Category Archives: Pragmatics

Context and Appropriateness

Dear All, One of the key concepts in pragmatics and discourse studies is the context. The importance of context for the analysis of texts is explicated by the fact that context serves the background against which a text unfolds and is read/understood by listeners or readers. Therefore, the meaning of any text depends fully on …

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Speech acts: Pragmatics

Video credit: The Virtual Linguistics Campus, “Semantics and Pragmatics – Speech Acts, An Overview” September 16, 2012, via YouTube. Dear All, This video continues exploring speech acts. In particular, it shows how the semantic perspective (on utterances) can be complemented with the pragmatic perspective. It also introduces Searle’s classification of speech acts. Iaroslav

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Speech act theory

Dear All, Today I would like to discuss speech act theory. In this post, I would like to sketch a general picture concerning the theory and define some key notions. I am not going to get into details or list various ramified systems of speech acts created, for example, by Searle (1975) or Meggle and …

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Theme and rheme

Dear All, Have you ever heard the terms “theme” and “rheme” (= focus – background/presupposition)? First, this post defines the two terms and then provides an example of how they have been applied in research. The discussion concludes by pointing at the importance of these notions in linguistics. Theme (in some sources, also “topic,” “background,” …

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Coherence and cohesion

Dear All, In systemic functional linguistics (SFL) and in discourse analysis, there exist two notions, which are sometimes confused: coherence and cohesion. In this post I would like to clarify any potential confusion by defining the terms and by providing examples. Coherence (from Lat. “cohaerere” – to stick together) can be understood in a wide …

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Pragmatics

even the most committed present-day student of pragmatics is as likely as his predecessors to be unsure of the extent of this subject and to be confused by the different approaches to and frameworks within pragmatics (Cummings, 2005). It is my hope that the Pragmatics section of the blog will help to define better the …

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