Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2210-4119
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4127
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This paper discusses two important issues of current pragmatics research as related to dialogue and discourse: interest in the hearer rather than the speaker, and focus on utterance rather than dialogue and discourse segment. These two issues are intertwined, and they are each other’s consequences. It will be argued that current pragmatic theories appear to be hearer-centered and utterance-centered and they consider communication recipient design and intention recognition. This explains why the main interest in these theories is in interpretation: recovery of speaker’s meaning by the hearer. The paper claims that hearer-centeredness is a direct consequence of the fact that pragmatics is an utterance-based inquiry. In order for us to get closer to what exactly the speaker has wanted to say we need to go beyond utterance to dialogue and discourse segment. This would require rethinking and reevaluating, to some extent, what current pragmatics is all about. In fact this process has already started. Several studies have been talking about “narrow pragmatics” and “wide pragmatics” discussing the relationship of pragmatics, dialogue (e.g. Weigand 2001, 2004, 2006, 2010, Cooren 2010) and discourse analysis (e.g. Puig 2003, Taboada and Mann 2006, De Saussure 2007).


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