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Putu Esha Dirtaiswara Kurniawan

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Summary of Scope of Pragmatics

1.1 The Origin and Historical Vagaries of the Term Pragmatics


The modern usage of the term pragmatics is attributable to the
philosopher Charles Morris (1983), whom was concern to outline, the
general shape of signs, or semiotics. Within semiotics, Morris distinguished
three distinct branches of inquiry: Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics.
Syntax is the formal relation of signs to the objects to which the signs are
applicable. Pragmatics id the study of the relation of signs to interpreters
(1938:6)

• Each branch of semiotic, one could make the distinction between


pure studies, concern with the relevant of metalanguage and
descriptive studies, which applied the metalanguage to the
description if specific signs and their usages.
• The philosopher and logician, Champ, also very influential, he
adopted the following person of the trichotomy. Unfortunately
Carnap usage, the term of pragmatic, was confused by the adoption
of Morris’s distinction between pure and descriptive studies.
There are 7 elements of the communicational content of an utterance,
those are:
1. Truth condition or entailments
2. Conventional implicature
3. Presupposition
4. Felicity condition
5. Conversational implicature-generalized
6. Conversational implicature-particularized
7. Inferences based on conversational structure

1.2 Defining Pragmatics


Pragmatics is one of those words (societal and cognitive are others)
give the impression that something quite specific and technical is being
talked about when often in fact it has no clear meaning.
Pragmatics should be concerned with principle of language used
and there is nothing to do with the description of linguistic structure.
To invoke Chomsky’s distinction between competence and
performance pragmatics is concerned solely with performance principle of
language used.
According to Grice (1957), he distinguished between natural
meaning and non-natural meaning. So it is related to the semantics
(natural meaning) and pragmatics (non-natural meaning). Grice explains
how there can be interesting discrepancies between speaker – meaning
and sentence – meaning.
Lyons (1977) advocates distinctions between text-sentences and
system-sentences, sentences-types and sentence-tokens, utterance types
and utterance-tokens. In the cases where sentence-meaning exhausts
utterance-meaning, the same content would be assigned both to
semantics and pragmatics.

1.3 Current Interest in Pragmatics


There are a number of convergent reasons for the growth of interest
in pragmatics in recent years. Some of these are essentially historical: the
interest developed in part as or antidote to Chomsky’s treatment of
language as an abstract device, or mental ability, dissociable from the
uses, users and functions of language.

1.4 Computing Context: An Example


Abstract discussions about the scope of pragmatics like those we
have reviewed above, may well leave the reader with little feeling for the
nature of pragmatic phenomena.
There are no doubt many other [pragmatic inferences that can be
wrung from an exchange as short and insignificant as this. But this will
serve to indicate the general nature of the phenomena that pragmatic is
concern with.