Pragmatics

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Lecture notes on Pragmatics for PBET 1101, TESL Program Faculty of Education,.University of Malaya.

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Pragmatics

  1. 1. Meaning in Context
  2. 2. Pragmatics1. shared attitude, beliefs, knowledge between the speaker and the hearer a. The mayor denied the criminal’s request because he is cautious. (he – mayor) b. The mayor denied the criminal’s request because he is dangerous. (he –criminal)Note: Exactly the same sentence except for the adjective which defines the antecedent of ‘he’ in (a) and (b). Linguistics for language teachers/Dr. Jessie Grace U. Rubrico
  3. 3. 2. Presupposition • assumption on belief/knowledge implied by a particular word a. Have you stopped exercising? > stopped presupposes . . . b. Ninoy Aquino was assassinated in 1983. > assassination presupposes. . . Linguistics for language teachers/Dr. Jessie Grace U. Rubrico
  4. 4. • speaker (S) assumption of the utterance to be true or known by the hearer (H) When did you stop smoking? –you used to smoke - you no longer smoke• Constancy under negation My car is a wreck My car is not a wreck presupposition: you have a car
  5. 5. 3. DEIXIS – forms used and interpreted based on the location of the speaker or hearer • this, here – near the speaker • that, there – near the listener • come – go a. The cobra is coming into the tent - towards the speaker b. The cobra is going into the tent - away from the speaker Linguistics for language teachers/Dr. Jessie Grace U. Rubrico
  6. 6. a) spatial deixis– here, thereb) temporal deixis – now, then, today, yesterday, tomorrowc) person deixis – him, them, etc.d) things – it, this, these, that, those
  7. 7. 4. Inference - connection between what is said and what must be meant a. Jennee is wearing a Calvin Klein. b. Can I borrow your O’Grady?Note: (a) Calvin Klein signature design or accessories (b) O’Grady book on Contemporary Linguistics Linguistics for language teachers/Dr. Jessie Grace U. Rubrico
  8. 8. 5. Anaphora – referring back a. We saw a lady washing a puppy in a small bath. When she let go, it jumped out of the small bath. • lady, puppy – antecedents • she, it - anaphora b. I was waiting for the cab, but he just drove by without stopping. • antecedent – bus ; anaphora – he • If X is a bus, then X has a driver – inference
  9. 9. 6. Speech Acts • type of action performed by speaker with the utterance • command • request • promise • question • information
  10. 10. Direct speech act• asks information • Did you dine out last night? • Are they coming? • Can they sing well?
  11. 11. Performatives• direct speech act with verbs whose action is a speech act • I assert that UM will beat USM in the ranking. • I promise to take her to the resto? • I order John to eat the meal.• declarative, interrogative, imperative
  12. 12. Structure FunctionYou can drive Declarative Statementa carCan you drive a Interrogative Questioncar?Drive the car Imperative Command/(please) Request Linguistics for language teachers/Dr. Jessie Grace U. Rubrico
  13. 13. Identifying performativesWhich of these use the verb promise as PERFORMATIVE?1. I promise to take Zoe to dinner tonight.2. Zoe promises to take me to dinner tonight.3. I will promise to take Zoe to dinner tonight. Hints (a) subject of the verb must be “I”; performative is about an interaction between speaker and hearers. (b) Performatives must take place in the present.
  14. 14. Felicity Conditions • allow us to determine under when it is appropriate to ask questions, give commands, and so forth.
  15. 15. Felicity Conditions: Asking QuestionsS questions H about X (a mutual friend) 1. S does not know the truth about X. 2. S wants to know the truth about X. 3. S believes H may know the truth about X.Assumptions: 1. if someone asks a question, s/he doesnt know the answer to the question > inherent in condition #1. 2. If someone asks, s/he actually wants to know the truth. (#2) 3. If someone asks you, they think you may know the truth (or answer). (#3)
  16. 16. Felicity Conditions: PromiseS promises H to do Y: 1. S believes H wants Y done. 2. S is able to do Y. 3. S is willing to do Y.
  17. 17. Felicity Conditions: RequestsS requests H to do Z (action): 1. Speaker believes that Z has not yet been done. 2. Speaker believes that Hearer is able to do Z. 3. Speaker believes that Hearer is willing to do Z-type things for S.
  18. 18. Indirect speech acta. Can you meet me tonight? • structure: interrogative • function: requestb. You left the door open. • structure: declarative • function : request
  19. 19. c. Can you open the door for me? - the speaker is requesting, not asking about the ability of the listener to open the doord1. Do you know where the bus stop is?d2. Yes, I know where it is (and walks away) (1) request for help in finding the bus stop (2) reads the speech act of (1) as a question, not as a request.
  20. 20. 7. Politeness• awareness of and consideration for another person’s face• FACE : person’s public image • emotional and social sense of self everyone has and expects everyone else to recognize
  21. 21. • face-threatening act - threatens a person’s image Give me that book! – S conveys he/she has social power over the H• face-saving act -lessens the possible threat Could you give me that book? – less threatening - removes the assumption of social power
  22. 22. Negative face• the need to be independent and free from imposition • face-saving act: show concern about imposition – I’m sorry to bother you, but …
  23. 23. Positive face• the need to be connected, to belong • face-saving act • show solidarity • rally to a common goal • let’s do this together. . . • we have the same problem
  24. 24. References• OGrady, William D., Archibald, John, [eds.] (2009). Contemporary Linguistic Analysis: An Introduction, 6th edition. Ontario: Pearson Education Canada.• Yule G. 2006. The study of language. Cambridge: CUP.

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