Pragmatics in Practice
The ten volumes of <i>Handbook of Pragmatics Highlights</i> focus on the most salient topics in the field of pragmatics, thereby attempting to divide up its wide interdisciplinary spectrum in a transparent and manageable way. While the other volumes select specific philosophical, cognitive, grammatical, social, cultural, discursive, variational, or interactional angles, this 9th volume focuses on what pragmatics is good for – beyond the very discipline of pragmatics as such. The chapters in the volume thus address the importance of taking a pragmatic perspective on traditional fields of applied linguistics (contrastive and error analysis, translation), and they address the core of pragmatics as the study of language use (with phenomena ranging from irony and emphasis to literacy and mass media, and with approaches to the function of language like rhetoric, stylistics, corpus analysis, and general semantics). The volume contains chapters not only on the spoken and written modes of communication, but also on signed language pragmatics and on computer-mediated communication. The impact and usefulness of taking a pragmatic perspective on language for a deeper understanding of clinical and rehabilitation practices has recently received ever more focus; in this volume, aspects of this direction of research are dealt with in the chapter on clinical pragmatics. In most of the chapters in the volume, ethics has a core role to play, not only in issues of authenticity in general in relation to research on language use, but also in issues that have a direct influence on the (linguistic) culture and society we live in, irrespective of whether we are part of a (linguistic) majority or a minority, or a minority within a minority: language policy and language planning, language ecology, and language in relation to legal matters. In all of these fields, we see the importance of research within pragmatics as a discipline dealing with how language influences our everyday lives. All in all, the volume presents different perspectives on how research in pragmatics not only can be put to practice, but how pragmatics is used as a tool to gain a better understanding of the world we live in.