LINGUISTICS Pragmatics reg - Pragmatics What is Pragmatics?...

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Pragmatics
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What is Pragmatics? Sentence interpretation requires the knowledge of syntactic structures and semantic value of words. Do we need to know anything else in order to interpret what the speaker is trying to say? 2
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Pragmatic knowledge: Speaker’s and addressee’s background attitudes and beliefs (are they serious or not, how much do they want to reveal, etc.); Their knowledge of the context in which the communication is taking place; Their knowledge of the functions of language (how to persuade, how to 3
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Why is syntax not enough? Who is he? How do we know? The judge denied the prisoner’s request because he was cautious . The judge denied the prisoner’s request because he was dangerous . 4
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Pronouns: free and bound If a pronoun refers back to (is coreferential with) a full known, we say it is bound . The teacher returned the exams. He was pleased. The teacher returned the exams . He was pleased with them . Pronouns that cannot be tied to any preceding noun are considered free . He who cannot be named vanished without a trace. 5
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Anaphora Anaphora is an instance of one expression (usually a pronoun) referring to another (usually a noun). The policeman caught the burglar and arrested him The girl went home because she had a headache. What is what in the above sentence? anteceden t pro- form 6
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Ellipsis An elliptical construction is a construction with an element missing but, nevertheless, recoverable or inferable from the context. A sequence of words may be omitted because they are predictable in some constructions or contexts. Jon can draw PS-trees and Mary can _____ too. draw PS-trees 7
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Special types of ellipsis: Gapping – the repeated verb is omitted. Ex: John ordered sushi and Mary ______ a wrap. John danced with Mary and Paul _____ with Sue. Sluicing – the word(s) following a wh- word are omitted. Ex: John can play something, but I don’t know what__ . 8
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Articles: a versus the a – indefinite article the – definite article A: I saw a squirrel in the backyard. B: I wonder if it was the squirrel that lives in the attic. 9
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Specific versus non-specific a John wants to marry an Italian with blue eyes. 1. Her name is Antonella indefinite but specific. 2. He has not found one yet indefinite, non- specific . The mafia is in control of the government. The mafia is in the control of the government. 10
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Generic uses of words… Statistics Canada: A car is stolen in Hamilton every…. A woman gives birth in Canada every 2 minutes… A child is diagnosed with ADD every … Obviously, not the same car is stolen repeatedly… 11
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How do we manage to communicate?
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LINGUISTICS Pragmatics reg - Pragmatics What is Pragmatics?...

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