Pragmatics Broadly Viewed


Authored by: Anne Barron , Yueguo Gu , Gerard Steen

The Routledge Handbook of Pragmatics

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415531412
eBook ISBN: 9781315668925
Adobe ISBN:


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Pragmatics deals very broadly with the study of language in the social contexts in which it is used. This area of study has roots stretching into earlier centuries (albeit not under the term pragmatics), but pragmatics as a field of research in linguistics was not established until the 1970s. It developed outside of linguistics in ordinary language philosophy, in particular under the influence of philosophers such as Ludwig Wittgenstein, John Austin, John Searle and Herbert P. Grice. Rather early in its development, two main strands of pragmatics began to be identified: an Anglo-American tradition and a Continental tradition (cf. Nerlich 2010; Jucker 2012; Mey 2013; Huang 2015: 4–6 on the history of pragmatics).

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