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Defining Pragmatics

CAD$165.95 (P)

Part of Research Surveys in Linguistics

  • Date Published: August 2010
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521517836

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About the Authors
  • 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?

    • Includes a basic introduction to the main topics in pragmatics
    • Shows how different approaches to pragmatics can be integrated with each other
    • Based on natural, attested examples, from many languages
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    Reviews & endorsements

    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

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521517836
    • length: 348 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.68kg
    • contains: 4 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • 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.

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    Defining Pragmatics

    Mira Ariel

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  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Introduction to Pragmatics
    • Pragmatics
  • Author

    Mira Ariel, Tel-Aviv University
    Mira Ariel is a Professor in the Linguistics Department at Tel Aviv University, Israel. Her recent publications include Pragmatics and Grammar (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

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