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Introduction to Pragmatics

Introduction to Pragmatics

Betty J. Birner

ISBN: 978-1-405-17583-8

Sep 2012

340 pages

In Stock

$50.95

Description

Introduction to Pragmatics guides students through traditional and new approaches in the field, focusing particularly on phenomena at the elusive semantics/pragmatics boundary to explore the role of context in linguistic communication.
  • Offers students an accessible introduction and an up-to-date survey of the field, encompassing both established and new approaches to pragmatics
  • Addresses the traditional range of topics – such as implicature, reference, presupposition, and speech acts – as well as newer areas of research, including neo-Gricean theories, Relevance
  • Theory, information structure, inference, and dynamic approaches to meaning
  • Explores the relationship and boundaries between semantics and pragmatics
  • Ideal for students coming to pragmatics for the first time
Preface x

Acknowledgments xii

1 Defining Pragmatics 1

1.1 Pragmatics and Natural Language 2

1.2 The Boundary Between Semantics and Pragmatics 9

1.3 Summary 34

1.4 Exercises and Discussion Questions 36

2 Gricean Implicature 40

2.1 The Cooperative Principle 41

2.2 Types of Implicature 62

2.3 Testing for Implicature 68

2.4 The Gricean Model of Meaning 73

2.5 Summary 74

2.6 Exercises and Discussion Questions 75

3 Later Approaches to Implicature 77

3.1 Neo-Gricean Theory 77

3.2 Relevance Theory 91

3.3 Comparing Neo-Gricean Theory and Relevance Theory 98

3.4 Summary 107

3.5 Exercises and Discussion Questions 108

4 Reference 110

4.1 Referring Expressions 110

4.2 Deixis 114

4.3 Definiteness and Indefiniteness 121

4.4 Anaphora 130

4.5 Referential and Attributive Uses of Definite Descriptions 138

4.6 Summary 142

4.7 Exercises and Discussion Questions 143

5 Presupposition 146

5.1 Presupposition, Negation, and Entailment 146

5.2 Presupposition Triggers 152

5.3 The Projection Problem 155

5.4 Defeasibility 157

5.5 Presupposition as Common Ground 163

5.6 Accommodation 167

5.7 Summary 172

5.8 Exercises and Discussion Questions 173

6 Speech Acts 175

6.1 Performative Utterances 175

6.2 Felicity Conditions 183

6.3 Locutionary Acts 186

6.4 Direct and Indirect Speech Acts 191

6.5 Face and Politeness 200

6.6 Joint Acts 202

6.7 Summary 203

6.8 Exercises and Discussion Questions 204

7 Information Structure 207

7.1 Topic and Focus 210

7.2 Open Propositions 215

7.3 Discourse-Status and Hearer-Status 217

7.4 Information Structure and Constituent Order 219

7.5 Functional Compositionality 229

7.6 Summary 235

7.7 Exercises and Discussion Questions 236

8 Inferential Relations 241

8.1 Inferential Relations at the Constituent Level 243

8.2 Inferential Relations at the Propositional Level 260

8.3 Summary 268

8.4 Exercises and Discussion Questions 269

9 Dynamic Semantics and the Representation of Discourse 271

9.1 Theoretical Background 272

9.2 Static vs. Dynamic Approaches to Meaning 276

9.3 Discourse Representation Theory 278

9.4 The Scope of DRT and the Domain of Pragmatics 284

9.5 Summary 290

9.6 Exercises and Discussion Questions 291

10 Conclusion 293

10.1 The Semantics/Pragmatics Boundary Revisited 294

10.2 Pragmatics in the Real World 296

10.3 Pragmatics and the Future of Linguistic Theory 302

10.4 Summary 304

10.5 Exercises and Discussion Questions 304

References 306

Sources for Examples 314

Index 318

“Overall, Birner has made an impressive attempt at simplifying the field of pragmatics and connecting it with real-life situations, unprecedentedly foregrounding its great potential in coming to terms with social issues. Thus, the value of Introduction to Pragmatics goes beyond the audience-borders set by the author and the publisher. All pragmaticians, applied linguists, stylisticians, sociolinguists and other scholars who are interested in the way language behaves in society should find the book an asset.”  (Discourse Studies, 13 May 2015)

“Birner’s Introduction to Pragmatics recognizes this challenge and offers graduate students and upper-level undergraduates an accessible introduction that addresses the traditional range of topics within pragmatics through real-life examples.”  (The Modern Language Journal, 10 November 2014)

“This point aside, the book does indeed make a compelling case for why pragmatists and semanticists alike should give thoughtful consideration to the boundary between their two domains.”  (The LINGUIST List, 9 July 2013)