Questions tagged [pragmatics]

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

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What do "titles" and "Beijing" stand for?

I am looking at metonyms and I have two examples I am interested in, but I am not sure what they stand for. The bookshop holds over 1 million titles. Since Beijing, the Olympics have got even more ...
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What is the place of `word associations' in the field of pragmatics?

Let me immediately start off with an example: Consider a group of nomadic people that is sustained by fishing. Occasionally, members of the community will travel to the sedentary world, to a city, to ...
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2 votes
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Quantitative methodology for contrastive pragmatics in corpus-based settings

I am interested in literature regarding methodology that could be relevant for quantitative research into differences in pragmatic meaning between two 'equivalent' concepts in two languages (in other ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Ambiguous active/passive interpretations

This is a general and brief question. Is anyone familiar with a language which can be largely ambiguous with respect to whether the construction is active or passive, to the degree that in some cases ...
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1 answer
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How to identify politeness strategies?

I'm working on a project and I need to learn how to recognize politeness strategies based on Brown and Levinsons' theory. Even though I've read the theory and many different examples I still have ...
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Are implications said to be "accommodated" by listeners?

Do leading questions cause the listener to accommodate the implication, or only the objective presuppositions? Isn't Henry staying at his girlfriend's? "Henry has a girlfriend" is a ...
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1 vote
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Is it common for languages to incorporate hortative modality when there is one speaker present? i.e. talking to themselves?

I am an undergrad working with a papuan language. There is one sentence that was in the data that has me wondering about hortatives. The sentence, in english, translates to “Okay, I’ll just leave.” ...
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Question about writing effective experimental prompts

I am running a crowd-sourced experiment where two participants have to engage in a text-based conversation (about movies or TV shows). My goal is to understand linguistic dynamics of the conversation, ...
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Does lying violate the maxim of quality?

Hope to find someone here to help me decide whether this is a violation or opting out of the quality maxim in the following example: A: Did you pass the driving test? B: No. (A knows that B passed the ...
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3 votes
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A question regarding semantics of "only"

I have a question regarding semantics of only provided by Beaver & Clark (2009) and Chierchia (2013). for something like "Sandy only met [Bush]F" (let this proposition be called p). ...
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Explain the meaning of "metapragmatics" to a 14 y.o.?

We never studied linguistics...please explain in simple English. My 14 year old wants to study law at university. She read The Language of Law School: Learning to "Think Like a Lawyer" (2007)...
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1 answer
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How to differentiate between consonants and vowels on praat? [closed]

I am student of MA and i need your help to know about the praat software. i am stuck in my research in last section. If any one hear to know so i thoroughly and rigorously sorry to say and please help ...
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What do you call a question to convey curiosity, without expecting a direct answer

I was wondering if there is a name for a question that you say out loud to convey curiosity about a topic, without necessarily expecting a direct answer from those around you. This may be used to ...
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3 votes
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Syntax as error-correction-code

I vaguely recall from my academic studies that a professor mentioned that the syntax of sentence could be seen as error-correction-code in signal processing. In other words, from a pragmatic view - ...
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What factors determine how you continue the sentence "Are you together with your brother or..." with the word "sister"?

For example if I call my friend. I know he is wether with his brother or sister, and then I ask further: Are you together with your brother or... you can finish the question in several ways: ... ...
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basic studies on declaratives in speech act theory

I am looking for some sources on declaratives in speech act theory. I have basic studies like Austin, Searle or Bach & Harnish. What I'm looking for is more specific books or articles on basic or ...
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Performative verbs - speech act

The sentence: "I order you to do X". order is a performative verb, it is a speech act which has the illocutionary force is an order. The sentence: "I inspire you to do X". Although ...
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Know and Factivity

Consider the following sentence: (1) I don't know that John kissed Mary. When I assert this sentence, am I contradicting myself? The reason is as follows: following Stalnaker's view on the factivity ...
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Why grammaticalized perfective aspect marker is reduced to be used only in narrative style?

I am looking at a set of ballistic verbs like nak, phenk 'throw' in a minor Indo Aryan language spoken in Dravidian vicinity, where one verb of the set is reduced to light verb with perfective meaning,...
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What's it called? Indicating no exceptions to the rule

In my study of an ancient language, I’m seeing certain phrasing that, in a prescription of proper behavior, means emphatically: “without exception!” My question is: Do linguists have a label for this ...
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What other parts does pragmatics have, besides connotation?

https://linguistics.stackexchange.com/a/36533/218 says Connotation is considered to be part of pragmatics. What other parts does pragmatics have, besides connotation? (I can't think of none, but I ...
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Do the two meanings of "badass" belong to pragmatics or semantics?

As far as I know, pragmatics is about context-dependent meanings and semantics is about literal i.e. context-independent meanings. For example, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/badass says: badass (...
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What is the relation among connotation, semantics, and pragmatics?

I know that connotation meaning belongs to semantic meaning, but what I'm confused about is the connotation meaning is affected by the context, isn't it? If so, why does it not belong to pragmatic ...
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Are there any studies on marked adjective order in the NP in head initial languages like Spanish or Albanian?

For example, Spanish unmarked NP order is Noun-Adjective ("libro rojo", "casa grande"). However, there are many situations where the order is reversed ("un rojo atardecer", "es un buen libro", "tienes ...
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1 answer
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Does Pragmatics describe what informs an interpretation?

I have provided an example that hopefully highlights what I am trying to articulate. Person A believes that Something can be bad or good, but not both (XOR) Person B believes that Something can be ...
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What are the differences between speech acts and implicatures?

Here's what I have come up with. What I understand is that implicature is always indirect and not explicit, so the hearer must infer from the context. Speech act, on the other hand, may be direct ...
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What is the entailment of this sentence?

I found that most of the examples of entailment are statements about a third person, but never the speakers themselves. So I wonder what the utterance like "I'm cold." entails?
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How do I explicitly calculate this indirect-speech-ish conversational implicature?

I'm self-studying pragmatics, and I stumbled upon this exercise on MIT OpenCourseWare: [from a text book by Chierchia & McConnell-Ginet] In each of the pairs below, sentence (a) conversationally ...
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1 answer
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What are the semantic functions of a complementizer phrase (CP)

What does semantic functions mean? and what are they for a CP? Thank you
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3 votes
1 answer
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Have pronoun introductions spread to non-English-speaking communities/languages?

There seem to be two forms of these pronoun introductions, intended to promote transfeminism, one voluntary/declarative and one interrogative: For an example of a voluntary/declarative one: Kamala ...
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What aspects of a conceptual metaphor can be compared cross-culturally? [closed]

I'm interested to do a cross-cultural study of a conceptual metaphor 'Love is food' between English and Thai. I would like to compare the use of this metaphor in the two languages to find similarities ...
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What are the recommended sources for research about conceptual metaphor?

I would like to find what have been done in research about conceptual metaphor. I've looked into some database, e.g. ERIC, Sciencedirect, WileyOnlineLibrary, JSTOR, Cambridgecore, Taylor&Francis, ...
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2 votes
0 answers
188 views

Is language "necessarily underspecified"?

I've read an exam question given in a class on Semantics, that was asking Why is language necessarily underspecified I did not find much about this at the time, which is surprising because it ...
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Necessity and Possibility, Domain Widen, Indeterminate Phrase

I wanna ask a question about semantics. It's on page 20 in the paper "Indeterminate Pronouns: The View from Japanese" (Kratzer & Shimoyama, 2002). What I don't understand is the part Computing ...
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Is interpreting a topic as subject pragmatics?

The phrases "the fire, the firefighters extinguished" and "the firefighters, the fire extinguished" both follow the same pattern, switching the place of the words, but without switching the arguments ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Can one avoid using the notion of meaning when defining syntax and pragmatics?

In an elementary course on philosophy of language ( at the highschool level) , I try to explain to students the distinction betweeen semantics, syntax and pragmatics. Referring myself to Carnap/...
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8 votes
3 answers
438 views

How do languages with negative concord express the actual negation of negative polarity items?

This is something I started wondering while working on formal logic, but I'm having trouble finding any papers that address it. Obviously, the standard way to express negation with a polarity item in ...
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2 answers
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Pragmatics Wastebasket

While going through a course book on pragmatics, I came across this novel and seemingly interesting concept. I was intrigued to know what a wastebasket has to doin pragmatics, but it is still an ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Is pragmatics a waste basket?

Is pragmatics a waste basket? this sentence is abstracted from the study of language of Yule. I want to know why this statement comes into being( pragmatics is a waste basket.) And is it really true? ...
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What calls the phenomenon that the sounds of two synonyms mix together and form an expression with the same meaning?

Is it a worldwide phenomenon found in many languages? I give an example here. I have heard several times in spoken Chinese that people say [t͡ʃaʊ̯˥˩] with the meaning "gotten/found". This is a ...
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Why did Grice claim that the implicature is not “a part of what is said”?

Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication (2017 7 ed). p. 386 Middle. Please see paragraph signaled by the two arrows. Why did Grice claim that the implicature is not “a part ...
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How can communication can be direct and nonliteral?

Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication (2017 7 ed). p. 370 Bottom. Strategies for Indirect Communication We can now supplement the existing direct strategies with strategies ...
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1 answer
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Different ways to interpret stressed words in a sentence

I'm reading an introductory book on syntax and one of the exercises says to discuss the interpretations which the italicized expression can have in the given sentences and to give an appropriate ...
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1 answer
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Difference between sociolinguistics and pragmatics

I have been doing some intense research on sociolinguistics and pragmatics and am becoming more and more confused as to what the distinction between them is. If someone could describe both concepts ...
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How is a meaningful sentence or paragraph constructed?

I don't have a formal background of linguistics, but I'd like to know how a sentence or paragraph becomes meaningful to a reader, and how one can construct that. I think it falls to the areas of ...
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Why is it usually not ambiguous to nominalize a verb, but it is to verbalize a noun? [closed]

As in "eat > eating", the meaning of the generated word would not make confusion, but if I make a word formation like "lamp(N) > *lamp(V)", it doesn't make sense, unless the generated word is ...
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2 votes
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Why is it often the "large" one between the two words for a polar dimension that is marked?

When we talk about a dimension neutrally, we usually say: "How large is it?" "How long is it?" "How many did you buy?" "How tall is the cup?" "How heavy is the box?" rather than "small, short, few, ...
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Semantic vs Pragmatic [duplicate]

I am revising for my NLP quiz and am getting confused at the difference between semantic and pragmatic. I studied that semantic is the study of words and their meaning in sentences while pragmatic ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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How does a field linguist record rare, unknown features of an undocumented language? Is it likely for him/her to miss the details?

A field linguists is most likely an adult, after all. We all know that babies are capable of hearing the specific sounds in natural languages. As a person grows up, however, he/she starts to lose the ...
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Description of various placements of PPs in a syntax tree

How would you describe the difference in modifications a PP can make to a VP i.e. [I want to visit them][before this time] versus [I want to [visit them before this time]] I understand there is ...
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