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

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  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.