Intercultural Communication Unit 1 / Week 10 Pragmatics

Intercultural Communication Unit 1 / Week 10 Pragmatics Pragmatics is concerned with the notion of implicature, i.e. implied meaning as opposed to the mere lexical meaning

expressed (Grice, 1968) Pragmatics: Example 1 Two women discussing their children: A: How is Tom going at school? B: Ah, well ... you know what they say: boys will be boys. A: Yeah, but girls are no easier ... you know what Jess did the other day? ...

(Adapted from Wierzbicka 1991, p. 391) Pragmatics: Example 2 On being disturbed by the next-door neighbour's lawnmower early on Sunday morning: A: Great way to wake up! B: (grumpily) Sure is. Pragmatics: Example 3

"My friends were poor, but honest. 'but' carries the implicature that what follows runs counter to expectations. The 'expectation' is that "poor people are dishonest". Culture-specific Pragmatic Features

mental sets schemata scripts

speech events sociocultural norms linguistic etiquette pragmatic accent Inter-cultural Pragmatic Failure "Pragmatic errors are the result of an interactant imposing the social rules of one

culture on his communicative behaviour in a situation where the social rules of another culture would be more appropriate" (Riley 1989: 234). Cross Cultural Pragmatics

Example: Telephone conversations in Greek and German (Pavlidou 2000) (Telephone rings) Soula {in Greek} [Ne?] $Yes?$ Elena {in Greek} [Ne?] $Yes?$ {the rest of the conversation is in German} BrbelJa, hier is Barbara. Kann ich bitte den Wolfgang sprechen?

$Yes, this is Barbara speaking. Can I talk to Wolfgang please?$ Soula {short hesitation, because of uncertainty as to which Barbara it is - we usually use the diminutive 'Brbel' for this relative - and then a bit annoyed that she passes over Elena and me} Ja, Brbel, aber du kannst erst mal Elena und mir Guten Tag [sagen.] $Yes, Brbel, but you can say hello to Elena and me first.$ Elena [{hangs up}] BrbelJa, natrlich. Ich habe erst mal gar nix verstanden [. . .] $Yes, of course. I did not understand a thing in the beginning [. . .]$ {although Brbel does not speak Greek, she had hoped to at least understand the name, which she

expected to hear in the very first answering turn.} Regions of the UK Bibliography Grice, H.P. (1968). Utterers Meaning, Sentence Meaning, and Word Meaning, Foundations of Language, 4. pp. 225-242. Pavlidou, Theodossia-Soula (2008) Interactional Work in Greek and German Telephone Conversations in H. Spencer-Oatey

ed., Culturally Speaking, London: Continuum. pp.118-135. Wierzbicka, A. (1991). Cross-cultural Pragmatics: The Semantics of Human Interaction. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co.

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