IT IS A SUBTLE DIFFERENCE BUT SEMANTICS DEALS
WITH THOSE ASPECTS OF MEANING THAT DO NOT
VARY FROM CONTEXT TO CONTEXT AND
PRAGMATICS WITH ASPECTS OF INDIVIDUAL USAGE
AND CONTEXT DEPENDANT MEANING.SEMANTICS IS
THE STUDY OF CONVENTIONAL, LINGUISTIC
MEANING, AND PRAGMATICS IS HOW THIS HEARES
COMBINE THIS WITH OTHER TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE
AND MAKE INFERENCES IN ORDER TO INTERPRET
THE SPEAKER’S MEANING.
DEICTIC ELEMENTS REFER TO THE REALITY OUTSIDE
THE TEXT. THEY ARE UNSTABLE AS THEY DEPEND ON
CONTEXT. ACCORDINT TO SAEED DEIXIS “COMMITS A
SPEAKER TO SET UP A FRAME OF REFERENCE AROUND
SPATIAL- in English can be adverbs, here, there...and can be
used to locate a speaker the hearer or any other element.
Other spatial deixis in English are the demonstratives: that,
this those...which point to certain elements marking distance.
EXTENSIONS OF SPATIAL DEIXIS – In many languages, spatial
deixis terms such as demonstratives are also used to refer to
time. That year.
TIME - today, tomorrow...
PERSONAL- conveys the persons or type of entity (animate or
not) He, she, it..
MEANING AND CONTEXT
A SPEAKER CHOOSING HOW TO MAKE REFERENCE TO AN ENTITY
CALCULATES WHAT HIS HEARERS KNOW.
SAEED ESTABLISHES THREE SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE THAT A SPEAKER
HAS TO ESTIMATE:
KNOWLEDGE COMPUTABLE FROM THE PHYSICAL CONTEXT. THIS
INCLUDES THE KIND OF KNOWLEDGE OBTAIN FROM FILLING IN
KNOWLEDGE THAT IS AVAILABLE FROM WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN
SAID. THIS IS OFTEN CALLED DISCOURSE AND ITS UNDERSTOOD AS
SOME KIND OF CONTEXT.
KNOWLEDGE AVAILABLE FROM BACKGROUND OR COMMON
INFORMATION STRUCTURE: SPEAKERS MAKE GUESSES ABOUT THE
KNOWLEDGE ACCESIBLE TO THE HEARERS, THEY ASSUME THAT A
CERTAIN AMOUNT OF KNOWLEDGE IS ALREADY KNOWN AND THEY
UNFOLD/STRUCTURE THE INFORMATION ACCORDINGLY. SPEAKERS
ORGANIZE OR PACKAGE THEIR UTTERANCES DEPENDING ON HOW THEY
ACCOUNT FOR THESE ESTIMATES OF KNOWLEDGE. THE DISTINCTION
BETWEEN KNOW THINGS AND NEW THINGS IS EVEN GRAMMATICALIZED
I HAVE THE CAR. I HAVE A CAR
REFERENCE AND CONTEXT: SPEAKERS CALCULATE HOW MUCH
INFORMATION THEIR HEARERS NEED, TO MAKE A SUCCESSFUL
REFERENCE AS REFERENCE RELIES ON CONTEXT.
FOCUS AND TOPIC: THERE ARE SEVERAL WAY OF MARKING
INFERENCE LISTENERS PARTICIPATE IN THE CONSTRUCTION
OF MEANING. THEY USE INFERENCES TO FILL
OOUT THE TEXT TO BUILD UP AN
INTERPRETATION OF SPEAKER MEANING.
CONVERSATIONAL IMPLICATURE AND
CONVERSATIONAL INFERENCE ARE WAYS OF
INFERRING MEANING FROM CONTEXT. AN
EXPAMPLE IS ANAPHORA. WE RELATE A NOUN OR
A NOMINAL OR PRONOUN TO A PREVIOUS
INFORMATION THE ANTECEDENT. LISTENERS USE
INFERENCE TO MAKE WHAT THEY ARE TOLD
CONVERSATIONAL IMPLICATURE HOW HEARERS MANAGE TO WORK OUT
THE COMPLETE MESSAGE WHEN
SPEAKERS MEAN MORE THAN THEY SAY.
IT IS A MESSAGE NOT FOUND IN THE
PLAIN SENSE OF A SENTENCE. IT IS A
TACIT AGREEMENT BETWEEN SPEAKERS
AND LISTENERS IN CONVERSATION
THAT GRICE CALLED
THE COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLE
MAXIM OF QUALITY Try to make your contribution one
that is true.
MAXIM OF QUANTITY Make your contribution as informative
as required for the current purposes of
the exchange and do not make your
contribution more informative that
MAXIM OF RELEVANCE Make your contribution relevant
MAXIM OF MANNER Be perspicuous, avoid obscurity and
ambiguity, be brief and orderly
Sperber and Wilson 1995 developed a moe radical version fo Grice’s
maxims. This approach unifies the Gricean cooperative principle an its
maxims into a single principle or relevance that motivates the herarer’s
inferential strategy. “EVERY ACT OF OSTENSIVE COMMUNICATION
COMMUNICATES THE PRESUMPTION OF ITS OPTIMAL RELEVANCE”
the assumption that an utterance is consistent with the Principle of
Relevance is based on the hearer’s recognition that it is an act of ostensive
communication. That is, an act of deliberate, overt communication in
which the speaker does not only intend to convey a particular message
but is also actively helping the hearer to recognize this.
An utterance is an act of verbal behaviour, a speech act.
In speech act analysis we study the effect of utterances on the behaviour of speaker or hearer
using a threefold distinction:
- locutionary act: the bare fact that a communicative act takes place. The act of speaking.
- illocutionary act: the act that is performed as a result of the speaker making an utterance
such as requesting, inquiring, promising, welcoming. Occasionally, the speaker explicitly
refers to the illocutionary act being performed by using a performative verb. The British
philosopher Austin was the first to point out that many utterances do not communicate
information but are equivalent to actions. When someone says "I apologize", "I name this ship
Titanic" ... the utterance conveys a new reality: to say is to perform.
There are thousands of possible illocutionary acts. J. Searle 1976 sets up five basic types:
· representatives: the speaker is committed, in varying degrees, to the truth of a proposition, e.g.: affirm, believe,
· directives: the speaker tries to get the hearer to do something, e.g.: challenge, command, request ...
· commissives: the speaker is committed, in varying degrees, to a certain course of action, e.g.: guarantee, pledge,
· expressives: the speaker expresses an attitude, e.g.: apologize, deplore, congratulate...
· declarations: the speaker alters an object or situation by making the utterance, e.g.: I resign, You're sacked ...
- perlocutionary act: the particular effect the speaker's utterance has on the listener, e.g.:
amusement, surprise, warning.