pragmatics


pragmatics
/prag mat"iks/, n. (used with a sing. v.)
1. Logic, Philos. the branch of semiotics dealing with the causal and other relations between words, expressions, or symbols and their users.
2. Ling. the analysis of language in terms of the situational context within which utterances are made, including the knowledge and beliefs of the speaker and the relation between speaker and listener.
3. practical considerations.
[1935-40; see PRAGMATIC, -ICS]

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In linguistics and philosophy, the study of the use of natural language in communication; more generally, the study of the relations between languages and their users.

It is sometimes defined in contrast with linguistic semantics, which can be described as the study of the rule systems that determine the literal meanings of linguistic expressions. Pragmatics is then the study of how both literal and nonliteral aspects of communicated linguistic meaning are determined by principles that refer to the physical or social context (broadly construed) in which language is used. Among these aspects are conversational and conventional "implicatures" (e.g., "John has three sons" conversationally implicates that John has no more than three sons; "He was poor but honest" conventionally implicates an unspecified contrast between poverty and honesty). Other aspects include metaphor and other tropes and speech acts.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pragmatics — [prag mat′iks] n. 1. the branch of linguistics concerned with meaning in context, or the meanings of sentences in terms of the speaker s intentions in using them 2. the branch of semiotics dealing with the relationships of signs and symbols to… …   English World dictionary

  • Pragmatics — Linguistics …   Wikipedia

  • pragmatics — The part of the theory of signs, or semiotics, that concerns the relationship between speakers and their signs. The study of the principles governing appropriate conversational moves is called general pragmatics; applied pragmatics treats of… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • pragmatics — [[t]prægmæ̱tɪks[/t]] N SING Pragmatics is the branch of linguistics that deals with the meanings and effects which come from the use of language in particular situations …   English dictionary

  • pragmatics — noun plural but singular or plural in construction Date: 1937 1. a branch of semiotic that deals with the relation between signs or linguistic expressions and their users 2. a branch of linguistics that is concerned with the relationship of… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pragmatics — noun The study of the use of language in a social context …   Wiktionary

  • pragmatics — A branch of semiotics; the theory that deals with the relation between signs and their users, both senders and receivers. [G. pragmatikos, fr. pragma, thing done] * * * prag·mat·ics prag mat iks n pl but sing or pl in constr a branch of semiotic… …   Medical dictionary

  • pragmatics — prag|mat|ics [prægˈmætıks] n [U] technical the study of how words and phrases are used with special meanings in particular situations …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • pragmatics — prag|mat|ics [ præg mætıks ] noun uncount LINGUISTICS the study of how particular words in a language are chosen and used …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • pragmatics — n. field of linguistics that studies the understanding of natural language and use and meaning of language and not language structure …   English contemporary dictionary


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