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Language use

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  • 1. LANGUAGE USE (PRAGMATICS)CH. 10 IN THE STUDY IN LANGUAGE
  • 2. WHAT’S THE MEANING OF THE FOLLOWING EXPRESSIONS?• Tell me about it.• Beat it!• Be gone.• Do I want this from you?• Get lost!• Somebody!• Rats!
  • 3. SO, WHAT IS MEANING?• Semantics: meaning in isolation.• Meaning in actual language use and meaning in context. Pragmatics
  • 4. WHAT IS CONTEXT?• A: Where should we meet?• B: Can we meet at the bank? I need to cash a check today.• I will be “here” waiting for you.• Where is “here”?
  • 5. MEANING IS CONTEXTUALLY SENSITIVE! WHY?• Examine the following sentence carefully.• I’m busy now so you can’t stay here. Come back later. (Yule, 2010, p. 137)• Who is “I”? When is “now”? Where is “here”? Back to what place? When is “later”? Meaning is subject to context!
  • 6. WHAT ARE THESE TERMS CALLED?• Deixis, or deictic expressions• Person deixis:• Spatial deixis:• Temporal deixi:• Think about: the doorbell is ringing badly, and you are far away from the door and you‟re yelling, “I‟m coming!” when you are actually going towards the door to get it.
  • 7. MEANING IS SUBJECT TO CONTEXT.• Where is the steak sitting?• I am not really into Mozart. Bach, I prefer.• Amy is carrying a Chanel.• A: Are you coming to the party on Friday?• B: I work the evening shift that night. implicature Inference (Speaker) (Hearer)
  • 8. MEANING IS SUBJECT TO CONTEXT.• Practice: Yule (2010, p. 137)• (a) Teacher: You can borrow my Shakespeare.• (b) Waiter: The ham sandwich left without paying.• (c) Nurse: The hernia in room 5 wants to talk to the doctor.• (d) Dentist: My eleven-thirty canceled so I had an early lunch. Inference (Hearer)
  • 9. MEANING IS SUBJECT TO CONTEXT.How do hearers infer?
  • 10. MEANING ANCHORED LINGUISTICALLY• Yule (2010, p. 132)• We saw a funny home video about a boy washing a puppy in a small bath.• The puppy started struggling and shaking and the boy got really wet.• When he let go, it jumped out of the bath and ran away. Anaphora/ an anaphoric antecedents relationship
  • 11. ANAPHORA + INFERENCE• Yule (2010, p. 132)• We found a house to rent, but the kitchen was very small.• I caught a bus and asked the driver if it went near the downtown area.
  • 12. ANAPHORA• Practice:• John said that Mr. Brown likes his new computer a lot.• John said that Mr. Brown said that he likes his new computer a lot.
  • 13. PRECONDITIONS FOR MEANING• What should be the assumption that the speaker may possess so that the following sentences are meaningful?• (a) Your clock isn‟t working.• (b) Where did he find the money?• (c) We regret buying that car.• (d) The king of France is bald.What is the term for such assumptions?
  • 14. PRESUPPOSITIONS• Practice: Burton, Dechaine, & Vatikiotis-Basteson (2012, pp. 148-149)• The dog ran away.• Lucy‟s dog is big.• Lucy realized that she make a mistake.• Lucy stopped riding a bike.• Lucy is late again.• After leaving London, we went to Paris.• It was Lucy that won the race.• Lucy plays tennis better than Tracy.• If Edison had come, he‟d have a good time.• Lucy failed linguistics.
  • 15. TYPES OF PRESUPPOSITIONType Presupposition trigger Example PresuppositionSpecific A definite noun My car is >> The speakerexistential phrase (including a green. has a car. definite article, demonstratives, possessives, or proper noun)Non-specific Wh-questions Who failedexistential linguistics? >> Someone did Cleft (or pseudo-cleft) It wasn‟t me not pass/fail sentences that failed linguistics. linguistics.Factive Factive emotive verbs I regret failing (regret, be glad, be linguistics. sorry, be afraid, etc.) >> I failed Factive epistemic I know that I linguistics. verbs (realize, know, failed be obvious, etc.) linguistics.
  • 16. Type Presupposition trigger Example PresuppositionCounterfactive Counterfactual verbs I pretended to >> I don‟t like her. (imagine, dream, like her. pretend, etc.) Counterfactual If I had >> I had not been conditionals studied hard, I studying hard. might have passed linguistics.Other Implicative verbs I managed to >> I tried to pass (manage, forget, be pass linguistics. aware, etc.) linguistics. Inchoative (change-of- I began >> I had not been state) verbs (stop, studying hard. studying hard. begin, enter, come, go, etc.) Iterative adverbs or I failed >> I had failed verbs (again, repeat, linguistics linguistics. etc.) again. Subordinate clauses ( When I didn‟t >> I had not been when, while, after, study hard, I studying hard. before, etc.) failed courses.
  • 17. Type Presupposition trigger Example PresuppositionCounterfactive Counterfactual verbs I pretended to >> I don‟t like her. (imagine, dream, like her. pretend, etc.) Counterfactual If I had >> I had not been conditionals studied hard, I studying hard. might have passed linguistics.Other Implicative verbs I managed to >> I tried to pass (manage, forget, be pass linguistics. aware, etc.) linguistics. Inchoative (change-of- I began >> I had not been state) verbs (stop, studying hard. studying hard. begin, enter, come, go, etc.) Iterative adverbs or I failed >> I had failed verbs (again, repeat, linguistics linguistics. etc.) again. Subordinate clauses ( When I didn‟t >> I had not been when, while, after, study hard, I studying hard. before, etc.) failed courses.
  • 18. WE DO THINGS WITH WORDS• We perform a act by saying. • I apologize. • I thank you for what you did for me. • I admit that I did not do my job. • I bet you three dollars that John will be getting married in a week. • I command you to lie down. • I pronounce you man and wife. • I name the boat Jenny. • I declare the independence of the United States. • I object! • I sentence you seven years in jail. • I suggest you not to do that right now.
  • 19. WE DO THINGS WITH WORDS• We perform a act by saying.All utterances are like • I apologize. these “performative utterances”? • I thank you for what you did for me. • I admit that I did not do my job. What can be the • I bet you three dollars that John conditions for an will be getting married in a week. utterance to be • I command you to lie down. perfamtive? • I pronounce you man and wife. • I name the boat Jenny. • I declare the independence of the United States. • I object! • I sentence you seven years in jail. • I suggest you not to do that right now.
  • 20. WE DO THINGS WITH WORDS• The “speech act” theory (Austin (1975, pp. 94-132)):• A speech act can be analyzed into three aspects: • Locutionary act: the action of saying the utterance and making it meaningful • Illocutionary act: the intention of the speaker‟s saying this utterance • Perlocutionary act: the effect the utterance makes on the the hearer
  • 21. WE DO THINGS WITH WORDS • The “speech act” theory (Austin (1975, pp. 94-132)): • A speech act can be analyzed into three aspects:Utterances Locutionary act Illocutionary act Perlocutionary act“It‟s cold in here.” Articulating it Intending that The effect that the someone does hearer gives the something to speaker his own change the coat. temperature, a request“One more step, Articulating it Intending that The effect that theand you‟re a the hearer feels hearer steps backdead meat.” threatened and to where s/he was. scared so as not to get closer, a warning/threat
  • 22. WHAT DO WE COMMUNICATE?• When we say something, we only say something?• Yule (2010, p. 134): • VISITOR: Excuse me. Do you know where the Ambassador Hotel is? • PASSER-BY: Oh sure, I know where it is. (and walks away)
  • 23. WE DO THINGS WITH WORDS• We communicate not just meaning, but also intention.• Yule (2010, p. 134) • Utterances Structures Functions • Did you eat the pizza? Interrogative Question/Inquiry • Eat the pizza (please)! Imperative Command(Request) • You ate the pizza. Declarative Statement/Assertion Utterance types match with their corresponding speech acts: direct speech acts
  • 24. WE DO THINGS WITH WORDS• We communicate not just meaning, but also intention.• Culpeper et al. (2009, p. 211) • Utterances Structures Functions • Pass me the salt! Imperative Request • Can you pass me the salt? Interrogative Request • I can’t reach the salt. Declarative Request Utterance types do NOT match with their corresponding speech acts: “indirect” speech acts
  • 25. DIRECT VS. INDIRECT SPEECH ACTS• Practice (Yule, 2010, p. 137, Q5):• Someone stands between you and the TV set you‟re watching, so you decide to say one of the following. Identify which would be direct or indirect• speech acts.• (a) Move!• (b) You‟re in the way.• (c) Could you please sit down?• (d) Please get out of the way.
  • 26. DIRECT VS. INDIRECT SPEECH ACTS• Practice (Yule, 2010, p. 137, Q5):• Someone stands between you and the TV set you‟re watching, so you decide to say one of the following. Identify which would be direct or indirect• speech acts.• (a) Move! direct• (b) You‟re in the way. indirect• (c) Could you please sit down? indirect• (d) Please get out of the way. direct
  • 27. Why…• Why do people convey a speech act indirectly, when they can actually do it directly?
  • 28. POLITENESS• Why do people need to adhere to politeness, when talking to each other?• We want to look good in front of others: self-image in public.• Goffman (1967): face.• Politeness: how people, when interacting, are aware of and take into consideration each other‟s faces.
  • 29. POLITENESS• Brown and Levinson (1987): face-threatening acts (FTAs)• When making a speech act, the speaker may threaten his own and the hearer‟s self-image, to a certain degree.• For example:• face-threatening face-saving Could you Please get out You‟re in theMove! of the way! please sit way. down?
  • 30. A Person has “two faces”.• Brown & Levinson (1987)• The use of an FTA can be targeting at a person‟s: • Positive face: one‟s need to feel connected, belonging to a group • Negative face: one‟s want to be an independent communicator, not subject to any imposition, or being formed to do something.• For example:• Negative face emphasized: I‟m sorry to bother you, but…; I know you‟re busy now, but…• Positive face emphasized: Why don‟t we go together? Let‟s do that.
  • 31. A Person has “two faces”.Practice:Yule (2010, p. 137, Q6)•In these examples, is the speaker appealing topositive or negative face?•(a) If you‟re free, there‟s going to be a party at Yuri‟splace on Saturday.•(b) Let‟s go to the party at Yuri‟s place on Saturday.Everyone‟s invited.
  • 32. CONDITIONS FOR PERFOMATIVES• Yule (2010, p. 138, Task C)• Which of these utterances contain “performative verbs” and how did you decide?• (1) I apologize.• (2) He said he was sorry.• (3) I bet you $20.• (4) She won the bet.• (5) I drive a Mercedes.• (6) You must have a lot of money.
  • 33. CONDITIONS FOR PERFOMATIVES• Yule (2010, p. 138, Task C)• Which of these utterances contain “performative verbs” and how did you decide?• (1) I apologize. • (2) He said he was sorry. ✗• (3) I bet you $20. • (4) She won the bet. ✗• (5) I drive a Mercedes. ✗• (6) You must have a lot of money. ✗
  • 34. ADVANCED ISSUES• How does the hearer know how to infer the implicature implied by the speaker? And how does the speaker know how to imply so that the hearer can infer the implicature?• How many types of speech acts are there? How can be identify them?• What can the conditions for a speech cat to be truly intentional and effective? That is, how do we know if people mean what they intend to mean?• How do people know how to adhere to politeness?• How can culture influence how we use language?
  • 35. A CASE STUDY ON POLITENESS AND CULTURE• From Culpeper et al. (2009, pp. 219-220)• 14 British English native speakers• 12 German English learners• Responses to the following scenario: • It is your birthday. You and one of your friends have just sat down at a small table in a coffee shop near the university to have a quick snack before another lecture. Your friend says „Happy birthday!‟ and gives you a nicely wrapped present. • How would you react to this?• English native speakers: in English• German English learners: in both English and German
  • 36. A CASE STUDY ON POLITENESS AND CULTURE• From Culpeper et al. (2009, pp. 219-220)• Responses are classified into: • Non-existent obligation: You shouldn‟t have. • Compliment the gift-give: How lovely of you! • Exclamations of surprise and joy: Oh wow!
  • 37. A CASE STUDY ON POLITENESS AND CULTURE• From Culpeper et al. (2009, pp. 219-220)• Results:
  • 38. ASSIGNMENT• Each of the following examples contains a conversational implicature. What is the implicature for each example? Discuss with group members.• a. A: Have you washed the floor and done the dishes? B: I‟ve washed the floor.• b. A: Did you get hold of Carl yet? B: I tried to call him yesterday.• c. A: What did you think of the movie? B: Well the supporting actor was so good-looking.
  • 39. ASSIGNMENT• And, choose one from the following two topics and discuss with your group members on your blog.• A. After learning about semantics and pragmatics, try to give an informative answer to the question: “What is meaning?”.• B. Try to figure out the conditions under which a speech act is effective. How should the speaker pay attention to when making a speech act so that it is felicitous (or true and effective)? For example, when the speaker is making a request, like “Could you pass me the salt?”, what should s/he presupppose so as to make the request valid?