Universidad Pedagógica Experimental Libertador
Instituto Pedagógico de Barquisimeto “Luis Beltrán Prieto Figueroa”
Pragmatics (john langshaw austin)
Autores: Cadenas, Jesús
Barquisimeto, Julio de 2010
Language is a precious gift given by God tohuman beings. This language is used to help its users to communicate each other. Communication in society happens in chiefly by means of language. However the users of language, as social beings, communicate and use language on society’s premises; society controls their access to the linguistic and communicative means. Pragmatics, as the study of the way humans use their language in communication,bases itself on a study of those premises and determines how they affect, and effectualize, human language use. Hence:
Pragmatics studies the use of language in human communication as determined by the conditions of society. In linguistics and philosophy, it is the study of the use of natural language in communication; more generally, the study of the relations between languages and their users. Itis sometimes defined in contrast with linguistic semantics, which can be described as the study of the rule systems that determine the literal meanings of linguistic expressions.
Pragmatics is then the study of how both literal and non-literal aspects of communicated linguistic meaning are determined by principles that refer to the physical or social context (broadly construed) in whichlanguage is used. Among these aspects are conversational and conventional "implicatures" (e.g., "John has three sons" conversationally implicates that John has no more than three sons; "He was poor but honest" conventionally implicates an unspecified contrast between poverty and honesty). Other aspects include metaphor and other tropes and speech acts.
In that case, pragmatic competence is indispensablein face-to-face interactions in a foreign language. Children acquire pragmatic competence in their native language through interaction with their caretakers or older children, in other words, engagement in contextualized communicative activities. They receive continuous feedback from parents and peers who model appropriate routines, establish rules, and “correct” children’s inappropriatebehavior.
This feedback contributes to the acquisition of the pragmatic skills required to function in their community. In contrast, most foreign language learners lack that type of input. Consequently, the classroom becomes the most important, and perhaps the only, source of relevant input for the development of their pragmatic competence.
Although pragmatics is a relatively newbranch of linguistics, research on it can be dated back to ancient Greece and Rome where the term pragmaticus’ is found in late Latin and pragmaticos’ in Greek, both meaning of being practical’. Modern use and current practice of pragmatics is credited to the influence of the American philosophical doctrine of pragmatism. For Morris (1938), pragmatics studies the relations of signs tointerpreters’, while semantics studies the relations of signs to the objects to which the signs are applicable’, and syntactics studies the formal relations of signs to one another.’ By elaborating the sense of pragmatism in his concern of conversational meanings, Grice (1975) suggested that pragmatics should centre on the more practical dimension of meaning, namely the conversational meaning which was laterformulated in a variety of ways (Levinson, 1983; Leech, 1983).
The Anglo-American tradition of pragmatic study has been tremendously expanded and enriched with the involvement of researchers mainly from the Continental countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Belgium. A symbol of this development was the establishment of the IPrA (the International Pragmatic Association) in...