pragmatics

pragmatics - Volunteers wanted Looking for volunteers for...

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Volunteers wanted - Looking for volunteers for some experiments. - Native English speakers only - Simple and safe perception experiments (no needles!) - About 30 minutes - We'll pay you $10 - Come see what linguists, researchers, and graduate students do. - Give your name and e-mail, and we’ll contact you.
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Pragmatics Language in Use Scott Mackie LING100 November 1, 2010
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Meaning and context “The professor was late yesterday “Everybody laughed at the joke” “I am here now “How's the book?” “How's my soup?” “It's interesting” “It's interesting” Drunk gets 9 months in violin case.
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Pragmatics Pragmatics studies how context and meaning interact. Some areas of interest: Indexicals: I, you, here, now Speech acts: I sentence you to jail, you're fired! Discourse particles: so, well, yeah-no, actually Expressives: ouch, oops, uh oh, damn Presuppositions: again, too, also, more Implicatures: “Do you have a watch?” - “12:30”
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Context 1 Context: Alice wants someone to help with writing invitations because she has sloppy writing. Alice: I need some help with these invitations. Any ideas? Bob: Paul has really nice handwriting. Alice concludes that Paul would be a good person for the job.
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Context 2 Context: Paul has applied for a job as a forklift operator at Alice's company. She calls Bob for a reference. Alice: What are some of Paul's strengths? Bob: Paul has really nice handwriting. Alice concludes that Paul would not be a good person for the job.
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Saying and Meaning The message here: what is said is not always the same as what is meant . Bob said Paul has nice handwriting but meant He wouldn’t make a good forklift operator .
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Meaning What is the mechanism behind this? How do we go from the literal meaning of a sentence to something completely different? How do we know when to do that?
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The Principle of Cooperation Participants in a conversation make active efforts to understand each other, and to be understood by each other. This is an observation about conversation under normal circumstances, not an enforceable rule. “Conversation is a cooperative venture” (Paul Grice)
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The Maxims of Conversation The Maxim of Quality say what you know to be true The Maxim of Quantity say as much as you can The Maxim of Relevance stay on topic The Maxim of Manner say things briefly and in ordinary terms
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Conversational Implicatures People often break the Maxims on purpose. Alice: Do you know what the temperature is today? Bob: Yes because I'm an omniscient demi-god. Alice: OK. ..so I'll just go ask Sarah. Bob has flouted the Maxim of Quality. This generates a conversational implicature (the verb is to implicate and not to imply )
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Alice: Do you know what the temperature is today? Bob: Yes because I'm an omniscient demi-god.
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pragmatics - Volunteers wanted Looking for volunteers for...

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