Grammar, Meaning and Pragmatics

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  • Editors: Frank Brisard1, Jan-Ola Östman2, and Jef Verschueren1
  • Format: PDF
  • Publication Year: 2009
  • e-Book ISBN 9789027289186

The ten volumes of <i>Handbook of Pragmatics Highlights</i> focus on the most salient topics in the field of pragmatics, thus dividing its wide interdisciplinary spectrum in a transparent and manageable way. While other volumes select philosophical, cognitive, cultural, social, variational, interactional, or discursive points of view, this fifth volume looks at the field of linguistic pragmatics from a primarily grammatical angle. That is, it asks in which particular sense a variety of older and more recent functional (rather than generative) models of grammar relate to the study of language in use: how this affects their general outlook on language structure, whether issues of language use inform the very makeup of these models or are merely included as possible research themes, and how far the actual integration of pragmatics ultimately goes (is it a module/layer or is the model truly “usage-based”?). Each of the authors presenting these models has taken systematic care to highlight the relevant problems and focus on the implications of considering pragmatic phenomena from the point of view of grammar. Furthermore, a limited number of chapters deal with traditional topics in the grammatical literature, and specifically those which are called pragmatic because they either are not strictly concerned with truth (semantics), or receive their (truth) value only from an interaction with context. In the introduction, these theories and topics are set up against the historical background of a gradually changing attitude, on the part of grammarians, towards questions of linguistic knowledge and behavior, and the role of learning in their relationship.

Subjects: Semantics; Pragmatics; Syntax

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Antwerp; 2: University of Helsinki

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