Interdisciplinarity in Pragmatics and Linguistics

Authored by: Jacob L. Mey

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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At the Second International Conference ‘Zeichen und System der Sprache’ (Magdeburg, September 1964), a certain East German professor took the floor during a discussion of one of the linguistic presentations. He started his comments by saying: ‘Als Mathematiker weiß ich zwar von der Sache nichts, kann aber immer etwas Prinzipielles dazu sagen’ (‘Being a mathematician, I don’t know anything about the subject matter, but I can always make some principled remarks.’). The case is interesting as an instance of what I call ‘cross-disciplinarity’: the ‘crossing over’ from one discipline to another, applying the ‘principles’ one is familiar with from one’s own discipline to problems raised in another disciplinary context.

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