Pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics which studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning.

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What is the difference between implicature and entailment?

When talking about pragmatics what is the difference between implicature and entailment? PS. The book I was reading was Pragmatics by George Yule
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Conversational Implicature vs. Ambiguity

This book suggests the cancellability test for distinguishing the logical consequence from conversational implicature of an assertion. Examples 1a. You can have either soup or salad. 1b. You cannot ...
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“The bat broke the window” - double meaning in The Stuff of Thought

Some background: In Steven Pinker's book The Stuff of Thought, he critiques Radical Pragmatics (ch 3). In one instance, on pages 121-122, he describes a computer simulation of Radical Pragmatics by ...
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What are different types of signs? [closed]

I've read somewhere that there are different types of signs like: natural signs (smoke as a sign of fire), arbitrary signs (language signs) etc. Could someone provide me with a complete list and ...
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What is the difference between Semantics and Pragmatics? [duplicate]

I had a class today in an introductory linguistics course and some of the concepts are not clear to me. First, what is the difference between semantics and pragmatics. For example: A: "Did you ...
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Origin of Buchowski's paradox

According to Wolfram Math World, Buchowski's paradox concerns the use of comparative adjectives in apparently paradoxical statements such as "My younger brother is older than me" (possible if the ...
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Does pragmatics cut down or add to the stock of interpretations generated by the semantics?

This is a question similar to the question about the semantics/pragmatics divide, but I have a more specific interest. I'm thinking of two different ways of conceiving of the way statements come to ...
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Does “I don't drink.” mean “I don't drink alcohol.” in all languages? [duplicate]

In those languages I'm a bit familiar with, the verb for drinking is very often understood as drinking alcohol, especially if its meaning "the oral intake of any fluid", wouldn't make sense. For ...
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A question about pragmatics

I wonder if anybody here is a pragmatics expert because my question relates to this. I'm learning about Paul Grice's conversational maxims (quality, quantity, relation and manner) and I have a ...
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How to classify argument elements?

When I analyze an argument told by one person, I recognize that it is so troublesome to classify it into certain elements of argument which consists of claim, support and warrant because it is so ...
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48 views

Are there instances in which an entire sentence constitutes a focus--new information?

Are there instances in which an entire sentence constitutes a focus--new information? Consider the following scenario: Three people are talking together about a mutual friend who is in the ...
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Which parts of natural language cannot be covered ( so far ) by formal semantics?

my question regards a homework a have to write and since I am not a linguist I have kind of a hard time with it. We have on the one side natural languages with its redundancy, ambiguity, speech ...
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Abbot & Costello “Who's on First” with a pragmatic (or other linguistic) perspective? [closed]

I'm in my first year of the Master's study in applied linguistics, and I'm trying to come up with my research question, which will form the basis of my thesis topic. I've found the famous routine by ...
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Can the entropy per word be caculated precisely?And relation among information theory, semantics, and pragmatics

What we have gotten about the expected per word entropy of random yet grammatical text is just some upper bound of the the expected per word entropy, because we have not found the exact way to compute ...
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117 views

Is there a good introduction to subjectivity in language?

Since the topic of "subjectivity in language" is all new to me, I am looking for an introduction to the topic that 1) gives an overview of the phenomena usually associated with the topic ...
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71 views

How to annotate a corpus of written discourse for pragmatic analysis (speech acts)?

I am currently creating a small-ish corpus of online conversations that I wish to analyze quantitatively and qualitatively from a pragmatic perspective (speech acts level mainly). The problem is that ...
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What is the difference between assertive and non-assertive words?

What is the difference between assertive and non-assertive words? I haven't been able to find an answer in my online linguistics sources such as the SIL Glossary of Linguistics Terms. The only ...
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465 views

Examples of tags?

I'm planning to do a study on tag-switching, but from the literature I read, tag-switching is commonly only found in sentences with 'you know', 'I mean', 'right?', and 'isn't it?'. Are there other ...
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recent topics in linguistics [closed]

what are the recent controversial issues in - pragmatics. -socio-linguistics. that are receiving the experts' attention ?
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Difference between discourse analysis and pragmatics

Could you explain for me what is the main difference between pragmatics in linguistics and discourse analysis? Both are related to study of use of language in real world.
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Analysis of Evidentials

If I analyse evidential devices, is it lexical or propositional level of analysis? I would say it is propositional level, because, for instance, modal verbs being taken out of context may have ...
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Is 'It' anaphoric or cataphoric, and what is its antecedent/postcedent?

Question 1a: What does 'It' refer to in the following sentence: It was clearly in the mood to place acknowledgements at the bottom of questions. The context for the above sentence is provided ...
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What range of strategies are common in natural languages for providing unambiguous answers to negative yes-no questions?

I have been told that, in Chinese, terms for "yes" and "no" used as answers for questions are not needed because one answers yes-no questions by either repeating the verb in the question or adding a ...
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How to appropriately format a research paper in pragmatics for applying to a master's program? [closed]

Dear fellow linguists, I am just an enthusiastic undergraduate student applying for a MA in Applied Linguistic. I have a couple of questions and I need some advice from those of you who are 'in the ...
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Why the following two jokes are fun in terms of linguistic terms?

A: What's a baby pig called? B: A piglet. A: So what's a baby toy called? B: A toylet. Tom: Mike has asked me for a loan of five pounds. Should I be doing right in lending it to him? Jack: Certainly. ...
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“I thought X was Y” vs. “I thought Y was X”

Walking with my wife the other day, I turned around and realized that the person behind me was, in fact, someone else, and my wife had stopped to look in a shop. I said to her 1a Oh, I thought ...
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Is there any evidence pro/contra Du Bois' Preferred Argument Structure (ergative patterning in discourse)?

In The Discourse Basis of Ergativity published in Language in 1987, John W. Du Bois proposed a theory which stated that (p. 850) [universally] the distribution of new information vs. old ...
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What is the name of the type of sentences that describe an action that is realized by saying the sentence?

I know that this specific type of sentences has a name, but I can't remember it. The sentences I'm referring to are the sentences that describe an action that is performed when saying the sentences, ...
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170 views

Is the usage of sarcasm or irony dependent on the language and its structure?

Sarcasm and irony are a form of humor used by a lot of languages. Are they aided by certain features or structure of the language? Are they dependent on the presence of certain structures within a ...
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470 views

Are deictic pronouns at all apparent in written language?

Considering the nature of deixis, I have trouble coming up with written examples where the pronoun is of a deictic nature, other than quotes from speech etc. Or maybe I have misunderstood the meaning ...
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Correlation between politeness of a culture and its languages

In the question Is there any reason why English doesn’t add respectful words in every sentence? that was asking why there's more respectful language in Korean and Japanese compared to English, the ...
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What does it mean if a person says, “I think” a lot

When I speak or write I tend not to speak in absolutes. I generally use phrases like "I think" or "I don't think" a lot. Further, I usually qualify my statements with words like "generally" or ...
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What divides semantics from pragmatics?

To my understanding... Semantics is the raw meaning and connotations a word carries on it's own and pragmatics is the context-dependent meaning a word holds. Is this accurate? Can anyone explain it ...
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Name for rhetoric expressing a two contradictory meanings in one sentence?

I am looking at finding the name for the rhetoric style which uses two contradictory statements, one positive and the other negative, with the first seemingly giving a sense of positiveness or ...
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Historical changes from 'not yet' to 'not again' and vice-versa

A two part question. Are there attested historical changes whereby a construction C in some language means 'not yet', and then C changes in meaning so that it means 'not again' at a later time (or ...
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What strategies for efficiency are adopted by languages with minimal phonemic inventories?

As the size of a phonemic inventory decreases, the information rate allowed by the inventory should likewise decrease. So are there any (semantico-)pragmatic or morphosyntactic strategies that ...
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measuring relative importance/social proximity of an addressee based on length of written explanation in letters with multiple addressees

I have a corpus of personal letters in which writers explain a tough decision to multiple addressees, each in its own section/paragraph of the letter (for the most part). I wonder if anybody has ...
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Response to 'Thanking' Speech Acts?

Just wondering if anyone is familiar with any research that touches on this. It seems to be a largely untapped topic, other than Wooh-yun Jung's (1994) work.
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The meaning of “what”?

"What" is defined grammatically as an interrogative pronoun ... used interrogatively in asking for the specification of an identity, quantity, quality, etc. (Wiktionary) In dictionaries, ...
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Reference request: ways of indicating disagreement

There are lots of ways to indicate you disagree with some aspect of an utterance. I'm thinking here of the spectrum that includes "No, not-X," "Well, not-X," "Hey, wait a minute! Not-X!" "Yes, you're ...
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Why are certain there-sentences infelicitous in English?

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language states that the first three of the following four excerpts are semantically or pragmatically anomalous (to give that term some context, it cites We ...