Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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This introductory paper defines the present state of the art of historical (socio)pragmatics. We single out interactional and social foci as the most important, and we briefly characterise some more narrowly defined perspectives. These involve a politeness-related view that relies on relational practice with dynamic negotiations and the context-based approach to language use in time and space with its situational and cultural constraints. Next, the paper discusses the research questions addressed in this Special Issue. The papers cover diachronic changes in rhetorical and sociocultural modes of communication, whether and how irony and sarcasm can be detected in different historical periods, how metadiscourse reveals politeness strategies and intercultural transfer, what disruptive institutional activity types occur and what their cognitive underpinnings are, how ephemeral texts have been used in social and political conflict, how meaning-making practices work on the macro level of genres, and how literacy skills are reflected in correspondence with a connection to genre models. Overall, this introduction aims to set the scene for current historical (socio)pragmatics. We show its interdisciplinarity and methodologically eclectic research ground, and how it may develop in relation to, and feed into, the neighbouring fields of linguistics and the humanities in general.


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