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					Pragmatics

A quick summary
   Pragmatics and semantics
• What does X mean?
• What do you mean by X?
  – Leech 1983
          Linguistic context
• Amazingly, he already loves her
• Without linguistic context, we don’t know
  – who he is
  – who she is
  – why it’s so remarkable
          Physical Context
• A: Oh no, … … … … … …. …. .. ..
• B: Don’t panic, I’ll take you to the bank
• Can you think of two completely different
  ways to complete A?
• They should exemplify the two different
  meanings of bank.
             Economy of effort

• Phonology, especially assimilation, says:
  – we are lazy
  – we do just enough to be understood
• Meaning is the same
• Indirect speech act:
  – You are standing on my foot.
  – No need to add Please move it!
• Same with inference
  – You must bring Yule to every class.
  – I don’t mean the man himself!
     Anaphora also save effort
• Read p116-7
• Which of these is better (saves effort)?
  – I want to buy that puppy. That puppy is so cute.
  – I want to buy that puppy. It is so cute.
• And
  – I want to buy that puppy. It is in a pet store. It
    looks so sad in the pet store.
  – I want to buy that puppy. It looks so sad in the pet
    store.
          Direct speech acts
• Question
  – Did you eat the pizza?
• Request
  – Please eat the pizza!
• Statement
  – You ate the pizza
          Indirect speech acts
•   Usually a polite request to do something
•   Can you please eat some pizza?
•   Do you have room for some more pizza?
•   The DAE paid a lot of money for this pizza.
    – Probably they all mean Please eat the pizza.
• If not interpreted correctly, communication
  can break down
    – Q: Do you know what time it is?
    – A: Yes, thank you, I do.
           Performative verbs
• If you say “I love my girlfriend”, you are just
  talking. You are not actually performing an act of
  love.
• If you say “I promise to love my girlfriend”, you
  are actually performing a promise in the act of
  speaking.
• Note performative verbs are usually in the
  simple present (even though you are doing them
  “right now”
  – That is true of: What other kind of verb?
        Performative verbs?
• I enjoy linguistics very much.
• I sentence you to 24 hours community
  service.
• I pronounce you man and wife.
• I owe you a lot of money.
• I swear to love you for ever.
• I swear at bad drivers every day.
• I guess she’s not coming then.

				
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posted:2/25/2011
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