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英语语言学纲要课件(7)Chapter 7 Pragmatics

2008年12月08日  所属:英语语言学  来源:完美学社  作者:英语语言学纲要

英语语言学纲要笔记课件(7)Chapter 7 Pragmatics。

Chapter 7 Pragmatics
 What is pragmatics?

 Pragmatics can be defined as the analysis of meaning in context.
 Pragmatic analysis of meaning is first and foremost concerned with the study of what is communicated by a speaker/writer and interpreted by a listener/reader.
 Analysis of intentional meaning necessarily involves the interpretation of what people do through language in a particular context.
 Intended meaning may or may not be explicitly expressed. Pragmatic analysis also explores how listeners/readers make inferences about what is communicated.

 What are the differences between the two linguistic studies of meaning – semantics and pragmatics?

 Semantics studies literal, structural or lexical meaning, while pragmatics studies non-literal, implicit, intended meaning, or speaker meaning.
 Semantics is context independent, decontextualized, while pragmatics is context dependent, contextualized.
 Semantics deals with what is said, while pragmatics deals with what is implicated or inferred.

 Deixis and reference

 Deixis is a word originally from Greek. It means pointing via language. An expression used by a speaker/writer to identify something is called deictic expression.
 Out of context, we cannot understand sentences containing deictic expressions, because we do not know what these expressions refer to respectively.
 According to referential content, deixis can be put into person deixis, place deixis, time deixis and discourse deixis.
 Person deixis: I, we, you, me, he, etc.
 Place deixis: here, there, above, over, this, that…
 Proximal and distal terms
 Proximal terms are used when something is close to the speaker, while distal terms when something is away from the speaker.
 Time deixis: next…, by…, before…, etc.
 Tenses: coding time
 Discourse deixis
 Anaphoric: backward reference
 Cataphoric: forward reference
 The deictic centre – ego-centric centre

 Speech acts

 In linguistic communication, people do not merely exchange information. They actually do something through talking or writing in various circumstances. Actions performed via speaking are called speech acts.
 Performative sentences
 Implicit performatives – It’s cold here.
 Explicit performatives – Please close the door.
 Types of speech acts
 Locutionary speech act – the action of making the sentence
 Illocutionary speech act – the intentions
 Perlocutionary speech act – the effects
 Of these dimensions, the most important is the illocutionary act.
 In linguistic communication people respond to an illocutionary act of an utterance, because it is the meaning intended by the speaker.
 If a teacher says, “I have run out of chalk” in the process of lecturing, the act of saying is locutionary, the act of demanding for chalk is illocutionary, and the effect the utterance brings about – one of the students will go and get some chalk – is perlocutionary.
 In English, illocutionary acts are also given specific labels, such as request, warning, promise, invitation, compliment, complaint, apology, offer, refusal, etc. these specific labels name various speech functions.
 As functions may not correspond to forms, speech acts can be direct and indirect.
 Searle: two ways of communication (performing acts)
 Direct speech act: Close the door.
 Indirect speech act: It’s cold in here.
 Why do people often speak indirectly in social communication?
 Different social variables: age, sex, social condition
 Politeness: communicative strategy
 Indirect speech acts are related to appropriateness.
 Indirect speech acts are made for politeness, not vice versa. To make appropriate choices does not necessarily mean indirect speech acts.

 Cooperation and implicature

 Conversational Implicature
 In our daily life, speakers and listeners involved in conversation are generally cooperating with each other. In other words, when people are talking with each other, they must try to converse smoothly and successfully. In accepting speakers’ presuppositions, listeners have to assume that a speaker is not trying to mislead them. This sense of cooperation is simply one in which people having a conversation are not normally assumed to be trying to confuse, trick, or withhold relevant information from one another.
 However, in real communication, the intention of the speaker is often not the literal meaning of what he or she says. The real intention implied in the words is called conversational implicature. For example:
[1] A: Can you tell me the time?
B: Well, the milkman has come.
 In this little conversation, A is asking B about the time, but B is not answering directly. That indicates that B may also not no the accurate time, but through saying “the milkman has come”, he is in fact giving a rough time. The answer B gives is related to the literal meaning of the words, but is not merely that. That is often the case in communication. The theory of conversational implicature is for the purpose of explaining how listeners infer the speakers’ intention through the words.
 The study of conversational implicature starts from Grice (1967), the American philosopher. He thinks, in daily communication, people are observing a set of basic rules of cooperating with each other so as to communicate effectively through conversation. He calls this set of rules the cooperative principle (CP) elaborated in four sub-principles (maxims), that is the cooperative principle.
 The Cooperative Principle
 Make your conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged. The maxims are:
 Quantity
 Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange).
 Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.
 Quality – Try to make your contribution one that is true.
 Do not say what you believe to be false.
 Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.
 Relation – Be relevant.
 Manner – Be perspicuous.
 Avoid obscurity of expression.
 Avoid ambiguity.
 Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity).
 Be orderly.
 We assume that people are normally going to provide an appropriate amount of information, i.e. they are telling the relevant truth clearly. The cooperative principle given by Grice is an idealized case of communication.
 However, there are more cases that speakers are not fully adhering to the principles. But the listener will assume that the speaker is observing the principles “in a deeper degree”. For example:
[2] A: Where is Bill?
B: There is a yellow car outside Sue’s house.
 In [2], the speaker B seems to be violating the maxims of quantity and relation, but we also assume that B is still observing the CP and think about the relationship between A’s question and the “yellow car” in B’s answer. If Bill has a yellow car, he may be in Sue’s house.
 If a speaker violate CP by the principle itself, there is no conversation at all, so there cannot be implicature. Implicature can only be caused by violating one or more maxims.
 Four Cases of “Violating” the maxims given by Grice and Conversational Implicature
 The people in conversation may violate one or more maxims secretly. In this way, he may mislead the listener.
 For this case, in the conversation [2] above, we assume that B is observing the CP and Bill has a yellow car. But if B is intentionally trying to mislead A to think that Bill is in Sue’s house, we will be misled without knowing. In this case, if one “lies” in conversation, there is no implicature in the conversation, only the misleading.
 He may declare that he is not observing the maxims or the CP.
 In this kind of situation, the speaker directly declares he is not cooperating. He has made it clear that he does not want to go on with the conversation, so there is no implicature either.
 He may fall into a dilemma. For example, for the purpose observing the first principle of the maxim of quantity (make your contribution as informative as is required), he may be violating the second principle of the maxim of quality (do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence).
 For this case, Grice gave an example:
[3] A: Where does C live?
B: Somewhere in the south of France.
 In [3], if B knows that A is going to visit C, his answer is violating the maxim of quantity, because he is not giving enough information about where C lives. But he has not declared that he will not observe the maxims. So we can know that B knows if he gives more information, he will violate the principle “do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence”. In other words, he has fallen into a “dilemma”. So we can infer that his implicature is that he does not know the exact address of C. In this case, there is conversational implicature.
 He may “flout” one or more maxims. In other words, he may be obviously not observing them.
 The last situation is the typical case that can make conversational implicature. Once the participant in a conversation has made an implicature, he or she is making use one of the maxims. We can see that from the following examples:
[4] A: Where are you going with the dog?
B: To the V-E-T.
 In [4], the dog is known to be able to recognize the word “vet” and to hate being taken there. Therefore, A makes the word spelled out. Here he is “flouting” the maxim of manner, making the implicature that he does not want the dog to know the answer to the question just asked.
[5] (In a formal get-together)
A: Mrs. X is an old bag.
B: The weather has been quite delightful this summer, hasn’t it?
 B is intentionally violating the maxim of relation in [5], implicating that what A has said is too rude and he should change a topic.

 The politeness principle (PP)

 Leech points out that CP in itself cannot explain why people are often so indirect in conveying what they mean. Grice’s theory of CP is, fundamentally, logic-oriented.
 Conversational interaction is also social behaviour. Choice of linguistic codes is central in language use. There are social and psychological factors that determine the choice.
 Besides being cooperative, participants of conversations normally try to be polite. The speakers consider the matter of face for themselves and others. Based on this observation, Leech proposes the politeness principle (PP), which contains six maxims.
 Tact
 Minimize cost to other.
 Maximize benefit to other.
 Generosity
 Minimize benefit to self.
 Maximize cost to self.
 Approbation
 Minimize dispraise of other.
 Maximize praise of other.
 Modesty
 Minimize praise of self.
 Maximize dispraise of self.
 Agreement
 Minimize disagreement between self and other.
 Maximize agreement between self and other.
 Sympathy
 Minimize antipathy between self and other.
 Maximize sympathy between self and other.
 The maxims expressed in terms of maximize entail the concept of gradience in politeness. The tact maxim expressed in terms of cost and benefit can be exemplified by the following:
 Clean the rooms.      Cost to H   Less polite
 Get some chalks for me.     ↑     ↑
 Look at the map.
 Take a seat.
 Enjoy your trip.       ↓     ↓
 Have another cup of coffee.   Benefit to H   More polite
 Cost to hearer:
 Peel the potatoes.     More direct   Less polite
 Can you peel the potatoes?    ↑     ↑
 Will you peel the potatoes?    ↓     ↓
 Would you possibly peel …?   Less direct   More polite
 Benefit to hearer:
 Would you have another sandwich? Less direct   Less polite
 Will you have another sandwich?   ↑     ↑
 Have another sandwich.     ↓     ↓
 You must have another sandwich.  More direct   More polite
 Politeness and appropriateness
 Distance, power, situational context
 Relation between CP and PP
 The PP is the superordinate principle standing above the CP. The PP overrides the CP.
 People sometimes violate the CP in order to follow the PP.

 A general introduction to the principle of relevance (RP)

 From the four maxims of CP to the RP
 The code model
 Communication is a process of coding and decoding.
 The inferential model
 Communication is a process of producing and interpreting, or coding and inferring.
 Theoretical assumptions
 General law: to use the minimal effort for the maximal effect for human behaviour.
 To communicate is to claim others’ attention.
 Contractual effect/processing effort = relevance
 The theory of RP introduced here is only a tiny part. For further study, please search the web from google.

 Conversational implicature

 What is a conversation?
 A conversation is changing ideas, or conversing.
 Conversation is the basic form of speech in human communication.
 Conversation is the dialogic form in spoken and written discourse.
 Analysis of conversation
 The global analysis – to analyze the whole structure, the whole process of a conversation.
 The local analysis – to understand the internal structure of a conversation, the turn-taking.
 Turn-taking
 Turn-taking refers to having the right to speak by turns.
 Conversations normally follow the pattern of “I speak – you speak – I speak – you speak”, if there are two participants.
 Any possible change-of-turn point is called a transition relevance place (TRP).
 One speaks (takes the floor), the other listens.
 Adjacency pair
 Adjacency pairs are a fundamental unit of conversational structure.
 Greeting/greeting, question/answer, invitation/acceptance, offer/decline, complaint/denial are common cases of adjacency pairs.
 Insertion sequence
 Not all first parts are immediately followed by second parts. It often occurs that the answer is delayed by another pair of question and answer. Look at the following example:
- May I have a bottle of Mich? (Q1)
- Are you over 21? (Q2)
- No. (A2)
- No. (A1)
 The second part of adjacency pair is violated here.
 A conversation sometimes is organized in a preferential way.
 Pre-sequence
 Pre-invitation
 Pre-request
 Pre-announcement
 Post-sequence
 Explanation


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