Pragmatics (2)

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Pragmatics(part 2) PBGS 6304,General Linguistics for TESL 2011,University of Malaya

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Pragmatics (2)

  1. 1. PRAGMATICS: LANGUAGE IN SOCIAL CONTEXT O’Grady, W., Dobrovlsky, M. & Aronoff, M. (1997). Contemporary Linguistics. 3 rd Ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press The social situation is the most powerful determinant of verbal behaviour.. - William Labov
  2. 2. SEMANTICS VS. PRAGMATICS <ul><li>Semantics and pragmatics are both the study of meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>But, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>semantics meaning is fixed with no context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pragmatics meaning is in context </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Ray: Hi mum </li></ul><ul><li>Mum: Hi. You’re late. </li></ul><ul><li>Ray: Yeah, that bastard Sootbucket kept us in again. </li></ul><ul><li>Mum: Nana’s here. </li></ul><ul><li>Ray: Oh sorry. Where is she? </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Ray: Good afternoon, sir. </li></ul><ul><li>Principal: What are you doing here at this time? </li></ul><ul><li>Ray: Mr. Sutton kept us in, sir. </li></ul><ul><li>Why do we say the same thing in different ways? </li></ul>
  5. 5. PRAGMATICS AND SOCIOLINGUISTICS <ul><li>Relevance: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>as pragmatics is the study of meaning in context, sociolinguistics is another dimension where the meaning derives from the social context of the speaker. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rationale: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To create awareness that the reality of language in social contexts is not one of proper speech versus all other speech but of a set of complementary speech varieties that are used by members of the speech community </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPT <ul><li>The locus of all sociolinguistics investigation is the speech community . </li></ul><ul><li>A speech community can be as small as a town, village, or even a club or as large as a nation or a group of nations. </li></ul><ul><li>Its members share a particular language (or variety of a language) as well as the norms (or rules) for the appropriate use of their language in social context. </li></ul>
  7. 7. FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPT <ul><li>Speech variety is the label given to that language used by any group of speakers. </li></ul><ul><li>It is an ambiguous term, which can refer to the basic lexicon , phonology , syntax and morphology shared by members of the group in particular situations. </li></ul><ul><li>Four types of speech varieties: the standard language, sociolects, regional dialects and registers. </li></ul>
  8. 8. HOW CONTEXT IS GROUNDED IN SOCIOLINGUISTICS <ul><li>Social stratification </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People of different SES practice different speech varieties. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Language and gender </li></ul><ul><ul><li>View 1: gender differences in language are simply a reflection of the way society works (verb forms in Arabic language). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>View 2: language serves as a primary means of constructing and maintaining that society ( stereotyping men in occupations and sports). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How context is grounded? </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. HOW CONTEXT IS GROUNDED IN SOCIOLINGUISTICS <ul><li>Euphemism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The avoidance of words that may be seen as offensive, obscene, or somehow disturbing the listeners or readers i.e.: pass away – die </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Slang </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Denote certain informal or faddish usages of nearly anyone in the speech community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jargon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used interchangeably to refer to ‘obscure or secret language’ or ‘language of a particular occupational group’. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How context is grounded? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. HOW CONTEXT IS GROUNDED IN SOCIOLINGUISTICS <ul><li>Regional differentiation of language (dialect) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pitih / duit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Riyal / ringgit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mixed languages (pidgins and creoles) </li></ul><ul><li>Context is grounded through the understanding of the background of the speaker thus, meaning might differ if one is not familiar with the speaker’s background. </li></ul>
  11. 11. HOW CONTEXT IS GROUNDED IN SOCIOLINGUISTICS <ul><li>Components of Speech Situations (Hymes, 1962) that would influence speech production </li></ul><ul><ul><li>S etting (where the interaction takes place) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>P articipants (those involved in the interaction) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E nd (the purpose of the interaction) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A ct Sequence (message form and content) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>K ey (tone, mood and manner – sarcastic, dramatic etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I nstrumentalities (channel – verbal, non-verbal, face-to-face; code – the language/variety used) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>N orms (basic rules underlie the interaction) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>G enre, any one of a class of a named speech acts (greeting, leave-taking, lecture, joke and so on). </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. IMPLICATIONS TO ESL TEACHING AND LEARNING <ul><li>Enhance cultural knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Build and strengthen background knowledge or schemata. </li></ul><ul><li>Engage and improve critical and creative thinking skills. </li></ul>

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