Defining Pragmatics by Mira Ariel

Defining Pragmatics

byMira Ariel

Paperback | August 16, 2010

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Although there is no shortage of definitions for pragmatics the received wisdom is that 'pragmatics' simply cannot be coherently defined. In this groundbreaking book Mira Ariel challenges the prominent definitions of pragmatics, as well as the widely-held assumption that specific topics - implicatures, deixis, speech acts, politeness - naturally and uniformly belong on the pragmatics turf. She reconstitutes the field, defining grammar as a set of conventional codes, and pragmatics as a set of inferences, rationally derived. The book applies this division of labor between codes and inferences to many classical pragmatic phenomena, and even to phenomena considered 'beyond pragmatics'. Surprisingly, although some of these turn out pragmatic, others actually turn out grammatical. Additional intriguing questions addressed in the book include: why is it sometimes difficult to distinguish grammar from pragmatics? Why is there no grand design behind grammar nor behind pragmatics? Are all extragrammatical phenomena pragmatic?

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Title:Defining PragmaticsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.72 × 6.85 × 0.67 inPublished:August 16, 2010Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521732034

ISBN - 13:9780521732031

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Table of Contents

1. What's under the big-tent pragmatics?; Part I. Deconstructing Pragmatics: 2. Surveying multiple-criterion definitions for pragmatics; 3. Problematizing the criteria; Part II. Reconstituting Pragmatics: 4. Grammar as code, pragmatics as inference; 5. Inferential pragmatic theories; Part III. Mapping the Big Tent: 6. The canon; 7. Functional syntax; 8. Beyond pragmatics; 9. Many questions, some resolutions.

Editorial Reviews

Endorsement: " ... a new way to unify the field of linguistic pragmatics. Ariel critically surveys ten criteria for defining pragmatics, and argues for equating it with inferential as opposed to encoded meaning. She then shows how to apply the definition to the complete range of topics taken to constitute pragmatics in a broad sense." Nancy Hedberg, Simon Fraser University