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intro_ling-2014-09-pragmatics-handout.pdf - Pragmatics...

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3/19/2014 1 Pragmatics Pragmatics pragmatics: the study of the ways people use language in actual conversations Non-literal language How changes in context alter meaning Why some things are inappropriate and some are not context: that which surrounds, informs, underlies, and shapes a linguistic event Locution vs illocution We may find it useful to distinguish between locution and illocution when discussing pragmatics locution: the literal meaning of an utterance illocution: the intention that a speaker has in producing an utterance Can you pass the salt? I’m out of money. How many times have I told you not to eat on the couch? It’s cold in here. Direct and indirect speech acts This draws attention to the distinction between direct and indirect speech acts direct speech acts: perform their functions in a direct and literal manner; the locution and illocution match indirect speech acts: the literal meaning (locution) is not the intended meaning (illocution) Indirect speech acts - Examples It’s cold in here Infer: turn up the heat How many times have I told you not to eat on the couch? Infer: you shouldn’t be eating on the couch I’m out of money Infer: Can you lend me some money? Can you pass the salt? Infer: Pass me the salt! Indirect speech acts Direct speech acts are mainly the domain of syntax and semantics Pragmatics is largely concerned with indirect speech acts At least what we’ll study in this class
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3/19/2014 2 Non-Literal Language Non-literal language non-literal language: language whose meaning does not come from a completely literal (denotative) interpretation idiom A group of words whose total meaning cannot be deduced from a literal interpretation of the parts Interpretation often dependent on cultural knowledge He wears his heart on his sleeve. John has a short fuse.
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