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In
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying ...

linguistics
and related fields, pragmatics is the study of how
context Context may refer to: * Context (language use), the relevant constraints of the communicative situation that influence language use, language variation, and discourse summary. Computing * Context (computing), the virtual environment required to ...
contributes to meaning. The field of study evaluates how human language is utilized in social interactions, as well as the relationship between the interpreter and the interpreted. Pragmatics encompasses phenomena including
implicature An implicature is something the speaker suggests or implies with an utterance, even though it is not literally expressed. Implicatures can aid in communicating more efficiently than by explicitly saying everything we want to communicate. This pheno ...
,
speech act In the philosophy of language In analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, exist ...
s,
relevance Relevance is the concept of one topic being connected to another topic in a way that makes it useful to consider the second topic when considering the first. The concept of relevance is studied in many different fields, including cognitive scie ...
and
conversation Conversation is interactive communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self and other, private and public, and inner tho ...
.Mey, Jacob L. (1993) ''Pragmatics: An Introduction''. Oxford: Blackwell (2nd ed. 2001). as well as nonverbal communication.Theories of pragmatics go hand-in-hand with theories of
semantics Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another ...
, which studies aspects of meaning, and
syntax In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...

syntax
which examines sentence structures, principles, and relationships. The ability to understand another speaker's intended meaning is called ''pragmatic competence''. Pragmatics emerged as its own subfield in the 1950s after the pioneering work of J.L. Austin and
Paul Grice Herbert Paul Grice (13 March 1913 – 28 August 1988), usually publishing under the name H. P. Grice, H. Paul Grice, or Paul Grice, was a British philosopher of language In analytic philosophy, philosophy of language investigates the nature ...
.


Origin of the field

Pragmatics was a reaction to structuralist linguistics as outlined by
Ferdinand de Saussure Ferdinand de Saussure (; ; 26 November 1857 – 22 February 1913) was a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_typ ...

Ferdinand de Saussure
. In many cases, it expanded upon his idea that language has an analyzable structure, composed of parts that can be defined in relation to others. Pragmatics first engaged only in
synchronic Synchronic may refer to: * ''Synchronic'' (film), a 2019 American science fiction film starring Jamie Dornan and Anthony Mackie * Synchronic analysis, the analysis of a language at a specific point of time * Synchronicity, the experience of two or ...
study, as opposed to examining the historical development of language. However, it rejected the notion that all meaning comes from signs existing purely in the abstract space of ''langue''. Meanwhile,
historical pragmaticsHistorical pragmatics is the study of linguistic pragmatics over time. Research in historical pragmatics is mainly carried out on written corpora as recordings of spoken language are a relatively recent phenomenon. State of the art Since the lat ...
has also come into being. The field did not gain linguists' attention until the 1970s, when two different schools emerged: the Anglo-American pragmatic thought and the European continental pragmatic thought (also called the perspective view).


Areas of interest

* The study of the speaker's meaning focusing not on the phonetic or grammatical form of an utterance but on what the speaker's intentions and beliefs are. * The study of the meaning in context and the influence that a given context can have on the message. It requires knowledge of the speaker's identities, and the place and time of the utterance. * The study of
implicature An implicature is something the speaker suggests or implies with an utterance, even though it is not literally expressed. Implicatures can aid in communicating more efficiently than by explicitly saying everything we want to communicate. This pheno ...
s: the things that are communicated even though they are not explicitly expressed. * The study of relative distance, both social and physical, between speakers in order to understand what determines the choice of what is said and what is not said. * The study of what is not meant, as opposed to the intended meaning: what is unsaid and unintended, or unintentional. *
Information structure In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...
, the study of how utterances are marked in order to efficiently manage the common ground of referred entities between speaker and hearer. *
Formal Pragmatics Universal pragmatics (UP), more recently placed under the heading of formal pragmatics, is the philosophical study of the necessary conditions for reaching an understanding Understanding is a psychological process related to concepts, such as a ...
, the study of those aspects of meaning and use for which context of use is an important factor by using the methods and goals of formal semantics. *The study of the role pragmatics in the development of children with
autism spectrum disorders The autism spectrum encompasses a range of neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism and Asperger syndrome, generally known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Individuals on the autism spectrum typically experience difficulties with s ...
or developmental language disorder (DLD).


Ambiguity

The sentence "You have a green light" is ambiguous. Without knowing the context, the identity of the speaker or the speaker's intent, it is difficult to infer the meaning with certainty. For example, it could mean: * the space that belongs to you has green ambient lighting; * you are driving through a green traffic signal; * you no longer have to wait to continue driving; * you are permitted to proceed in a non-driving context; * your body is cast in a greenish glow; * you possess a light source which radiates green; or * you possess a light with a green surface. Another example of an ambiguous sentence is, “I went to the bank.” This is an example of lexical ambiguity, as the word bank can either be in reference to a place where money is kept, or the edge of a river. To understand what the speaker is truly saying, it is a matter of context, which is why it is pragmatically ambiguous as well. Similarly, the sentence "Sherlock saw the man with binoculars" could mean that Sherlock observed the man by using binoculars, or it could mean that Sherlock observed a man who was holding binoculars (''
syntactic ambiguity Syntactic ambiguity, also called structural ambiguity, amphiboly or amphibology, is a situation where a sentence may be interpreted in more than one way due to ambiguous sentence structure. Syntactic ambiguity arises not from the range of meani ...
''). The meaning of the sentence depends on an understanding of the context and the speaker's intent. As defined in linguistics, a sentence is an abstract entity: a string of words divorced from non-linguistic context, as opposed to an
utterance In spoken language A spoken language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing sy ...

utterance
, which is a concrete example of a
speech act In the philosophy of language In analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, exist ...
in a specific context. The more closely conscious subjects stick to common words, idioms, phrasings, and topics, the more easily others can surmise their meaning; the further they stray from common expressions and topics, the wider the variations in interpretations. That suggests that sentences do not have intrinsic meaning, that there is no meaning associated with a sentence or word, and that either can represent an idea only symbolically. ''The cat sat on the mat'' is a sentence in English. If someone were to say to someone else, "The cat sat on the mat," the act is itself an utterance. That implies that a sentence, term, expression or word cannot symbolically represent a single true meaning; such meaning is underspecified (which cat sat on which mat?) and potentially ambiguous. By contrast, the meaning of an utterance can be inferred through knowledge of both its linguistic and non-linguistic contexts (which may or may not be sufficient to resolve ambiguity). In mathematics, with
Berry's paradox The Berry paradox is a self-referential paradox A paradox, also known as an antinomy, is a logically self-contradictory statement or a statement that runs contrary to one's expectation. It is a statement that, despite apparently valid reasoning ...
, there arises a similar systematic ambiguity with the word "definable".


Referential uses of language

The referential uses of language are how signs are used to refer to certain items. A sign is the link or relationship between a signified and the signifier as defined by
de Saussure
de Saussure
and Huguenin. The signified is some entity or concept in the world. The signifier represents the signified. An example would be: :''Signified: the concept cat :''Signifier: the word "cat" The relationship between the two gives the sign meaning. The relationship can be explained further by considering what we mean by "meaning." In pragmatics, there are two different types of meaning to consider: semantic-referential meaning and indexical meaning. Semantic-referential meaning refers to the aspect of meaning, which describes events in the world that are independent of the circumstance they are uttered in. An example would be propositions such as: :''"Santa Claus eats cookies."'' In this case, the proposition is describing that Santa Claus eats cookies. The meaning of the proposition does not rely on whether or not Santa Claus is eating cookies at the time of its utterance. Santa Claus could be eating cookies at any time and the meaning of the proposition would remain the same. The meaning is simply describing something that is the case in the world. In contrast, the proposition, "Santa Claus is eating a cookie right now," describes events that are happening at the time the proposition is uttered. Semantic-referential meaning is also present in meta-semantical statements such as: :''Tiger: carnivorous, a mammal'' If someone were to say that a tiger is a carnivorous animal in one context and a mammal in another, the definition of tiger would still be the same. The meaning of the sign tiger is describing some animal in the world, which does not change in either circumstance.
Indexical In semiotics, linguistics, anthropology and philosophy of language, indexicality is the phenomenon of a ''sign'' pointing to (or ''indexing'') some object in the context (language use), context in which it occurs. A sign that signifies indexically i ...
meaning, on the other hand, is dependent on the context of the utterance and has rules of use. By rules of use, it is meant that indexicals can tell you when they are used, but not what they actually mean. :''Example'': "I" Whom "I" refers to depends on the context and the person uttering it. As mentioned, these meanings are brought about through the relationship between the signified and the signifier. One way to define the relationship is by placing signs in two categories: referential indexical signs, also called "shifters," and pure indexical signs. Referential indexical signs are signs where the meaning shifts depending on the context hence the nickname "shifters." 'I' would be considered a referential indexical sign. The referential aspect of its meaning would be '1st person singular' while the indexical aspect would be the person who is speaking (refer above for definitions of semantic-referential and indexical meaning). Another example would be: :''"This"'' :''Referential: singular count'' :''Indexical: Close by'' A pure indexical sign does not contribute to the meaning of the propositions at all. It is an example of a "non-referential use of language." A second way to define the signified and signifier relationship is
C.S. Peirce Charles Sanders Peirce ( ; September 10, 1839 – April 19, 1914) was an American philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meani ...

C.S. Peirce
's Peircean Trichotomy. The components of the trichotomy are the following: :1. Icon: the signified resembles the signifier (signified: a dog's barking noise, signifier: bow-wow) :2. Index: the signified and signifier are linked by proximity or the signifier has meaning only because it is pointing to the signified :3. Symbol: the signified and signifier are arbitrarily linked (signified: a cat, signifier: the word cat) These relationships allow us to use signs to convey what we want to say. If two people were in a room and one of them wanted to refer to a characteristic of a chair in the room he would say "this chair has four legs" instead of "a chair has four legs." The former relies on context (indexical and referential meaning) by referring to a chair specifically in the room at that moment while the latter is independent of the context (semantico-referential meaning), meaning the concept chair.


Referential expressions in conversation

Referring to things and people is a common feature of conversation, and conversants do so
collaboratively Collaboration is the process of two or more people, entities or organizations working together to complete a task or achieve a goal. Collaboration is similar to cooperation. Most collaboration requires leadership, although the form of leadership ...

collaboratively
. Individuals engaging in
discourse Discourse is a generalization of the notion of a conversation Conversation is interactive communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy) ...

discourse
utilize pragmatics. In addition, individuals within the scope of discourse cannot help but avoid intuitive use of certain utterances or word choices in an effort to create communicative success. The study of referential language is heavily focused upon
definite description In formal semantics (natural language), formal semantics and philosophy of language, a definite description is a denotation, denoting phrase in the form of "the X" where X is a noun-phrase or a singular common noun. The definite description is ''pr ...
s an
referent accessibility
Theories have been presented for why direct referent descriptions occur in discourse. (In layman's terms: why reiteration of certain names, places, or individuals involved or as a topic of the conversation at hand are repeated more than one would think necessary.) Four factors are widely accepted for the use of referent language including (i) competition with a possible referent, (ii) salience of the referent in the context of discussion (iii) an effort for unity of the parties involved, and finally, (iv) a blatant presence of distance from the last referent. Referential expressions are a form of anaphora. They are also a means of connecting past and present thoughts together to create context for information at hand. Analyzing the context of a sentence and determining whether or not the use of referent expression is necessary is highly reliant upon the author/speaker's digression- and is correlated strongly with the use of pragmatic competency.


Nonreferential uses of language


Silverstein's "Pure" Indexes

Michael Silverstein Michael Silverstein (12 September 1945 – 17 July 2020) was an American linguist. He was the Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor of anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') a ...
has argued that "nonreferential" or "pure" indices do not contribute to an utterance's referential meaning but instead "signal some particular value of one or more contextual variables." Although nonreferential indexes are devoid of semantico-referential meaning, they do encode "pragmatic" meaning. The sorts of contexts that such indexes can mark are varied. Examples include: * Sex indexes are affixes or inflections that index the sex of the speaker, e.g. the verb forms of female
Koasati The Coushatta ( cku, Koasati, Kowassaati or Kowassa:ti) are a Muskogean-speaking Native American people now living primarily in the U.S. states of Louisiana Louisiana (, ); Standard French: ' ; es, Luisiana is a state in the Deep ...
speakers take the suffix "-s". * Deference indexes are words that signal social differences (usually related to status or age) between the speaker and the addressee. The most common example of a deference index is the V form in a language with a
T–V distinction The T–V distinction is the contextual use of different pronouns that exists in some languages, and serves to convey formality or familiarity. Its name comes from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic lan ...
, the widespread phenomenon in which there are multiple second-person pronouns that correspond to the addressee's relative status or familiarity to the speaker.
Honorific An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term "honorific" is used in a more specific sense to refer to an honorary academic title. It ...
s are another common form of deference index and demonstrate the speaker's respect or esteem for the addressee via special forms of address and/or self-humbling first-person pronouns. * An Affinal taboo index is an example of
avoidance speech Avoidance speech is a group of sociolinguistic phenomena in which a special restricted speech style must be used in the presence of or in reference to certain relatives. Avoidance speech is found in many Australian Aboriginal languages and Austron ...
that produces and reinforces sociological distance, as seen in the Aboriginal
Dyirbal language Dyirbal (also ''Djirubal'') is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken in northeast Queensland Queensland ( ,) is a state situated in northeastern Australia, and is the States and territories of Australia, second-largest and third-most ...
of Australia. In that language and some others, there is a social taboo against the use of the everyday lexicon in the presence of certain relatives (mother-in-law, child-in-law, paternal aunt's child, and maternal uncle's child). If any of those relatives are present, a Dyirbal speaker has to switch to a completely separate lexicon reserved for that purpose. In all of these cases, the semantico-referential meaning of the utterances is unchanged from that of the other possible (but often impermissible) forms, but the pragmatic meaning is vastly different.


The performative

J.L. Austin introduced the concept of the performative, contrasted in his writing with "constative" (i.e. descriptive) utterances. According to Austin's original formulation, a performative is a type of utterance characterized by two distinctive features: * It is not truth-evaluable (i.e. it is neither true nor false) * Its uttering ''performs'' an action rather than simply describing one Examples: * "I hereby pronounce you man and wife." * "I accept your apology." * "This meeting is now adjourned." To be performative, an utterance must conform to various conditions involving what Austin calls
felicity Felicity may refer to: Places * Felicity, California, United States, an unincorporated community * Felicity, Ohio, United States, a village * Felicity, Trinidad and Tobago, a community in Chaguanas Entertainment * Felicity (TV series), ''Fel ...
. These deal with things like appropriate context and the speaker's authority. For instance, when a couple has been arguing and the husband says to his wife that he accepts her apology even though she has offered nothing approaching an apology, his assertion is infelicitous: because she has made neither expression of regret nor request for forgiveness, there exists none to accept, and thus no act of accepting can possibly happen.


Jakobson's six functions of language

Roman Jakobson Roman Osipovich Jakobson (russian: Рома́н О́сипович Якобсо́н; October 11, 1896Kucera, Henry. 1983. "Roman Jakobson." ''Language: Journal of the Linguistic Society of America'' 59(4): 871–883. – July 18,
, expanding on the work of
Karl Bühler Karl Ludwig Bühler (27 May 1879 – 24 October 1963) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see ...
, described six "constitutive factors" of a speech event, each of which represents the privileging of a corresponding function, and only one of which is the referential (which corresponds to the context of the speech event). The six constitutive factors and their corresponding functions are diagrammed below. The six constitutive factors of a speech event :::Context :::Message Addresser---------------------Addressee :::Contact :::Code
The six functions of language :::Referential :::Poetic Emotive-----------------------Conative :::Phatic :::Metalingual * The Referential Function corresponds to the factor of Context and describes a situation, object or mental state. The descriptive statements of the referential function can consist of both definite descriptions and
deictic In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic ...

deictic
words, e.g. "The autumn leaves have all fallen now." * The Expressive (alternatively called "emotive" or "affective") Function relates to the Addresser and is best exemplified by
interjections An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling or reaction. It is a diverse category, encompassing many different parts of speech, such as exclamations ''(ouch!'', ''wow!''), curse ...
and other sound changes that do not alter the denotative meaning of an utterance but do add information about the Addresser's (speaker's) internal state, e.g. "Wow, what a view!" * The Conative Function engages the Addressee directly and is best illustrated by
vocative In grammar, the vocative Grammatical case, case (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) is a grammatical case which is used for a noun that identifies a person (animal, object, etc.) being addressed, or occasionally for the determiner (li ...
s and imperatives, e.g. "Tom! Come inside and eat!" * The Poetic Function focuses on "the message for its own sake"Duranti 1997 and is the operative function in poetry as well as slogans. * The
Phatic In linguistics, a phatic expression (, ) is communication which serves to establish or maintain social relationships rather than to impart information. Phatic expressions are a socio-pragmatic function and are used in everyday conversational excha ...
Function is language for the sake of interaction and is therefore associated with the Contact factor. The Phatic Function can be observed in greetings and casual discussions of the weather, particularly with strangers. * The Metalingual (alternatively called "metalinguistic" or "reflexive") Function is the use of language (what Jakobson calls "Code") to discuss or describe itself.


Related fields

There is considerable overlap between pragmatics and
sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, ...
, since both share an interest in
linguistic meaning Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of meaning, reference, or truth. The term can be used to refer to subfields of several distinct disciplines, including linguistics Linguistics is th ...
as determined by usage in a speech community. However, sociolinguists tend to be more interested in variations in language within such communities. Influences of philosophy and politics are also present in the field of pragmatics, as the dynamics of societies and oppression are expressed through language Pragmatics helps anthropologists relate elements of language to broader social phenomena; it thus pervades the field of
linguistic anthropology Linguistic anthropology is the interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several ot ...
. Because pragmatics describes generally the forces in play for a given utterance, it includes the study of power, gender, race, identity, and their interactions with individual speech acts. For example, the study of
code switching In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis includ ...
directly relates to pragmatics, since a switch in code effects a shift in pragmatic force. According to Charles W. Morris, pragmatics tries to understand the relationship between signs and their users, while
semantics Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another ...
tends to focus on the actual objects or ideas to which a word refers, and
syntax In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...

syntax
(or "syntactics") examines relationships among signs or symbols. Semantics is the literal meaning of an idea whereas pragmatics is the implied meaning of the given idea.
Speech Act Theory In the philosophy of language In analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existe ...
, pioneered by J.L. Austin and further developed by
John Searle John Rogers Searle (; born July 31, 1932) is an American philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existen ...

John Searle
, centers around the idea of the performative, a type of utterance that performs the very action it describes. Speech Act Theory's examination of Illocutionary Acts has many of the same goals as pragmatics, as outlined above. Computational Pragmatics, as defined by Victoria Fromkin, concerns how humans can communicate their intentions to computers with as little ambiguity as possible. That process, integral to the science of
natural language processing Natural language processing (NLP) is a subfield of , , and concerned with the interactions between computers and human language, in particular how to program computers to process and analyze large amounts of data. The goal is a computer capab ...
(seen as a sub-discipline of
artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstra ...

artificial intelligence
), involves providing a computer system with some database of knowledge related to a topic and a series of algorithms, which control how the system responds to incoming data, using contextual knowledge to more accurately approximate natural human language and information processing abilities. Reference resolution, how a computer determines when two objects are different or not, is one of the most important tasks of computational pragmatics.


Formalization

There has been a great amount of discussion on the boundary between semantics and pragmatics and there are many different formalizations of aspects of pragmatics linked to context dependence. Particularly interesting cases are the discussions on the semantics of indexicals and the problem of referential descriptions, a topic developed after the theories of Keith Donnellan. A proper logical theory of formal pragmatics has been developed by
Carlo Dalla Pozza Carlo Dalla Pozza (October 16, 1942, Taranto Taranto (, also ; ; nap, label=Tarantino Quentin Jerome Tarantino (; born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. His films are characterized by nonline ...
, according to which it is possible to connect classical semantics (treating propositional contents as true or false) and intuitionistic semantics (dealing with illocutionary forces). The presentation of a formal treatment of pragmatics appears to be a development of the Fregean idea of assertion sign as formal sign of the act of assertion.


In literary theory

Pragmatics (more specifically,
Speech Act Theory In the philosophy of language In analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existe ...
's notion of the performative) underpins
Judith Butler Judith Pamela Butler (born February 24, 1956) is an American philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover of wisdom'. ...

Judith Butler
's theory of
gender performativity The social construction of gender is a theory in feminism Feminism is a range of social movement Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware ...
. In ''
Gender Trouble ''Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity'' (1990; second edition 1999) is a book by the philosopher Judith Butler, in which the author argues that gender Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiat ...
'', she claims that gender and sex are not natural categories, but socially constructed roles produced by "reiterative acting." In ''Excitable Speech'' she extends her theory of
performativity Performativity is the concept that language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system comp ...
to
hate speech Hate speech is defined by the ''Cambridge Dictionary ''Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary'' 3rd Edition CD-ROM The ''Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary'' (unofficially ''Cambridge English Dictionary'' or ''Cambridge Dictionary'' ...
and
censorship Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information. This may be done on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient". Censorship can be conducted by governments ...

censorship
, arguing that censorship necessarily strengthens any discourse it tries to suppress and therefore, since the state has sole power to define hate speech legally, it is the state that makes hate speech performative.
Jacques Derrida Jacques Derrida (; ; born Jackie Élie Derrida; See also . July 15, 1930 – October 9, 2004), born in Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers ...
remarked that some work done under Pragmatics aligned well with the program he outlined in his book ''
Of Grammatology ''Of Grammatology'' (french: De la grammatologie) is a 1967 book by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, in which the author discusses writers such as Claude Lévi-Strauss, Ferdinand de Saussure Ferdinand de Saussure (; ; 26 November 1857 ...
''.
Émile Benveniste Émile Benveniste (; 27 May 1902 – 3 October 1976) was a French structural A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrela ...
argued that the
pronouns In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...

pronouns
"I" and "you" are fundamentally distinct from other pronouns because of their role in creating the subject.
Gilles Deleuze Gilles Deleuze (; ; 18 January 1925 – 4 November 1995) was a French philosopher who, from the early 1950s until his death in 1995, wrote on philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such a ...

Gilles Deleuze
and
Félix Guattari Pierre-Félix Guattari (; ; April 30, 1930 – August 29, 1992) was a French psychotherapist, philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosop ...
discuss linguistic pragmatics in the fourth chapter of ''
A Thousand Plateaus ''A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia'' (french: Mille plateaux) is a 1980 book by the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze Gilles Deleuze (; ; 18 January 1925 – 4 November 1995) was a French philosopher who, from the early 1 ...
'' ("November 20, 1923--Postulates of Linguistics"). They draw three conclusions from Austin: (1) A
performative utterance In the philosophy of language In analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, exist ...
does not communicate information about an act second-hand, but it is the act; (2) Every aspect of language ("semantics, syntactics, or even phonematics") functionally interacts with pragmatics; (3) There is no distinction between language and speech. This last conclusion attempts to refute division between ''langue'' and ''parole'' and distinction between
deep structure and surface structureDeep structure and surface structure (also D-structure and S-structure, although these abbreviated forms are sometimes used with distinct meanings) concepts are used in linguistics, specifically in the study of syntax in the Noam Chomsky, Chomskyan t ...
simultaneously. and
Félix Guattari Pierre-Félix Guattari (; ; April 30, 1930 – August 29, 1992) was a French psychotherapist, philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosop ...
(1987)
980 Year 980 ( CMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday A leap year starting on Thursday is any year with 366 days (i.e. it includes 29 February) that begins on Thursday Thursday is the day of the week between Wednesday Wednesday is the ...
''
A Thousand Plateaus ''A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia'' (french: Mille plateaux) is a 1980 book by the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze Gilles Deleuze (; ; 18 January 1925 – 4 November 1995) was a French philosopher who, from the early 1 ...
''. University of Minnesota Press.


Significant works and concepts

* J. L. Austin's ''How To Do Things With Words'' *
Paul Grice Herbert Paul Grice (13 March 1913 – 28 August 1988), usually publishing under the name H. P. Grice, H. Paul Grice, or Paul Grice, was a British philosopher of language In analytic philosophy, philosophy of language investigates the nature ...
's
cooperative principle In social science generally and linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of ...
and conversational maxims * Brown and Levinson's politeness theory *
Geoffrey Leech Geoffrey Neil Leech Fellow of the British Academy, FBA (16 January 1936 – 19 August 2014) was a specialist in English language and linguistics. He was the author, co-author, or editor of over 30 books and over 120 published papers. His main aca ...
's
politeness maxims According to Geoffrey Leech, there is a politeness principle with gricean maxims, conversational maxims similar to those formulated by Paul Grice. He lists six maxims: tact, generosity, approbation, modesty, agreement, and sympathy. The first and ...
* Levinson's presumptive meanings *
Jürgen Habermas Jürgen Habermas (, ; ; born 18 June 1929) is a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, e ...
's universal pragmatics * Dan Sperber and
Deirdre Wilson Deirdre Susan Moir Wilson, FBA (born 1941) is a British linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signe ...
's
relevance theory Relevance theory is a framework for understanding utterance interpretation first proposed by Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson and used within cognitive linguistics Cognitive linguistics is an interdisciplinary branch of linguistics Linguis ...
* Dallin D. Oaks's ''Structural Ambiguity in English: An Applied Grammatical Inventory''
Vonk, Hustinx, and Simon's Referential Expression Journal
* Nancy Bauer's ''How To Do Things With Pornography''


See also

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Notes


References

* J. L. Austin, Austin, J. L. (1962) ''How to Do Things With Words''. Oxford University Press. * Ariel, Mira (2008), ''Pragmatics and Grammar'', Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * * Brown, Penelope, and Stephen C. Levinson. (1978) ''Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage''. Cambridge University Press. * Robyn Carston, Carston, Robyn (2002) ''Thoughts and Utterances: The Pragmatics of Explicit Communication''. Oxford: Blackwell. * Herb Clark, Clark, Herbert H. (1996) "Using Language". Cambridge University Press. * Cole, Peter, ed.. (1978) ''Pragmatics''. (Syntax and Semantics, 9). New York: Academic Press. * Teun A. van Dijk, Dijk, Teun A. van. (1977) ''Text and Context. Explorations in the Semantics and Pragmatics of Discourse''. London: Longman. * H. Paul Grice, Grice, H. Paul. (1989) ''Studies in the Way of Words''. Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press. * Laurence R. Horn and Gregory Ward. (2005) ''The Handbook of Pragmatics''. Blackwell. * Leech, Geoffrey N. (1983) ''Principles of Pragmatics''. London: Longman. * Stephen C. Levinson, Levinson, Stephen C. (1983) ''Pragmatics''. Cambridge University Press. * Stephen C. Levinson, Levinson, Stephen C. (2000). Presumptive meanings: The theory of generalized conversational implicature. MIT Press. * Lin, G. H. C., & Perkins, L. (2005). Cross-cultural discourse of giving and accepting gifts. International Journal of Communication, 16,1-2, 103-12 (ERIC Collections in ED 503685 http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED503685.pdf) * Moumni, Hassan (2005). Politeness in Parliamentary Discourse : A Comparative Pragmatic Study of British and Moroccan MPs’ Speech Acts at Question Time. Unpub. Ph.D. Thesis. Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco. *Jacob L. Mey, Mey, Jacob L. (1993) ''Pragmatics: An Introduction''. Oxford: Blackwell (2nd ed. 2001). * Kepa Korta and John Perry. (2006
''Pragmatics''
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy * Potts, Christopher. (2005) ''The Logic of Conventional Implicatures''. Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. * Douglas Robinson (academic), Robinson, Douglas. (2003). ''Performative Linguistics: Speaking and Translating as Doing Things With Words''. London and New York: Routledge. * Robinson, Douglas. (2006). ''Introducing Performative Pragmatics''. London and New York: Routledge. * Sperber, Dan and Wilson, Deirdre. (2005
Pragmatics
In F. Jackson and M. Smith (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy. OUP, Oxford, 468-501. (Also availabl
here
) * Thomas, Jenny (1995) ''Meaning in Interaction: An Introduction to Pragmatics''. Longman. * Verschueren, Jef. (1999
''Understanding Pragmatics''
London, New York: Arnold Publishers. * Verschueren, Jef, Jan-Ola Östman, Jan Blommaert, eds. (1995) ''Handbook of Pragmatics''. Amsterdam: Benjamins. * Watzlawick, Paul, Janet Helmick Beavin and Don D. Jackson (1967) ''Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies, and Paradoxes''. New York: Norton. * Anna Wierzbicka, Wierzbicka, Anna (1991) ''Cross-cultural Pragmatics. The Semantics of Human Interaction''. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter. * Yule, George (1996) ''Pragmatics'' (Oxford Introductions to Language Study). Oxford University Press. * Silverstein, Michael. 1976. "Shifters, Linguistic Categories, and Cultural Description," in Meaning and Anthropology, Basso and Selby, eds. New York: Harper & Row * Wardhaugh, Ronald. (2006). "An Introduction to Sociolinguistics". Blackwell. * Duranti, Alessandro. (1997). "Linguistic Anthropology". Cambridge University Press. * Carbaugh, Donal. (1990). "Cultural Communication and Intercultural Contact." LEA.


External links


Pragmatics
''Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy''
Meaning and Context Sensitivity
''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy''
Journal of Pragmatics
{{Authority control Pragmatics, Semiotics Linguistics terminology