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.