• “Pragmatics studies the factors that govern our
choice of language in social interaction and the
effects of our choice on others.” David Crystal
• In contrast to Phonetics and Phonology,
Morphology, Syntax, and so forth, which describe
different levels of language structure; Pragmatics
deals with language use. Pragmatics is mostly
used in connection with the relationship between
linguistic signs and their users. It investigates how
context (both situational and linguistic) affects
the meaning of utterances.
"You have a green light.”
• It could mean that you have green ambient
• It could mean that you have a green light while
driving your car.
• It could mean that you can go ahead with the
• It could mean that your body has a green glow.
• It could mean that you possess a light bulb that is
• It’s a smallest unit of speech and it’s the
object of study in Pragmatic analysis.
• Pragmatic Linguistics focus on 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.
Utterance versus Sentence
• Speech unit.
• The interpretation
depends on the
semantic content and
• Grammar unit.
• The semantic content
depends on the
structure but not on the
Utterance Elements (Physical)
• Source or Sender: Objects which encode message
data and transmit the information, via a channel
(Written / Orally).
• Receiver or Observer: The one who receives decoded
messages/information from the sender, who first
• Utterance: Linguistic information produced by the
• Space-time Context: Physical background in which
the utterance is going on.
Utterance Elements (Immaterial)
• Pragmatic information: A set of
knowledge, beliefs, opinions, and feeling
of a person.
• Purpose: The relationship between the
source and the information.
• Social background: the relationship
• It’s an individual, single and unique action.
• It’s an psychophysiological activity.
• It’s bounded by pauses. (Beginning/ End)
• A set of extra linguistic factors that
conditionate both the production and the
meaning of the utterance.
• Social: Belong to a certain social group and it’s
understood by that group.
• Situational: Here and now. It can be
understood only by the source and the
• Linguistic: It’s the linguistic enviroment in
which a word can be found.
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