Pragmatics

Edited by Christopher Gauker (University of Salzburg)
About this topic
Summary Topics in the philosophy of language tend to fall into two main branches, pragmatics and semantics.  Roughly, semantics deals with conventional meaning.  Theories in formal semantics for natural language attempt to pair meanings with sentence-context pairs in some systematic way.  A primary test of correctness for a semantic theory is whether it allows us to define the logical properties of sentences (such as whether one sentence logically implies another).  The term “pragmatics” covers both a part of formal semantics, so defined, and also the study of the ways in which utterances effect communication.  The first kind of pragmatic theory deals with the way in which the extensions of terms and the truth values of sentences depend on features of the situation in which the sentence is spoken.  The second kind of pragmatic theory studies the nature of speech acts, such as asserting or asking, and also the ways in which speakers manage to convey more than the conventional meaning of the sentence uttered.  It is not always clear where in this taxonomy a given phenomenon should fall.  The topic of presupposition, for instance, has been located under all of these headings.
Key works The classics of pragmatics include Austin 1962, Searle 1969, Grice 1989, Kaplan 1989, Stalnaker 1973, and Lewis 1979.  More recent contributions that have drawn considerable attention include Bach 1994, Recanati 2002, Cappelen & Lepore 2005, and Stanley & Szabó 2000
Introductions

An excellent but now somewhat dated collection of classics is Stephen Davis, ed., Pragmatics: A Reader, Oxford University Press, 1991.  For a short overview of some current issues, see Gauker 2012.

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  1. Self-Expression in Speech Acts.Maciej Witek - 2021 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 2 (28):326-359.
    My aim in this paper is to examine Mitchell S. Green’s notion of self-expression and the role it plays in his model of illocutionary communication. The paper is organized into three parts. In Section 2, after discussing Green’s notions of illocutionary speaker meaning and self-expression, I consider the contribution that self-expression makes to the mechanisms of intentional communication; in particular, I introduce the notion of proto-illocutionary speaker meaning and argue that it is necessary to account for acts overtly showing general (...)
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  2. Irony as a Speech Action.Maciej Witek - 2022 - Journal of Pragmatics 190:76-90.
    The paper develops a speech act-based model of verbal irony. It argues, first, that ironic utterances are speech actions performed as conforming to a socially accepted procedure and, second, that they are best understood as so-called etiolated uses of language. The paper is organized into four parts. The first one elaborates on Austin's doctrine of the etiolations of language and distinguishes between the normal or serious mode of communication and its etiolated mode. The second part discusses the dominant approaches to (...)
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  3. Prosody in Recognizing Dialogue-Specific Functions of Speech Acts. Evidence From Polish.Maciej Witek, Sara Kwiecień, Małgorzata Wrzosek, Mateusz Włodarczyk & Jakub Bondek - 2022 - Language Sciences 93:101499.
    In this paper we evaluate the role of prosodic information in inferring dialogue-specific functions of speech acts. We report the results of an empirical study in which participants are exposed to recordings of certain utterances and, next, asked to recognize discursive contexts from which the heard utterances may come. The recorded utterances are quotations: staged utterances produced by speakers asked to read aloud dialogues specially constructed for the study. We analyse prosodic cues produced by recorded speakers and argue that they (...)
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  4. An Austinian Alternative to the Gricean Perspective on Meaning and Communication,.Maciej Witek - 2022 - Journal of Pragmatics 201:60-75.
    My aim in this paper is to contribute to the debate on the foundations of semantics and pragmatics by developing an Austinian alternative to the Gricean programme. The Gricean approach has been criticised by Ernie Lepore and Matthew Stone who claim that most of the interpretive effects that are usually accounted for as inferentially recognized aspects of meaning are in fact determined by grammar. I argue, however, that it is the Austinian perspective rather than the extended-grammar outlook, that constitutes a (...)
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  5. Coordination and the Syntax – Discourse Interface.Daniel Altshuler & Robert Truswell - 2022 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    This survey explores interactions between syntax and discourse, through a case study of patterns of extraction from coordinate structures. The theoretical breadth of the volume makes it the most complete account of extraction from coordinate structures to date: at first glance, it appears to be a syntactic matter, but the survey raises theoretical and empirical questions not just for syntax, but also across semantics, pragmatics, and discourse structure. Rather than promoting a single analysis, Daniel Altshuler and Robert Truswell outline reasonable (...)
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  6. The Non-saying of What Should Have Been Said.Roberta Colonna Dahlman - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (3).
    According to Grice’s analysis, conversational implicatures are carried by the saying of what is said. In this paper, it is argued that, whenever a speaker implicates a content by flouting one or several maxims, her implicature is not only carried by the act of saying what is said and the way of saying it, but also by the act of non-saying what should have been said according to what would have been normal to say in that particular context. Implicatures that (...)
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  7. Una nota sulla pragmatica musicale.Salvatore Pistoia-Reda - 2020 - de Musica 1 (24):173-178.
    In questa nota si fornisce un esempio preliminare di analisi pragmatica delle strutture musicali. Nell’analisi, la stipulazione di una pragmatica musicale segue strettamente recenti proposte presentate in ambito semantico, in cui si illustrano le potenziali virtù rappresentazionali delle strutture musicali. In particolare, in questa nota si suggerisce la presenza di strategie di ricostruzione dei significati musicali le quali intervengono a prevenire la realizzazione di contenuti semantici contraddittori. L’evidenza utilizzata è ricavata da alcune misure del madrigale primo del II libro dei (...)
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  8. Directional Bias.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    There is almost a consensus among conditional experts that indicative conditionals are not material. Their thought hinges on the idea that if indicative conditionals were material, A → B could be vacuously true when A is false, even if B would be false in a context where A is true. But since this consequence is implausible, the material account is usually regarded as false. It is argued that this point of view is motivated by the grammatical form of conditional sentences (...)
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  9. Espacio, significación y vivencia: implicaciones semióticas sobre la noción Centro Histórico.Julio Horta - 2015 - In Olimpia Niglio (ed.), edA. Roma, Italia: pp. 134-146.
    Este artículo tiene el objetivo de explorar algunas funciones semióticas que constituyen el espacio urbano. Se revisarán algunas categorías y operaciones semióticas relevantes en la comprensión del espacio para que, desde ahí, se pueda explorar el sentido de la noción Centro Histórico como un concepto fundamental en la construcción del imaginario social en las ciudades de occidente.
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  10. Historia y Semiótica. Categorías y relaciones filosóficas en la caracterización del espacio histórico.Julio Horta - 2012 - Madrid, España: Lap Lambert.
    El presente trabajo parte de un supuesto: la historia como un espacio semiotico que se edifica sobre la base de un sistema de categorias. En este sentido, los signos con los cuales se construye la realidad "ideal" de la historia se articulan en razon de correspondencias especificas determinadas por un esquema particular de relacion. Asi pues, el proposito de la este estudio es mostrar un espacio especulativo que de cuenta de las categorias de la filosofia de la historia, con las (...)
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  11. Perspectives on Pragmatics and Philosophy.Alessandro Capone, Franco Lo Piparo & Marco Carapezza (eds.) - 2013 - Springer.
    Alessandro Capone Franco Lo Piparo Marco Carapezza Editors Perspectives on Pragmatics and Philosophy Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology Volume 1 Editor-in-Cheif Alessandro. Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy ...
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  12. Interpreting Straw Man Argumentation.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2017 - Amsterdam: Springer.
    This book shows how research in linguistic pragmatics, philosophy of language, and rhetoric can be connected through argumentation to analyze a recognizably common strategy used in political and everyday conversation, namely the distortion of another’s words in an argumentative exchange. Straw man argumentation refers to the modification of a position by misquoting, misreporting or wrenching the original speaker’s statements from their context in order to attack them more easily or more effectively. Through 63 examples taken from different contexts (including political (...)
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  13. The Ironist’s Intentions: Communicative Priority and Manifestness.Eleni Kapogianni - 2016 - Pragmatics Cognition 23 (1):150-173.
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  14. El problema dejado por el pragmatismo y el lenguaje entendido como fenómeno dinámico.Alfonso José Pizarro Ramírez - 2014 - Anuario de Postgrado 10:173-186.
    En una primera parte expondré la crítica pragmatista a la visión tradicional del lenguaje; luego, contrastaré las visiones dentro de las que critican a la tradición: contextualismo y contextualismo radical. En una segunda expondré el tipo de semántica que se podría sostener bajo esta concepción del lenguaje: una semántica no proposicionalista. Finalmente, quisiera proponer que, así como en las ciencias sociales el localismo metodológico plantea la emergencia de entidades colectivas (ya sean las clases o instituciones) —sin ser meramente epifenomenales, que (...)
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  15. Jacques Moeschler and Anne Reboul, Dictionnaire Encyclopédique de Pragmatique.Michel Musiol - 1995 - Pragmatics and Cognition 3 (2):386-394.
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  16. Problems of Discourse Theory.Robert Alexy - 1988 - Critica 20 (58):43-65.
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  17. H. PUTNAM: Words and Life.Godehard Brüntrup - 1997 - Theologie Und Philosophie 72:465-467.
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  18. Nurturing Conversation Through Innovative Conference Design.P. C. Schroeder - 2015 - Constructivist Foundations 11 (1):77-79.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Designing Academic Conferences in the Light of Second-Order Cybernetics” by Laurence D. Richards. Upshot: Fostering conversation is shown to be a central element in a cybernetic approach to meeting design. A history of successful meetings on cybernetic themes suggests how designing for conversation may also be applied to academic conferences generally.
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  19. Authors’ Response: Conversation Never Ends.G. Dyer, G. Rowland & S. Zweifel - 2015 - Constructivist Foundations 11 (1):60-64.
    Upshot: Our five colleagues have offered what we consider to be complementary views and welcome suggestions. We extend the conversation with them by examining areas of agreement, responding to criticisms, and considering potential additions to the Banathy Conversation Methodology. We add a description of the mate tradition and further details on Las Conversaciones del Extremo Sur.
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  20. The Banathy Conversation Methodology.G. Dyer, J. Jones, G. Rowland & S. Zweifel - 2015 - Constructivist Foundations 11 (1):42-50.
    Context: Thirty years ago, members of the systems science community discovered that at their conferences, more was being accomplished in the breaks than in the sessions. Led by Bela H. Banathy, they cancelled the sessions and created a conversation methodology that has proven far more effective. Dozens of conversations have now been held around the world. Problem: At a recent conversation in Linz, Austria, a team devoted its inquiry to the Banathy Conversation Methodology itself, asking, in particular, how to develop (...)
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  21. Different Games Different Rules: Why Americans and Japanese Misunderstand Each Other: Review of Haru Yamada. [REVIEW]Chad Nilep - 2005 - Journal of Pragmatics 37 (1):99-102.
    Review of the book Different Games Different Rules, by Haru Yamada (2002).
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  22. Scherkoske, Greg. Integrity and the Virtues of Reason: Leading a Convincing Life.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Pp. 264. $99.00. [REVIEW]Daniel D. Moseley - 2014 - Ethics 125 (1):276-282.
  23. Concepção de Presença Em Gumbrecht--Contribuição Paradigmática E Transdisciplinar.Wellington Amâncio da Silva - 2015 - Revista Opara 5 (1):149--159.
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  24. The Informational Component.Enric Vallduví - 1992 - Taylor & Francis.
  25. The Aesthetics of Communication: Pragmatics and Beyond.H. Parret - 1993 - Springer.
    The dominant paradigm in the sciences of language conceives the subject-in-community as a truth-sayer, a communicator, and a player-economist. The major ontology of the human community reconstructs being-together as a system of interactions and transactions subject to the rules of economic rationality and, as a consequence, the community as source and target of finite strategical games. The primordial value then is the circulation of information and ideal communication is favored by the truth-functional status of our discourses. However, this dominant ontology (...)
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  26. "Pragmatics, Truth and Language" by R. M. MARTIN. [REVIEW]Nino Cocchiarella - 1980 - Linguistics and Philosophy 4:453.
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  27. Some Questions About Language: A Theory About Human Discourse and Its Objects.Mortimer J. Adler - 1978 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 11 (2):143-145.
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  28. Pragmatica Personajului.Corina Ciocãarlie - 1992
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  29. Semantic, Pragmatic and Syntactic Correlates an Analysis of Performative Verbs Based on English Data.John Geoffrey Partridge - 1982
  30. Beyond Boundaries of Biomedicine: Pragmatic Perspectives on Health and Disease.Wim J. Van der Steen, Vincent K. Y. Ho & Ferry J. Karmelk - 2003 - Rodopi.
    Cultural forces shape much of medicine including psychiatry, and medicine shapes much of our culture. Medicine provides us with beneficial treatments of disease, but it also causes harm, increasingly so in the form of overmedication enhanced by the pharmaceutical industry. The book explores boundaries of medicine and psychiatry in a cultural setting by building bridges between unconnected literatures. Boundaries have to be redrawn since effects of the environment, biological, social and political, on health and disease are undervalued. Potential beneficial effects (...)
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  31. Talk is Cheap: Sarcasm, Alienation, and the Evolution of Language.John Haiman - 1998 - Oxford University Press on Demand.
    Talk Is Cheap begins with this telling observation and proceeds to argue that such "unplain speaking" is fundamentally embedded in the way we now talk. John Haiman traces this sea-change in our language usage to the emergence of a postmodern "divided self" who is hyper-conscious that what he or she is saying has been said before. Thus, "cheap talk" helps us distance ourselves from a social role with which we are uncomfortable. Haiman examines the full range of these pervasive distancing (...)
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  32. Les Échelles Argumentatives.Gilles Deleuze - 1980 - Les Editions de Minuit.
    À quelles conditions peut-on, dans un discours réel, utiliser un énoncé comme argument en faveur d’un autre? La réponse semble aller de soi, au moins si l’on assimile l’argumentation à une espèce de raisonnement - peut-être lâche et flou, mais analogue en son fond à la démonstration étudiée par les logiciens. Dans ce cas, l’enchaînement des énoncés se fonde sur les informations qu’ils véhiculent, sur ce qu’ils disent de la réalité. C’est justement l’inverse que veut montrer la théorie des échelles (...)
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  33. Logic, Language, and Argumentation in Projection of Philosophical Knowledge.Georg Brutian - 1998 - Lisbon, Portugal: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
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  34. The Pragmatics of Literature.Marcello Pagnini - 1987 - Bloomington: Bloomington : Indiana University Press.
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  35. Topik.Rudolf Boehm - 2002 - Springer Verlag.
    "Wahr" oder "unwahr" scheinen Prädikate, die nur einer Aussage zukommen können. Die Frage, auf die eine Aussage antwortet, das Thema, worauf sie sich einläßt, der Gegenstand, über den sie sich ausspricht, scheinen nicht "wahr" oder "verkehrt", sondern allenfalls "interessant" oder "uninteressant" sein zu können. Die Frage der Topik, wie sie hier gestellt und erörtert wird, ist dahingegen die, ob sich nicht auch für eine Frage, ein Thema, einen Gegenstand, verbunden mit der Frage des Interesses, eine Frage der Wahrheit stellt, da (...)
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  36. Is It or Isn’T It: Listeners Make Rapid Use of Prosody to Infer Speaker Meanings.Chigusa Kurumada, Meredith Brown, Sarah Bibyk, Daniel F. Pontillo & Michael K. Tanenhaus - 2014 - Cognition 133 (2):335-342.
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  37. Vouloir Dire Et Vouloir faireMeaning and Intendion. On the Relations Between Language and Action.Valérie Aucouturier - 2014 - Methodos 14.
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  38. The Pragmatics of Connotation.Keith Allan - unknown
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  39. Feigl, Sellars, and the Idea of a 'Pure Pragmatics'.Matthias Neuber -
  40. A Discourse Perspective on Verb Phrase Anaphora.Hub Prust, Remko Scha & Martin van den Berg - 1994 - Linguistics and Philosophy 17 (3):261-327.
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  41. International Pragmatics Conference On.Anat Biletzki, Shoshana Blum-Kulka, Marcelo Dascal, Nomi Erteschik-Shir, Tamar Katriel, Ruth Manor, George-Elia Sarfati, Tamar Sovran, Elda Weizman & Yael Ziv - 1999 - Pragmatics and Cognition 7 (1):247-248.
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  42. From Epistemic (Ergotic) Actions to Scientific Discourse: Do Gestures Obtain a Bridging Function.Wolff-Michael Roth - 2003 - Pragmatics and Cognition 11:139-168.
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  43. Rationality and Pragmatics.Asa Kasher - 2008 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 7.
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  44. Point of View in British Sign Language and Spoken English Narrative Discourse: The Example of “The Tortoise and the Hare”.Helen Earis & Kearsy Cormier - 2013 - Language and Cognition 5 (4):313-343.
    Name der Zeitschrift: Language and Cognition - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language and Cognitive Science Jahrgang: 5 Heft: 4 Seiten: 313-343.
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  45. Narrative Style and the Grammar of Direct and Indirect Speech.Ann Banfield - 1973 - Foundations of Language 10 (1):1-39.
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  46. The Pragmatics of Explanation.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1977 - American Philosophical Quarterly 14 (2):143-150.
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  47. The Pragmatics of Explanation.Philip Kitcher - 1991 - In Richard Boyd, Philip Gasper & J. D. Trout (eds.), The Philosophy of Science. MIT Press.
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  48. The Pragmatics Ofthelogical.Dorothy Edgington - 2006 - In Barry C. Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 768.
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  49. They Know All the Lines: Rhythmic Organization and Contextualization in a Conversational Listing Routine.Frederick Erickson - 1992 - In Peter Auer & Aldo Di Luzio (eds.), The Contextualization of Language. John Benjamins. pp. 365--397.
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  50. Verbal Style and Illocutionary Action.Monroe Beardsley - 1979 - In Leonard B. Meyer & Berel Lang (eds.), The Concept of Style. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 149--168.
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