2Definitions of pragmatics Pragmatics is a branch of general linguistics like other branches that include: Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax and Semantics.Charles Morris’s famous definition of pragmatics was “the study of the relation of signs to interpreters-”Levinson’s consideration of pragmatics was “the study of those relations between language and context that is grammaticalized, or encoded in the structure of a language.”Mey’s definition was “Pragmatics studies the use of language in human communication as determined by the conditions of society.”.Ran Yongping expressed his idea in his book A Survey of Pragmatics : “Pragmatics is a discipline not only concerning the sense, but also concerning the derivation of sense and the understanding of underlying meaning as its objects.
3Other definitions 2: “ Pragmatics is the study of contextual meaning” 1.“Pragmatics is the study of speaker meaning.”2: “ Pragmatics is the study of contextual meaning”3:“ Pragmatics is the study of how more gets communicated than is said”4:“ Pragmatics is the study of the expression of relative distance.” ( Yule:2008).
4Background of Pragmatic The origin of pragmatics goes back to ancient Greek and Roman academic works.pragmatics develops from philosophy. Why?The term “pragmatics” first appeared in linguistic philosophy in 1930s, for then western philosophers began to shift their focus onto the studies of language symbols, which developed into semiology later.The early pragmatics was just a branch of semiology that was under the philosophers’ studies, which means that pragmatics originates from the philosophers’ studies on language.2. The theoretic basis for pragmatics is from philosophy. To be more specific, pragmatics originates from the following aspects: the studies of semiology; the studies of linguistical philosophy in the 20th century and the studies of function linguistics on language forms.
5Background of Pragmatic Charles Morris (1903 – 1979) Was concerned with the study of the science of signs, which he called semiotic; Distinguished 3 branches of semiotics: syntactics (or syntax), which studies the formal relation among different signs; semantics, the study of the relation between the signs and the objects they denote; and pragmatics, the study of the relation of signs to their interpreters, i.e. people.
6The development of pragmatics Morris, is the one who played the most important role in the first stage of the development of pragmatics.He held an opinion that the studies of pragmatics must involve the aspects of society, of psychology, of nerve, of culture and of other things that affected the symbols and their meanings.The most influent thing that he did on pragmatics was that in 1938 he had divided semiology into three parts: syntactics, semantics and pragmatics.
7The development of pragmatics The famous philosopher Carnap had very similar ideas with Morris1. He made some supplement, and he thought that the studies of pragmatics should be on the relationship between users and words as well as the reference of words. He made the aims of pragmatics studies more specific, that is the relationship between language users and words and the reference relationship.2. He divided studies into pure theoretic ones and descriptive ones.Bar-Hiller, the student of Carnap, suggested that the studies of pragmatics should have definite aims and he claimed that the definite aims should be on decitics such as “I”, “Here”, “Now”.Austin and Searle put forward the Speech Act Theory, which was the most influent topic in the studies of pragmatics during the second stage.
8The development of pragmatics Now, pragmatics has new development, in which many scholars begin to do cross studies, such as interactional sociolinguistics, interlanguage pragmatics, cross-cultural pragmatics, pragmatics and translation, pragmatics and language teaching which contains two: pragmalinguistics and sociopragmatics, cognitive pragmatics and clinical pragmatics.
9The three Stages in the Development of Pragmatics The first stage is from the late 1930s to late 1940s, during this period, some philosophers such as Pierce, Morris and Carnap considered pragmatics to be a branch of semiology and all the studies were within the domain of philosophy. The second stage is from the beginning of 1950s to late 1960s. During this period, three famous philosophers called Austin, Searle and Grice made studied on speech act and implicature theory, and their achievements sustained the basic theory of pragmatics. The third stage is after 1970s, the biggest three issues happened and pragmatics became an independent discipline.
10Schools of PragmaticsThe studies of Pragmatics are divided into two big schools British & American School and European School which can be subdivided into France School, Prague School and Copenhagen School.British & American School is traditionally centering on studying the sentence structure and grammar, and their studies of pragmatics is also restricted to several definite topics such as deictic expressions, conversational implicature, presupposition, speech and conversation structure.European School has a wide visual and understanding, and their studies even include conversation analysis, cultural anthropology, social linguistics and psycholinguistics during intercommunication.
11Types of PragmaticsThere are three divisions of Pragmatics: 1.Micro-pragmatics 2. Macro-pragmatics 3. Meta-pragmatics
121. Micro-pragmaticsThe studies of Micro-pragmatics are, on the level of language using, centering upon the discussion of pragmatic tasks aroused by the understanding of language symbols’ reference and implicature during conversation, including Context, Conversational implicature, Reference, Pragmatic Principles, speech Acts and Conversation Analysis.
132. Macro-pragmaticsThe studies of Macro-pragmatics are, on the level of society & culture, focus on the problems of how to use language for language user during the process of communication, including Pragmatic Acts, Literary Pragmatics, Pragmatics Across Cultures and the Social Aspects of Pragmatics. .
143. MetapragmaticsMetapragmatics which can be considered as a review, a survey or a reflection of pragmatics itself, including making statements about itself, questioning itself, improving itself, quoting itself and rethinking the methodologies and theoretic system during the process of its studies
15Levels of Language and Linguistics ]TEXTDiscourse analysisText linguisticMeaningsemanticsSituation and contextpragmaticsSentences, clauses, phrases, wordsGrammar(Morphology& syntax)Sounds and lettesPhonology and phonetics
16Pragmatics and other linguistics aspects In contrast to phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics, which describe different levels of language structure, Pragmatics deals with language use. It is still a fairly young discipline in linguistics, and is thus defined in a variety of ways. However, Pragmatics is mostly used in connection with the relationship between linguistic signs and their users (as depicted in the cartoon above). It investigates how context (both situational and linguistic contexts) affects the meaning of utterances.
17The essence of pragmatics Syntax addresses the formal relations of signs to one another, semantics deals with the relation of signs to what they denote, and pragmatics has a big deal with the relation of signs to their users and interpreters
18The central rationale for pragmatics sentence meaning (semantics) in natural languages vastly underdetermines speaker’s meaning (intentions).The goal of pragmatics is to explain how the gap between sentence meaning and speaker’s meaning is bridged
19The difference between grammatical analysis and pragmatic analysis First, grammatical studies look for rules while pragmatic studies look for principles. Rules are black and white, i.e. you are either right or wrong. For instance, you have to say “He studies linguistics”; the –s is required by a rule. Principles are not black and white; you can obey them to some extent and violate them to some extent. For example, one principle says we should tell the truth and another says we should be polite in our speech.
20Secondly, in grammar studies, we end up with products while in pragmatics we always deal with processes. In other words, after we have analyzed a sentence grammatically, our job is done; in a pragmatic inquiry, we deal with an ever-unfolding process-as the discourse goes on and on, the extra meaning of some words become clearer and clearer.
21SummaryThe field of pragmatics deals with the principles of language use that explain how extra meaning is conveyed without being encoded in language. Therefore, we need to investigate the speaker meaning, i.e. how meaning is communicated by the speaker (or writer) and interpreted by a listener (or reader). Thus, pragmatics concentrates more on the analysis of what people mean by their utterances than what the words or phrases in those utterances might mean by themselves (which is analysed in semantics).