a maxim: A colleague asks, How is the job search going? and I respond, Sorry, that’s confidential. (explicit information that maxim of quantity cannot be satisfied, no additional implicature needed. )
How to Violate Conversational Maxims Coping with a clash between maxims: Another student asks you, Where does Mr. Jara live? and you answer, Somewhere in Providencia. (You know that the student wants to visit my house, but you don’t know exactly where I live. To avoid violating the maxim of quality – providing information you know to be untrue – you violate the maxim of quantity – providing less information than was asked for. )
How to Violate Conversational Maxims Flouting a maxim in order to exploit it: Unlike someone who is simply violating a maxim, someone who is flouting a maxim expects the listener to notice. Flouting the second Maxim of Quantity: A: What can you tell me about Catherine’s ability to concentrate on a task? B: Catherine is a butterfly flitting from flower to flower. (invites a metaphorical interpretation)
How to Violate Conversational Maxims Flouting the first Maxim of Manner (obscurity): A: What are you baking? B: Be I are tea aitch dee ay wye see ay kay ee. Flouting the third Maxim of Manner (prolixity): A: I hear you went to the opera last night; how was the lead singer? B: The singer produced a series of sounds corresponding closely to the score of an aria from '"Rigoletto. "
How to Violate Conversational Maxims Flouting the first Maxim of Quality (avoid falsehoods): A: Tehran's in Turkey, isn't it? B: And London's in Armenia, I suppose. Flouting the Maxim of Relation (be relevant): A: What on earth has happened to the roast beef? B: The dog is looking very happy.