Linguistic Pragmatics Theory

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A Linguistic Pragmatics Theory is a theory for the intended meaning (what intended to do) in linguistic utterances and gestures.



  • (Wikipedia, 2009) ⇒
    • Pragmatics is the study of the inherent or intended meaning that lies within spoken and written language as well as gestures. Pragmatics is also the study of how meaning changes often changes depending on its use, or the structural ambiguity in language. [1] The ability to understand another speaker's intended meaning is called pragmatic competence. An utterance describing pragmatic function is described as metapragmatic.
    • Another perspective is that pragmatics deals with the way in which we reach our goals in communication. Suppose a person wanted to ask someone to stop smoking. This could be achieved by using several utterances. The person could simply say, 'Stop smoking, please!' which is a direct method and has clear semantic meaning. Alternatively, the person could say, 'Whew, this room could use an air purifier' which implies a similar meaning but is indirect and therefore requires pragmatic inference to derive the intended meaning.
    • Pragmatic awareness is regarded as one of the most challenging aspects of language learning, and comes only through experience.


  • (Potts, 2007) ⇒ Christopher Potts. (2007). “Pragmatics of Questions and Answers.] Lecture notes.
  • Maxims
    • Quality Above all, be truthful!
    • Relevance And be relevant!
    • Quantity Within those bounds, be as informative as you can!
    • Manner And do it as clearly and concisely as possible!


  • (Beaver, 2001)
    • NOTES: calls formalization in this area “notoriously problematic”.


  • (Bach, 1999)
    • NOTES: Proposes that “it seems futile for linguists to seek a formal pragmatics”.



  • (Grice, 1975)
    • NOTES: language is cooperative game between speaker and listener


  • (Grice, 196?) ⇒ H. Paul Grice (1960s)
    • proposed the construction of compact, general specifications for (rational) social interactions.