What is Pragmatics?
The study of language is called Pragmatics. It is a branch of linguistics, which is concerned with how words and phrases are used in conversation. Many times, we do not explicitly state what words mean, but they do have meaning in certain situations. Pragmatics studies these situations to determine how and why words have meanings. If you have ever wondered what people mean when they say something, you’ve come to the right place.
When you hear someone say that they’re “fine”, they are being pragmatic. The answer isn’t immediately in-depth, they expect to hear a short, “fine,” answer. A more detailed response would be illogical. People who are more pragmatic generally do not say that they want to do something for the sake of getting it done. They are looking at the consequences of their actions and are looking at the pros and cons before making a decision.
The two different kinds of pragmatics are described below. Near-side pragmatics deals with how people say what they mean and what happens beyond the words and phrases. Near-side pragmatics involves a person’s ability to refer to a proper name without ambiguity. Far-side pragmatics is more general and focuses on the context of an utterance. It is also an important part of language. In this case, it is important to remember that the person saying the word must be aware of the meaning of that particular word or phrase.
Other types of pragmatic communication involve social situations. Children with autism or language disorders may have problems using social rules. In such cases, visual supports are helpful. They may also be provided with role models to practice pragmatic language. Social stories are another way to help children learn to use pragmatic language in different situations. They can be told to “be polite” and other social skills. But the rules for interacting with other people are not universal.
Recent studies on political discourse have provided some insight into how people use language to manipulate others. According to Allott (2005), pragmatic features are key to identifying manipulative language. In contrast, Van Dijk (2008) argues that manipulation is often used in a non-systematic way in CDA. Nonetheless, he maintains that this technique has a cognitive dimension. They also find language manipulation to be a significant part of the social realm, such as influencing the social behavior of the target.
In practical language use, signs have both literal and ampliative meanings. The meanings of signs are created by the relationship between the speaker and the signifier. This relationship is called the “affinal taboo index.”