Pragmatic Competence and Relevance

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This book probes into under-researched issues in L2 pragmatics. Firstly, <i>pragmatic competence, pragmatic awareness</i> and <i>metapragmatic awareness</i> are re-defined and clearly distinguished on theoretical grounds. Secondly, pragmatic competence and its manifestations are evaluated on empirical grounds by distinct criteria and validated testing measures. More importantly, genuine pragmatic inference is elicited in contexts of online interpretation where figurative speech plays a central role. Genre-specific discourse which occurs in editorials and news reports serves as a natural testbed for examining the role of advanced mind-reading abilities in developing pragmatic competence. Sperber and Wilson’s relevance theory accommodates the findings of empirical assessment and yields new insights in the cognitive procedures activated during interpretation. The comprehensive theoretical and methodological treatment of pragmatic competence makes this book of interest to researchers and students in pragmatics, L2 theory and applications, genre studies, and to those concerned with the cognitive underpinnings of communication in L2.

Subjects: Semantics; Pragmatics; Functional linguistics; Language acquisition; Cognition and language; Theoretical linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Athens

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