Chapter 12 Pragmatic

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<p>Lecture 8Language and its user: pragmatics An outline</p> <p>Whats pragmatics? (a) Pragmatics studies the context-dependent aspects of verbal communication and comprehension. (b) Pragmatics studies the role of non-linguistic factors in verbal communication and comprehension.</p> <p>When does it become an independent science?</p> <p>Semantics and pragmatics Two distinct but complementary disciplines Semantics is concerned with the cognitive meaning of sentences, the meaning that is context-free; Pragmatics is concerned with the meaning of speech acts, the meaning that is context-dependent. Semantics reveals the sentence meaning of dyadic relation, answers the question what does x mean?; while pragmatics reveals the speakers meaning of triadic relation, answers the question what do you mean by x? What do you mean by a fool?</p> <p>Some Chinese idioms </p> <p>What does pragmatics study? Deixis Conversational implicature Presupposition Speech act Conversational structure</p> <p>Deixis Charles Fillmore 1971; S. Levinson 1983; J. Saeed 1997 Person deixis Time deixis Place (spatial) deixis Discourse (textual) deixis Social deixis</p> <p>Examples You, you and you, come over here. He does not like that. On the house tomorrow. Put that here and then move this over there.</p> <p>Discourse deixis Here our argument runs into some difficulties. At this point we have to look back to our initial premise.</p> <p>Social deixis tu / vous distinction in European languages tu / vous in French du / Sie in German tu / usted in Spanish</p> <p> Asian languages like Japanese, Korean and Balinese have much richer systems for grammaticalizing social relations. (Saeed 1997:180)</p> <p>Sentence meaning and speakers meaning the central problem for pragmatics is that the meaning a speaker conveys by uttering a sentence on a particular occasion typically goes well beyond the (context-independent) linguistic meaning assigned to that sentence by the grammar. One way of putting this is to say that sentence meaning typically underdetermines speakers meaning. some of the many ways in which speakers meaning can go beyond sentence meaning, and the goal of pragmatics should be to explain how the gap between sentence meaning and speakers meaning is bridged</p> <p>Communicative competence Subcomponents/subcompetences: Canale and Swain (1980): grammatical competence strategic competence sociocultural competence</p> <p> Canale (1983): + discourse competence</p> <p> Celce-Murcia &amp; Drnyei +actional competence (pragmatic c.) (1995)</p> <p> Linguistic competence: competence in producing wellformed sentences and to recognize well-formed as well as ill-formed sentences. Sub-subcompetences: phonological, grammatical, lexical and phraseological competence. Discourse competence concerns the selection, sequencing and arrangement of words, structures, sentences and utterances to achieve a unified spoken or written text. Actional competence: competence in conveying and understanding communicative intent, that is, matching actional intent with linguistic form. Sociocultural competence: the speakers knowledge of how to express messages appropriately within the overall social and cultural context of communication, in accordance with the pragmatic factors related to variation in language use. Strategic competence: knowledge of communicative strategies and how to use them.</p> <p>Grices theory 1975, Logic and conversation</p> <p>The cooperative principles Quantity; 1. Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange). 2. Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.</p> <p> Quality: Supermaxim: Try to make your contribution one that is true. 1. Do not say what you believe to be false. 2. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.</p> <p> Relation: 1. Be relevant.</p> <p> Manner: Supermaxim: Be perspicuous 1. Avoid obscurity of expression. 2. Avoid ambiguity. 3. Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity) 4. Be orderly.</p> <p>The observation and flout of the CP: Jenny Thomas(1995: 72) follow/fulfill non-observance Flouting Violating Infringing opting-out Suspending</p> <p>Pragmatic implicature</p> <p>conversational implicature</p> <p>conventional implicature</p> <p>non-conventional implicature</p> <p>generalized implicature</p> <p>particularized implicature</p> <p>The calculation of pragmatic implicature Is Rome the capital of Romania? Yes, and then Beirut is the capital of Peru.</p> <p>Properties of conversational implicature Cancelability Non-detachability Calculability Non-conventionality Indeterminacy</p> <p>Tautology Boys are boys. History is history; friendship is friendship. </p> <p>Politeness Principles Leech (1983) argues that there is a Politeness Principle that works in conjunction with the Co-operative Principle, and identifies six associated politeness maxims</p> <p>The politeness principles A. a. b.</p> <p>(Tact Maxim) (Generosity Maxim)a. b.</p> <p>B </p> <p>C a. b.</p> <p>(Approbation Maxim): (Modesty Maxim)a. b.</p> <p>D </p> <p>E a. b.</p> <p>(Agreement Maxim): (Sympathy Maxim):</p> <p>F a. b.</p> <p>Maxim1. The tact maxim 2. The generosity maxim 3. The approbatio n maxim 4. The modesty maxim. 5. The agreement maxim. 6. The sympathy maxim.</p> <p>Where FoundIn impositives and commisives In impositives and commissives. In expressives and assertives. In expressives and assertives. In assertives.</p> <p>DescriptionThe speaker minimizes the cost (and correspondingly maximizes the benefit) to the listener . The speaker minimizes the benefit (and correspondingly maximizes the cost) to herself. The speaker minimizes dispraise (and correspondingly maximizes praise) of the listener. The speaker minimizes praise (and correspondingly maximizes dispraise) of herself. The speaker minimizes disagreement (and correspondingly maximizes agreement) between herself and the listener. The speaker minimizes antipathy (and correspondingly maximizes sympathy) between herself and the listener.</p> <p>In assertives.</p> <p>Gu (1990): Politeness in Chinese 1. THE SELF-DENIGRATION MAXIM a. denigrate self b. elevate other</p> <p> 2. THE ADDRESS MAXIM a. address your interlocutor with an appropriate address term</p> <p> 3. THE TACT MAXIM (in impositives) a. At the motivational level, minimize cost to other b. At the conversational level, maximize benefit received</p> <p> 4. THE GENEROSITY MAXIM (in commissives) a. At the motivational level, maximize benefit to other b. At the conversational level, minimize cost to self</p> <p>Sociopragmatic Interactional Principles (SIPs) SIPs are a development of Leech's (1983) notion of politeness maxims and Kim's (1994) work on conversational/interactive constraints. Kim, Sharkey and Singelis (1994: 119) define interactive constraints as follows: 'fundamental concerns regarding the manner in which a message is constructed. They tend to affect the general character of every conversation one engages in, and an individual's conversational style in general.'</p> <p>Kims (1994) Research into Interactional Constraints 1 . concern to avoid hurting the hearers feelings (cf. Brown and Levinson's, 1987, positive face of hearer) 2. concern to avoid imposition (cf. Brown and Levinson's, 1987, negative face of hearer) 3. concern to avoid negative evaluation by the hearer (cf. Brown and Levinson's, 1987, positive face of speaker) 4. concern for clarity (cf. Grice's, 1989, Maxim of Manner) 5. concern for effectiveness (cf. Canary and Spitzberg's, 1989, goal achievement/task accomplishment)</p> <p>Communicative Goal resolution of the problem/achievement of own (taskrelated) goal minimisation of bother/inconvenience to oneself minimisation of bother/inconvenience to the other person maintenance or enhancement of ones own face maintenance or enhancement of the other persons face minimisation of conflict and maintenance of smooth relations acknowledgement of ones own rights acknowledgement of the other persons rights fulfilment of ones own obligations fulfilment by the other person of their obligations</p> <p>Communicative Style preference for clarity and directness compared with preference for hinting and indirectness preference for warmth and friendliness compared with preference for restraint and respectfulness preference for light-heartedness and humor compared with preference for seriousness</p> <p>Social distance</p> <p>The face theory</p> <p>Face Face wants Face threatening act Face saving act</p> <p> 'Face' Abstract face is a valuable commodity which I can lose or save: "Face, the public self-image that every member [person] wants to claim for himself, consisting in two related aspects: a. Negative face: the basic claim to territories, personal preserves, rights to non-distraction - i.e. to freedom of action and freedom from imposition b. Positive face: the positive consistent self-image or personality (crucially including the desire that this selfimage be appreciated and approved of) claimed." (Brown and Levinson 1987: 61)</p> <p> It's my public 'face', and need not be true to my real personality or abilities. I have to claim my 'face', because it depends on your respect for my rights (negative) and for me (positive). You can easily damage my 'face' by rejecting my claim. But I can damage yours equally easily; so we all benefit from respecting each others 'faces': Do to others as you would like them to do to you. (NB This is basic morality.) Why FACE? Because: your face shows what you think of my 'face' (Ok, aggression, contempt); my face shows how I react to your treatment of me (Ok, annoyance, embarrassment).</p> <p>Threats to face and politeness (See Penelope Brown and Stephen Levinson, Politeness, based on Goffman's theory of 'face'.) My intended behaviour can threaten your face: asking you for a service threatens your negative face; criticizing you threatens your positive face. Alternatives for me: 'bald on-line': I just do it regardless of consequences. politeness: I try to minimize the threat. Language offers various ready-made politeness devices for doing this, e.g. PLEASE - protects your negative face. SEE YOU LATER - protects your positive face. 'off-line': I just hint at my intended behaviour and leave you to decide, e.g. "It's cold here." I abandon the plan as too risky.</p> <p>Positive and Negative politeness Positive politeness Negative politeness</p> <p>How to get a pen from someone else</p> <p>say something</p> <p>say nothing (but search in bag)</p> <p>on record</p> <p>off record (I forgot my pen) bald on record (Give me a pen.)</p> <p>face saving act</p> <p>positive politeness (How about letting me use your pen?</p> <p>negative politeness (Could you lend me a pen?)</p> <p>Pre-sequence Pre-request Pre-invitation</p> <p>Spot the politeness devices and decide whether they protect the addressee's positive or negative face: 1. Hi, mate, can you lend me a pound? 2. Excuse me, sir, can I help you? 3 A: I saw a child run over this morning. B: No, really? You're kidding. 4. I'm afraid I can't accept this essay, Mary. 5. A: Which way to the post office, please? B: Just down the road and you'll see it. A: Great. Thanks a lot. B: That's alright. Bye. 6. A: Hello. B: Hi. 7. I wonder if you could tell me the time? 8. I suppose you wouldn't by any chance know the time, would you? 9. A: I think you may have left the door open. B: Woops - sorry! Silly me. A: That's alright - easily done. 10. If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to leave at ten to four. 11. I know you must be terribly busy, but could you just glance through my essay draft? 12. I regret to inform you that your overdraft limit has been exceeded. 13. Do you know what I heard today? Bill and Ann are getting married.</p> <p> The relation between CP and PP is a matter of advance and retreat. If one cares about CP more, then he has to care PP less; and contrariwise, if one has to weigh politeness more, he has to sacrifice CP.</p> <p>Linguistic signals of power and solidarityWord class names personal pronouns English examples John - Mr Brown - Dad thou - you (Shakespeare, some dialects) friend - boss - stranger other languages Japanese: Taroo-san French: tu - vous Japanese I Japanese: honorific prefix oJapanese polite forms: Taroo-ga ki-ta. Taro came (intimate) Taroo-ga ki-masi-ta. Taro came (polite) try - attempt Hi! - Good morning Javanese style levels shows relation of speaker to: referent referent = addressee</p> <p>Common nouns verbs (especially sentence-roots)</p> <p>referent addressee</p> <p>vocabulary level Greetings</p> <p>addressee addressee</p> <p>Politeness devices</p> <p>Please Thank you</p> <p>addressee</p> <p>Austins theorylocutionary act </p> <p>illocutionary act</p> <p>perlocutionary act</p> <p>The speech act theory</p> <p>Performatives and constatives</p> <p>Searles theory</p> <p>Categorizing speech acts 1. representatives 2. directives 3. commissives 4. expressives 5. declarations</p> <p>Conditions for an act Preparatory condition Propositional Sincerity essential</p> <p>Direct and indirect speech acts</p> <p>The relevance theory http://www.dan.sperber.com/ Dan Sperber is also the co-author, with Deirdre Wilson (Department of Linguistics, University College, London) of Relevance: Communication and Cognition (Blackwell 1986 - Second Revised Edition, 1995). Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson have developed a cognitive approach to communication known as "Relevance Theory".</p> <p> The Relevance Theory The Relevance Theory (simplified) Relevance and Understanding</p> <p> Cognitive Principle of Relevance Human cognition tends to be geared to the maximization of relevance.</p> <p> Ostensiveinferential communication a. The informative intention: The intention to inform an audience of something. b. The communicative intention: The intention to inform the audience of ones informative intention</p> <p> Communicative Principle of Relevance Every ostensive stimulus conveys a presumption of its own optimal relevance.</p> <p>Optimal relevance An ostensive stimulus is optimally relevant to an audience iff: a. It is relevant enough to be worth the audiences processing effort; b. It is the most relevant one compatible with communicators abilities and preferences.</p> <p>Relevance-theoretic comprehension procedure a. Follow a path of least effort in computing cognitive effects: Test interpretive hypotheses (disambiguations, reference resolutions, implicatures, etc.) in order of accessibility. b. Stop when your expectations of relevance are satisfied.</p> <p>Sub-tasks in the overall comprehension process a. Constructing an appropriate hypothesis about explicit content (in relevance-theoretic terms, explicatures) via decoding, disambiguation, reference resolution, and other pragmatic enrichment processes. b. Constructing an appropriate hypothesis about the intended contextual assumptions (in relevance-theoretic terms, implicated premises). c. Constructing an appropriate hypothesis about the intended contextual implications (in relevance-theoretic terms, implicated conclusions).</p> <p>Conversational structure Pre-sequences Inserted sequences Turn, turn-taking Adjacency pair Overlap; interruption; pause; silence; Side sequence Repair</p> <p> Video clips Sample papers</p> <p>Repair; self-repair Types of conversational repair</p>