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Universitatea din Craiova

Facultatea de Litere
Catedra de Studii Anglo-Americane


Curs fundamental
Specializarea: Romn-Englez, ID, an III, sem. II
Anul III, sem II, 2 ore curs, 1 or seminar/ sptmn, 4 credite
Titular de curs: Conf. univ. dr. TITELA VLCEANU
Descrierea cursului
Cursul este focalizat pe abordrile i metodele de referin i de actualitate din
domeniul pragmaticii. Partea teoretic este complementat de activiti cu caracter
aplicativ, urmrindu-se asimilarea i operaionalizarea unor noiuni pragmatice
fundamentale, precum i contientizarea interconnectivitii pragmaticii cu alte discipline
lingvistice. Cursul profileaz att caracterul interdisciplinar al domeniului ct i
specificitatea acestuia.

Tematic general
1. The cooperative principle and conversational implicature. Speech acts theory.
2. Presupposition triggers and characteristics. Presupposition vs implicature.
3. Strategies of politeness. The face management view.
4. Deixis person, emphatetic, space, time, discourse, social deixis.

Unitatea de nvare I
The cooperative principle and conversational implicature. Speech acts theory.

Contientizarea aspectelor complexe legate circumscrierea domeniului pragmaticii;
Familiarizarea studenilor cu aspectele descriptive i normative ale nelegerii i
aplicrii noiunilor pragmatice fundamentale de implicatur, analiz a actelor de
limbaj, presupoziie, strategii de politee i deixis;
Dobndirea de strategii rezolutive n gestionarea factorilor pragmatici implicai n
comunicarea intra i intercultural.
Timp alocat: 6 ore

Pragmatics a blanket term for all kinds of research focused on language and its
use in context.

We distinguish three fields of investigation of languages. If in an investigation explicit
reference is made to the speaker, or, to put it in more general terms, to the user of a language,
then we assign it to the field of pragmatics. (Carnap, 1942:9)

In the third stage (of its evolution), semantics merges with what one would nowadays call
pragmatics: word-meaning is now seen as an epiphenomenon of sentence-meaning and
speaker-meaning. (Nerlich, [1956],1992: 3)

One of the three major divisions of semiotics (along with SEMANTICS and
SYNTACTICS). In LINGUISTICS, the term has come to be applied to the study of LANGUAGE
from the point of view of the user, especially of the choices he makes, the CONSTRAINTS he
encounters in using language in social interaction, and the effects his use of language has on the
other participants in an act of communication. (Crystal and Davy, 1985:278-9)

[] if our starting point is to be situated at Morriss level of generality, pragmatics cannot
be viewed as another layer on top of the phonology-morphology-syntax-semantics hierarchy,
another COMPONENT of a theory of language with its own well-defined objectNor does it fit
into the contrast set containing sociolinguistics, anthropological linguistics, psycholinguistics,
neurolinguistics, etc. Rather, pragmatics, is a PERSPCTIVE on any aspect of language, at any
level of structureOne could say that, in general, the PRAGMATIC PERSPECTIVE centers
around the ADAPTABILITY OF LANGUAGE, the fundamental property of language which
enables us to engage in the activity of talking which consists in the constant making of choices, at
every level of linguistic structure, in harmony with the requirements of people, their beliefs,
desires and intentions, and the real-world circumstances in which they interact. (Verschueren,

the study of meaning of linguistic utterances for their users and interpreters
a minimal way of distinguishing semantics from pragmatics is to say that semantics has to do
with meaning as a dyadic relation between a form and its meaning: x means y (e.g. Im
feeling somewhat ensurient means Im hungry; whereas pragmatics has to do with meaning
as a triadic relation between speaker, meaning and form/utterance: s means y by x (e.g. The
speaker, in uttering the words Im hungry, is requesting something to eat).
However, once the speaker is introduced into the formula, it is difficult to exclude the addressee,
since the utterance has meaning by virtue of the speakers intention to produce some effect in the
addressee. []
Moreover, the speakers meaning [] cannot exclude reference to the context of knowledge, both
general and specific, shared by the interactants. (Leech and Thomas, 1990:173; 185)

[] pragmatics places its focus on the language users and their conditions of language
use.This implies that it is not sufficient to consider the language user as being in possession of
certain facilities (either innate, as some have postulated, or acquired, as others believe them to
be, or a combination of both) which have to be developed through a process of individual growth
and evolution, but that there are specific societal factors (such the institution of the famil, the
school, the peer group and so on) which influence the development and use of language, both in
the acquisition stage and in usage itself. (Mey, 1996:287)

[] the study of meaning in interaction
(Thomas, 1995:22)

Closely related to semantics, which is primarily concerned with the study of word and
sentence meaning, pragmatics concerns itself with the meaning of utterances in specific contexts
of use. (Jaworski & Coupland, 1999:14)

As seen from these definitions, pragmatics takes into consideration the need for
training language awareness, for structuring meaning potential. It is an outward-looking
discipline, investigating the relevance of language to ordinary people in various
situations, searching for motivation (a sort of forensic activity), for individually- and
collectively-regulated language behaviour. Language and society interrelate in the
conscious use of language which ceases to be a neutral medium for the transmission and
receiving of information. Language in use performs several functions simultaneously -
for example, the informative function is coupled with the phatic (relational) and with the
aesthetic functions. Furthermore, pragmatics deals with the subtleties of implied meaning
and with inference mechanisms. Meaning is negotiated, constructed, deconstructed and
re-constructed inter-subjectively when the speaker and the hearer take turns in the process
of communication. There is not only exchange of information, but also cross-fertilization
of ideas and speakers and hearers establish a common ground (social togetherness)
which guarantees that failure in communication is unlikely to occur
. Pragmatics is
committedly quality- oriented to linguistic and social understanding. Metaphorically, we
can speak of arenas of language use where users display a wide range of strategies which
are in fact the rules of the game. Besides, the context in which the interaction takes place
is dynamic, proactive and meaning is continually coordinated due to the particular cluster
of the contextual factors.
The distinction sentence utterance is of paramount importance at this point.
The sentence, the minimal unit of analysis in semantics, is to be defined as an abstract
theoretical entity to which truth conditions are assigned, whereas the utterance is a
sentence analogue in context. Hence, pragmatics deals with implicature, presupposition,
illocutionary force, deixis etc. In other words, pragmatics actualizes both linguistic and
extra-linguistic (encyclopaedic) knowledge

In Searles words what you get is what you expect
Levinson (1983:21-2) speaks of assorted facts and interpretive dependence on background assumptions
We shall therefore postulate that pragmatics is a hybrid science, an integrated
approach, an interdisciplinary project, a linguistic, cultural and social affair. This holistic
view is an indicator of the fact that we dissociate from any approach to pragmatics as a
science that can be divided into several distinct branches. Let us now examine Crystals
(1991:271) solution to the problem of setting boundaries; the author proposes the
following divisions and admits that we are dealing with borderline cases rather than with
clear-cut instances and that such distinctions are inconsistently made:

Bibliografie minimal:
Butler, C.S. et al. (eds.). 2005. The Dynamics of language Use. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:
John Benjamins Publishung Company
Cruse, A. 2000. Meaning in Language. An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics,
Oxford: OUP
Cutting, J. 2002. Pragmatics and Discourse. A Resource Book for Students. London and
New York: Routledge
Grundy, P. 2000. Doing Pragmatics. London: Arnold
Kecskes, I., Horn, L. 2007. Explorations in Pragmatics. Linguistics, Cognitive and
Intercultural Aspects. Berlin/New York: Mouton Gruyter
Levinson, S.C. 1983. Pragmatics. Cambridge: CUP
Vilceanu, T., 2005. Pragmatics. The Raising and Training of Language Awareness,
Craiova: Universitaria
Yule, G. 1996. Pragmatics. Oxford: OUP

Enlarge upon the following statements:
a) The (linguistic) habitus is, indeed, linked to its conditions of acquisition sand its
conditions of use. This means that competence, which is acquired in a social context and through
practice, is inseparable from the practical mastery of situations in which this usage of language
is socially acceptable.
The language token is not a thing with a form and a function. It is a form which functions in
context. It has no meaning, but is used to mean.(Monaghan, 1979: 186)
b) Having a language is like having access to a very large canvas and to hundreds and
even thousands of colors. But the canvas and the colors come from the past. They are hand-me-
downs. As we learn to use them, we find out that those around us have strong ideas about what
can be drawn, in which proportions, in what combinations, and for what purposes. As an artist
knows, there is an ethics of drawing and colouring as well as a market that will react sometimes
capriciously, but many times quite predictably to any individual attempts to place a mark in the
history or representation or simply re-adjust the proportions of certain spaces at the margins.
Just like art-works, our linguistic products are constantly evaluated, recycled or
discarded.(Duranti, 1997:334)
c) Rapid growth in communications media, such as satellite and digital television and
radio, desktop publishing, telecommunications (mobile phone networks, video-conferencing), e-
mail, internet-mediated sales and services, information provision and entertainment, has created
new media for language use. It is not surprising that language is being more and
more closely scrutinized (e.g. within school curricula and by self-styled experts and guardians of
so-called linguistic standards), while simultaneously being shaped and honed (e.g. by
advertisers, journalists and broadcasters) in a drive to generate ever-more attention and
persuasive impact. Under these circumstances, language itself becomes marketable and a sort f
commodity and its purveyors can market themselves through their skills of linguistic and textual
manipulation.(Jaworski & Coupland, 1999:5)

Austin (1962) distinguishes between constative and performative utterances. He
defines the former as statements that record or impart straightforward information about
the facts (The earth is flat, It is pouring), whereas the latter category utterances do
not describe or report or constate anything at all, are not true and false, and the uttering of
the sentence is, or part of it, the doing of an action.
E.g. 1. I do (take this woman to be my lawful wedded wife).
2. I name this ship Queen Elizabeth.
3. I give and bequeath my watch to my brother.
We are dealing in fact with the uttering of the words of the performative or
speech act under particular circumstances (in the course of a marriage ceremony, when
smashing a bottle against the stem, when drawing a will). Speech act theory analyses the
role of utterances in relation to the behaviour of speaker and hearer in interpersonal
communication. A speech act is not an act of speech in the sense of parole (in Saussures
terminology) or performance (if we adopt Chomskys distinction between language
competence or knowledge about the language and performance or the actual use of
language); it is a communicative activity (locutionary act) connected to the intention of
the speakers (illocutionary force) and to the effect(s) they achieve on the hearers
(perlocutionary effect). Speech acts bring about a change in the current state of affairs (in
the first example, the two persons involved become husband and wife, they have a
different marital status now).
Austin further discusses the question of appropriate circumstances since the
speaker and other participants should also perform some other actions, whether physical
or mental. The author postulates the doctrine of the things that can be and go wrong, i.e.
the doctrine of the infelicities and proposes the following scheme of the felicity
conditions to be met for the smooth or happy functioning of a performative:
A.1. There must exist an accepted conventional procedure having a certain conventional
effect, that procedure to include the uttering of certain words by certain persons in
certain circumstances and further,
A.2. the particular persons and circumstances in a given case must be appropriate for the
invocation of the particular procedure invoked.
B.1. The procedure must be executed by all participants both correctly and
B.2. completely.
C.1. Where, as often, the procedure is designed for use by persons having certain
thoughts and feelings, or for the inauguration of certain consequential conduct on the
part of any participant, then a person participating in and so invoking the procedure
must in fact have those thoughts and feelings, and the participants must intend so to
conduct themselves, and further
C.2. must actually so conduct themselves subsequently.
If rules A-B are violated, the act is not achieved while in the C case, the act is
performed, but it is insincere, it is an abuse of the procedure. The infelicities related to A-
B are called misfires and those related to C are termed abuses. When dealing with a
misfire, we say that the act is purported (or perhaps an attempt), void or without effect
and the procedure is misinvoked. As far as the abuse is concerned, it implies a professed
or hollow act, which is not consummated.
Performatives fall into two categories: explicit (which include some unambiguous
expression also used in naming the act such as I bequeath, I bet) and implicit ones.
Yet, we normally utter Go! instead of I order you to go! to achieve the same effect.
The explicit performative utterances are assigned a particular formula:
- they have a first-person subject;
- the have a performative (illocutionary) verb in the present simple tense, the
affirmative form;
- they contain a second person pronoun which may be preceded by a preposition;
- they embed a clause expressing the propositional content of the utterance.
E.g. I hereby declare this bridge to be opened.
I (hereby) promise you to be there in time.
Yet, in face-to-face interactions we do not utter I hereby declare to love
you as a performative indicating device, but this does not mean that performativity is
denied. Instead, we are dealing with a performativity continuum ranging from the
conventional speech acts to the non-conventional ones.
E.g. You are fired.
Thank you for your support.
There is a further distinction made by Austin with respect to the kind of action
associated to an utterance: locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary action.
Locutionary action is equated to the mere act of uttering a sentence and meaning what
you say (the literal meaning of a sentence). The illocutionary action, i.e. speech act has
force (the intended meaning which is to be inferred by the hearer; the extra-meaning
which is conventionally associated to the sentence). Perlocutionary action or effect is
what you produce on the hearer by saying what you say (at this point language plays a
persuasive role and the hearer is manipulated to act in the way intended by the speaker).
Consider the following utterance:
Its so hot in here.
Locutionary act: It is so hot in here. (Although it is hard to believe that the speaker
imparts information to the hearer or that the utterance simply counts as a constative).
Illocutionary act: Will you open the window, please? (the utterance really counts as a
Perlocutionary act: The hearer complies with the request and opens the window.

Bibliografie minimal:
Butler, C.S. et al. (eds.). 2005. The Dynamics of language Use. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:
John Benjamins Publishung Company
Cruse, A. 2000. Meaning in Language. An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics,
Oxford: OUP
Cutting, J. 2002. Pragmatics and Discourse. A Resource Book for Students. London and
New York: Routledge
Grice, H.P. 1975. Logic and conversation in Cole P., Morgan, J.L. (eds.). Syntax and
Semantics 3: Speech Acts. New York
Grundy, P. 2000. Doing Pragmatics. London: Arnold
Kecskes, I., Horn, L. 2007. Explorations in Pragmatics. Linguistics, Cognitive and
Intercultural Aspects. Berlin/New York: Mouton Gruyter
Leech, J. 1983. Principles of Pragmatics, London: Longman
Levinson, S.C. 1983. Pragmatics. Cambridge: CUP
Levinson, S.C. 2000. Presumptive Meanings. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Searle, J. 1969. Speech Acts. Cambridge: CUP
Vilceanu, T., 2005. Pragmatics. The Raising and Training of Language Awareness,
Craiova: Universitaria
Yule, G. 1996. Pragmatics. Oxford: OUP

1. Identify the locutionary act, the illocutionary act (force) and the
perlocutionary effect of the following utterances:

a) In an art gallery, Official: Would the lady like to leave the bag here?
Woman: No, thank you. Its not heavy.

b) Billy, what do big boys when they enter into a room?

c) Would users please refrain from spitting.

2. Comment on the following performatives and their felicity conditions:

a) I withdraw my complaint.
I plead not guilty.
Thank you for your attention.
I absolve you from your sins.
b) Will you take this woman to be your lawful wedded wife?
c) I challenge you to pistols at dawn.
I decline to take up the challenge.
d) The court finds the accused not guilty.
e) Your employment is hereby terminated with immediate effect.

Literature distinguishes between sense (literal meaning) and force (intended
meaning), between what is actually said /expressed meaning and the additional
implied/intended meaning. H.P. Grice, who developed the pragmatic theory of
implicature, worked with Austin at Oxford in the 1940s and 1950s and delivered the
William James lectures at Harvard University in 1957.
The speaker implies or conveys some meaning indirectly, while the hearer infers
or deduces something from evidence. Etymologically, to imply means to fold something
into something else. The term implicature is used in order to contrast it with logical
implication which refers to inferences derived from logical or semantic content. The
logical implication relation is: if p, then q. Logically, non-p does not imply non-q.
E.g. p: you scratch my back
q: Ill scratch yours
p q: If you scratch my back, Ill scratch yours.
Instead, implicature is based on the content of what has been said and on the
assumptions about the cooperative nature of verbal exchanges.
Grice identifies two sorts of implicature: conventional implicature and
conversational implicature; in the former case, the same implicature arises regardless of
the context of utterance, whereas in the latter case, the implicature is generated by the
context of utterance.
E.g. The woman was in her forties, but still attractive.
The link word but directs us to something that runs counter to the previous statement;
this implicature is encoded linguistically. Furthermore, there is the implicature is that a
woman in her forties is no longer attractive.
E.g. Would you like a drink?
No, thanks. Im driving.
The implicature is that a person who is driving should not drink and such implicature is
calculated or processed due to the context of utterance.
Starting from this example, we can state that communication is a successful
process because the participants try to make a fair contribution, because the verbal
exchange is governed by the willingness to take part in the process and because speaker
and hearer alike try to optimally fit the information they provide to the context, to the
direction in which the exchange takes place. In other words, the whole interaction is
based on the Principle of Relevance as highlighted by Grice (1975) and further
developed by Sperber and Wilson (1986).
Let us remember at this stage that the context is a dynamic entity and does not
consist of a pre-determined set of assumptions. There are, of course, assumptions that are
part of the speakers and hearers background knowledge and these assumptions establish
the common ground (shared assumptions) which secures the success of the ongoing
In his famous book Logic and Conversation (1975), Grice puts forward The
Cooperative Principle (CP) to explain the mechanisms by which people unfold
conversational implicature, and to account for the relation between sense and force,
between explicit and implicit meaning. Grices theory explains how there can arise
interesting discrepancies between speaker meaning and sentence meaning.
The CP runs as follows: Make your contribution such as is required, at the stage
at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you
are engaged.
The four conversational maxims are:
1. The maxim of Quantity: Make your contribution as informative as
required (for the current purpose of
Do not make your contribution more
informative than is required.
2. The maxim of Quality
: Do not say what you believe to be false.
Do not say that for which you lack adequate
3. The maxim of Relation: Be relevant.
4. The maxim of Manner: Avoid obscurity of expression.
Avoid ambiguity.
Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity).
Be orderly.

Harnish (1976:362) favours the combination of the first two maxims, arguing that the amount of
information that the speaker gives depends on the speakers wish to avoid telling something that is not true.
He proposes the Maxim of Quantity-Quality: Make the strongest relevant claim justifiable by your
Grice identifies a number of characteristic traits of implicatures (contextual
effects) which arise from non-observance (whether deliberate or not) of one or several
1. they are cancellable or defeasible, i.e. by adding some further information it is
possible to cancel them, i.e explicitely denied).
E.g. A: Would you like some wine?
B: No, thanks. Ive been on whisky all day.
A: All right. (The hearer infers that the speaker doesnt feel like a drink).
B: I mean, Ill stick to whisky. (Thus, the implicature is cancelled or
proved to be false by this further specification).
2. they are standardly non-detachable (apart from those derived from the Maxim of
Manner that are related to the form of the utterance), i.e. they are attached to the
semantic content of what is said, not to the linguistic form. The replacement of a word or
phrase by its synonym will trigger a different implicature.
E.g. John is a genius.
John is a mental prodigy.
John is an exceptionally clever human being.
John has an enormous intellect.
John has a big brain.
(Levinson, 1983:116-7)
There will be ironic reading of the utterances that re-state the first one.
3. they are calculable, i.e. it can be shown that the hearer can derive the inference in
question starting from the literal meaning of the utterance and from the co-operative
principle and the maxims of conversation.
4. they are non-conventional, i.e. they are not part of the conventional meaning of
the linguistic expressions that are used (they are not to be found in dictionaries).
E.g. Father: Where are the car keys?
Mother: Billy is dating Sue tonight.
Mother implies that Billy has taken the car.
5. the same linguistic expression can give rise to different implicatures on different
occasions (in different contexts of utterance). Therefore, we can speak of a certain degree
of indeterminacy; utterances seem to be of a protean nature, multifaceted:
E.g. She is a cat.
According to context, the utterance can be interpreted as a mean unpleasant woman,
very nervous or anxious, she likes currying favour with people etc.
Non-observance of the maxims
There are five distinct cases of failing to observe a maxim:
- flouting a maxim
- violating a maxim
- infringing a maxim
- opting out of a maxim
- suspending a maxim
Flouting a maxim the speaker blatantly fails to observe a maxim, not with the
intention of deceiving/misleading. There is an additional meaning i.e. a conversational
implicature deliberately achieved.
2. Violating a maxim Grice defines it as the unostentatious non-observance of a
maxim. If a speaker violates a maxim he/she will be liable to mislead (1975:49).
3. Infringing a maxim it occurs when a speaker who, with no intention of deceiving,
fails to observe a maxim. The non-observance stems from imperfect linguistic
performance (imperfect command of language, nervousness, drunkenness, excitement)
rather than from a deliberate choice.
4. Opting out of a maxim by indicating unwillingness to co-operate. in the way the
maxim requires. It is very frequent in public life when the speaker cannot, for legal or
ethical reasons, reply in the way normally expected.
5. Suspending a maxim sometimes there are certain events in which there is no
expectation on the part of any participants. Suspension of the maxims cant be culture-
specific or specific to particular events.

Bibliografie minimal:
Butler, C.S. et al. (eds.). 2005. The Dynamics of language Use. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:
John Benjamins Publishung Company
Cruse, A. 2000. Meaning in Language. An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics,
Oxford: OUP
Cutting, J. 2002. Pragmatics and Discourse. A Resource Book for Students. London and
New York: Routledge
Grice, H.P. 1975. Logic and conversation in Cole P., Morgan, J.L. (eds.). Syntax and
Semantics 3: Speech Acts. New York
Grundy, P. 2000. Doing Pragmatics. London: Arnold
Kecskes, I., Horn, L. 2007. Explorations in Pragmatics. Linguistics, Cognitive and
Intercultural Aspects. Berlin/New York: Mouton Gruyter
Leech, J. 1983. Principles of Pragmatics, London: Longman
Levinson, S.C. 1983. Pragmatics. Cambridge: CUP
Levinson, S.C. 2000. Presumptive Meanings. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Searle, J. 1969. Speech Acts. Cambridge: CUP
Vilceanu, T., 2005. Pragmatics. The Raising and Training of Language Awareness,
Craiova: Universitaria
Yule, G. 1996. Pragmatics. Oxford: OUP

1. Show the steps to be followed in calculating the implicature of the utterance
I saw Robert with a woman at the restaurant.
2. State whether the following examples are cases of observance of the
conversational maxims or not. Identify each type.
1. The speaker was a BBC continuity announcer:
At the time of recording, all the cast were members of the BBC drama group.
2. I finished working on my face. I grabbed my bag and my coat. I told mother I was
going outShe asked me where I was going. I repeated myself. Out.
3. A is asking B about a mutual friends new boyfriend:
Is he nice?
She seems to like him.
A woman without her man is nothing.
Short course managers are required.
The old men and women left the room.
They dont smoke and drink.
Happily they left.

Unitatea de nvare II
Presupposition triggers and characteristics. Presupposition vs implicature

Contientizarea aspectelor complexe legate de presupoziia logic i presupoziia
Familiarizarea studenilor cu aspectele descriptive i normative ale identificrii i
utilizrii presupoziiei i a mecanismelor lingvistice ce o genereaz;
Dobndirea de strategii rezolutive n gestionarea factorilor pragmatici implicai n
comunicarea intra i intercultural.
Timp alocat: 6 ore

Presupposition may be rightly considered as one of the most controversial
concepts in pragmatics. Originally, the term was restricted to reference, but it soon
expanded its scope. Presupposition is another type of implicature; unlike conversational
implicature which is situated, presupposition is dependent, to a higher degree, on the
linguistic form of the utterance.
Levinson (1983: 167-8) draws our attention to the two distinct uses of the term
presupposition: as an ordinary term and as a technical one. The former is attached to any
kind of background assumption against which the utterance makes sense or is rational,
whereas the latter is restricted to certain pragmatic inferences or assumptions that seem
at least to be built into linguistic expressions and which can be isolated using specific
linguistic tests (constancy under negation). As seen from the definition, Levinson is
cautious in identifying the nature of pragmatic presupposition.
Presuppositions refer and remain constant if the sentences are negated (they survive the
negation test). Survival of the negation test distinguishes presupposition from entailment.
Let us now focus on more complex sentences:
Sue denies that she saw Mary yesterday.
Its negation reads:
Sue does not deny that she saw Mary yesterday.
The presuppositions that hold true under negation are:
- There are two identifiable persons Sue and Mary (proper names), respectively;
- Sue saw Mary yesterday.
And they are triggered by the verb to deny. Therefore, the question arises: What are the
linguistic expressions that engender presupposition? Levinson (1983:181-4) discusses
Karttunens (1973) collection of 31 presupposition triggers
and considers it the core of
phenomena that are generally considered presuppositional. In fact, Levinson pleads for a
loose definition of presupposition, i.e. presupposition which is not characterised by behaviour
under negation alone. In what follows, we shall cater this useful checklist (although in a
simplified version):
1. Definite descriptions (Strawson, 1950, 1952):
John saw / didnt see the man with two heads there exists a man with two heads.
2. Factive verbs (Kiparsky and Kiparsky, 1971):
to be aware that, to be glad that, to be proud that, to be sad that, to be sorry that, it is
odd, to know, to realize, regret
3. Implicative verbs (Karttunen, 1971b):
to be expected to, forget, to happen to, manage, ought to
4. Change of state verbs (Sellars, 1954, Karttunen, 1973):
cease, stop, finish, begin, start, continue, carry on, take, leave, enter, come, go, arrive
5. Iteratives:
to come again, to come back, to return, to restore, to repeat, anymore, another time,
before, for the nth time
6. Verbs of judging (Fillmore, 1971a):
accuse, criticize

What Stalnaker (1973) calls presupposition requirements
7. Temporal clauses (Frege, 1892) introduced by:
before, after, while, since, after, during, whenever, as
8. Cleft sentences (Atlas and Levinson, 1981):
9. Implicit clefts with stressed constituents (Chomsky, 1972, Sperber and Wilson,
Linguistics was/wasnt invented by Chomsky!
10. Comparisons and contrasts (Lakoff, 1971):
She called him a liar and insulted him To call him a liar is to insult him.
Mark is nicer than Tom Tom is nice.
11. Non-restrictive clauses
The presidents daughter, who studies law, is 22.
12. Counterfactual conditions (Type 3)
If he had been there, he would have helped her.
13. Questions (Lyons, 1977): alternative questions and WH-questions:
Are there students interested in pragmatics?
Who is interested in pragmatics?
In all the above mentioned cases, constancy or survival under negation is the acid
test of presupposition. But there also the projection problem (presupposition behaviour in
complex sentences) and the question of defeasibility (presupposition cancellation in
certain contexts).
Presuppositions are determined compositionally (as a function of their sub-
expressions) by virtue of the principle that the global meaning is the sum of the meanings
of the component parts. The projection problem is doublefold: on the one hand,
presuppositions survive in contexts where entailments do not, On the other hand, they
disappear in contexts where they are expected to survive.
The boy kicked the ball
There is a boy
The boy kicked the ball.
If we negate the sentence, we have: The boy did not kick the ball and The boy kicked the
ball does not survive whereas There is a boy survives.
Pragmatic presupposition becomes a question of appropriate usage, of some
background assumption and common ground against which the utterance makes sense
(set of propositions constituting the current context; therefore, pragmatic presuppositions
are context-embedded). This common ground account (Stalnaker, 1973) or context
selection account (Heim, 1983) of presupposition envisages presupposition as pre-
conditions of situations in which a sentence can be uttered. We should rather speak of
common ground dynamics as it can be modified in the course of interaction utterances
are interpreted as context change potentials. They are functions that map an input context
(common ground before the utterance is accepted by the hearer) to an output context
(common ground after the utterance is accepted by the hearer). Presuppositions define
for an utterance whether or not an input context is admissible.
It is part of the concept of presupposition that a speaker assumes or pretends that
the hearers presuppose everything that s/he presupposes (ideally). If context perceived to
be defective, the speaker will try to eliminate discrepancies among the presuppositions
(for communicative efficiency). This is the second view endorsed by Stalnaker, namely
the dispositional definition of pragmatic presupposition.
In fact, during the communicative exchange, clues are dropped about what is
presupposed. Lewis (1979) labels this process accommodation since it rescues an
utterance from inappropriateness by providing a required presupposition. The principle of
accommodation is best summed up in Thomasons words:
Adjust the conversational record to eliminate obstacles to the detected plans of
your interlocutor.(Thomason, 1990:344)

Bibliografie minimal:
Butler, C.S. et al. (eds.). 2005. The Dynamics of language Use. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:
John Benjamins Publishung Company
Cruse, A. 2000. Meaning in Language. An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics,
Oxford: OUP
Cutting, J. 2002. Pragmatics and Discourse. A Resource Book for Students. London and
New York: Routledge
Grundy, P. 2000. Doing Pragmatics. London: Arnold
Kecskes, I., Horn, L. 2007. Explorations in Pragmatics. Linguistics, Cognitive and
Intercultural Aspects. Berlin/New York: Mouton Gruyter
Leech, J. 1983. Principles of Pragmatics, London: Longman
Levinson, S.C. 1983. Pragmatics. Cambridge: CUP
Levinson, S.C. 2000. Presumptive Meanings. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Vilceanu, T., 2005. Pragmatics. The Raising and Training of Language Awareness,
Craiova: Universitaria
Yule, G. 1996. Pragmatics. Oxford: OUP

1. Discuss presupposition-related aspects in the following examples:
a) It was Mary who called the police.
b) Im sorry Im late. I had to take my daughter to the doctor.
c) Picasso painted crying women.
d) The Pope died last night.
e) John phoned Mary before he finished his lunch.
f) John died before he finished his lunch.
g) Marion praised them for storing old wine bottles.
h) If Michael invites Susan to the party, he will regret that his wife is coming, too.
i) She picked up the young man with a scar on his face.
j) Roberta knows that Julias friend is rich and handsome.
k) I believe that Mr. Smith stopped smoking.
l) He forgot paying the phone bill.
He forgot to pay the phone bill.
m) Even Martin cried.

Unitatea de nvare III
Strategies of politeness. The face management view

Contientizarea aspectelor complexe legate de strategiile de politee pozitiv i
Familiarizarea studenilor cu aspectele descriptive i normative ale identificrii i
utilizrii noiunilor de face i face threatining act n cadrul teoriei face management
Dobndirea de strategii rezolutive n gestionarea factorilor pragmatici implicai n
comunicarea intra i intercultural.
Timp alocat: 6 ore

The Basics of the Theory of Politeness
Politeness as well as co-operation is fundamental to interpersonal communication.
As a linguistic phenomenon, politeness has drawn considerable attention from linguists,
sociologists and language philosophers over the last 40 years: Lakoff (1973, 1977), Leech
(1983), Brown and Levinson (1978, 1987), Hill et al. (1986), Ide(1989), Fraser (1990)
and Gu (1990). Despite the efforts of these practitioners, however, there was little
consensus on the nature of politeness and cross-cultural implications. Politeness refers,
separately but also jointly, to the following aspects: promotion of harmonious relations,
deference, register, politeness as a surface level phenomenon (locutionary act) and
politeness as a deep level phenomenon (illocutionary act).
Pragmatic approaches to politeness fall into four categories:
the face management view (Brown and Levinson);
the conversational maxim view (Leech);
the conversational contract view (Fraser);
the pragmatic scales view (Spencer-Oatey).

The face management view
Of the various models of politeness which have been advanced, Brown and
Levinsons claims its pancultural validity. The present chapter attempts an elaboration of
the concept of positive and negative politeness considering these universal phenomena.
At the very foundation of Brown and Levinsons (1987) politeness theory lies the
assumption that speakers in any given language do not just convey information through
their language; they use the language to do things. Brown and Levinson suggest that
speakers, in face-to-face interactions, actually build relationships. Communication is
negotiation of meaning, even if it is not necessarily a conscious act. In fact Brown and
Levinson propose that an abstract underlying social principle guides and constrains our
choice of language in everyday discourse. Hence we may infer that the term politeness is
not used in its conventional sense of having and showing good manners, displaying
courtesy and correct social behaviour, but rather it is intended to cover all aspects of
language usage which serve to establish, maintain or modify interpersonal relationships.
Brown and Levinson theory rests on the assumption that all competent language
users have the capacity of reasoning and have what is commonly known as face
. Face is
defined as:

Something that is emotionally invested, and that can be lost, maintained or enhanced, and
must be constantly attended to in interaction. (Brown and Levinson, 1978:66)

the public self-image that everyone lays claim to, consisting of two related aspects:
- negative face: the basic claim to freedom of action and freedom from imposition
- positive face: positive consistent self-image or personality (crucially including the desire that this self-
image be appreciated and approved of ) claimed by interactants. (Brown and Levinson, 1987:61)

Brown and Levinsons notion of face follows on from Goffman (1967 [1955]) in
using it to denote the desire which everybody has that their self-image will be taken into
account in interaction with others (face is linked to the notions of being embarrassed,
humiliated or losing face). Brown and Levinson then develop this concept by relating it

The term face in the sense of reputation or good name seems to be first used in English in 1876 as a
translation of the Chinese term diu-lian in the phrase Arrangements by which China has lost face.
to Durkeims positive and negative rites (co-operation vs. distancing) as two basic
sides of politeness.

everyone has face and everyones face depends on everyone elses face being
maintained, and since people can be expected to defend their face if threatened, and if defending
their own to threaten others faces, it is in general in every participants best interest to maintain
each others face. (Brown and Levinson, 1978: 66)

And, since aspects of face [are] basic wants (ibid: 62) these definitions may be
glossed as the desire to be unimpeded in ones actions (negative face) and the desire to
be approved of (positive face) (Brown and Levinson, 1987:13). The authors go further
and say that these two kinds of face-want give rise to two corresponding types of
interactive behaviour. These are positive politeness strategies and negative politeness
strategies. The concept of positive and negative face as universal human attributes and
the consequent concept of positive and negative politeness as characteristic of human
interaction are also referred to as face dualism.
Brown and Levinson construct their interactional model around a model person
(MP), one who, from the outset, in addition to demonstrating a command of the language
and a rational capability for determining the means needed to accomplish end goals,
possesses two basic, somewhat conflicting face-wants (1987:60). The first is to have
ones individual rights, possessions, and territories uninfringed upon (negative face-
wants) and the second is the want to be respected and liked by other people (positive
face-wants). Since the satisfaction of MPs wants is, to a large extent, dependent on the
actions of the others, it is in the MPs best interest to develop linguistic strategies that
acknowledge and recognize the face wants of the other participants.
Conflict can be understood as a potential ingredient of any interaction simply
because social interaction by its very nature presupposes an intrusion into another
persons domain, a person who does not often share the same goals, attitudes, interests,
beliefs, or values of the speaker. There are acts that we, as speakers, must do and that
threaten the wants of another individual.
E.g. orders, requests, and threatens threaten the hearers negative face
acts of criticism, disapproval, and disagreement threaten the hearers
positive face
Speakers can also perform self-threatening acts
E.g. the expression of thanks or the acceptance of an offer are acts that
impinge on the speakers negative face as they impel future obligation
Apologies, admissions of guilt, confessions, among other self-humiliating
acts, reduce the positive self-image of the speaker.
These acts which are inherently threatening to the speaker or hearer become face-
threatening acts-FTAs. They are acts that by their very nature run contrary to the face
wants of the addressee and/or the speaker (1987:65). Figure 1 depicts the types of FTA

When the speaker intends to perform an act that threatens the positive or negative
wants of H, S considers strategic balancing options and may choose a redressive one, one
that reveals to H that S is attempting to minimize the threat of the act. S may choose the
following strategic options demonstrating the highest risk (face loss) or the least risk
(face saving).
Strategic options in order of increasing face-threat:

Further suggested reading:
Goffmans (1967), Frasers (1981) discussions of apologies;
Manes and Wolfson (1981), Manes (1983) compliments as FTAs;
Owen (1983) apologies and other remedial work in English, with a framework for cross-cultutal
Speaker Face Hearer Face




1. Do not carry out the FTA at all.
E.g. failing to congratulate somebody or to express condolences, etc.
2. Do carry the FTA, but off record, i.e. allowing for a certain ambiguity of intention.
Brown and Levinson draw up a list of strategies for performing off-record politeness:
give hints, association clues, presuppose, understate, overstate, be ironic, be
ambiguous, be vague, use ellipsis etc.
E.g. The soup is a bit bland.
Ive got that terrible headache again.
Boys will be boys.
Husbands sometimes help to wash up.
3. Do the FTA on record with redressive action (negative politeness). This will involve
reassuring the H he/she is being respected by expressions of deference and formality,
by hedging, maintaining distance, etc. Brown and Levinson identify several
strategies: be conventionally indirect, question / hedge, be pessimistic, give
deference, minimize the size of imposition, apologize, impersonalize the speaker and
the hearer, nominalize, etc.
E.g. I wonder if you know the truth.
You must be very busy, but I need your help.
Excuse me, but it is not your turn.
The letter must be typed immediately.
Passengers will please refrain from flushing toilets on the train.
Id be eternally grateful if you did that for me.
We look forward to dining with you.
4. Do the FTA on record with redressive action (positive politeness). This will involve
paying attention to the Hs positive face by, e.g., expressing agreement, sympathy or
E.g. Im pretty sure Ive seen him before.
We are favourably impressed by your performance.
I must tell you that I like your dress very much.
5. Do the FTA on record, without redressive action, baldly. This strategic choice is
likely to appear in the following situations: emergency cases, task-oriented situations
(instructions), the FTA is in the hearers best interest, power differential is great, the
speaker decides to be maximally offensive etc.
E.g. Mind the step!
Yes, you may use the dictionary.
Give me your pen.
Take care!
Have a cake.
Politeness strategies have not only verbal realization, but also non-verbal e.g. giving a
gift, stumbling, etc
Harris (1984) suggests that the disfunction between the institutional status-based
requirements of face and the more individual side of face involved in the notion of
kindness correlates with on-record vs. off-record strategies of politeness.
Three factors are involved /calculated to determine the weight of the FTA: the social
distance between H and S, Hs power over S, and the rank of imposition. Positive
politeness strategies are addressed to Hs positive face wants and are described as
expressions of solidarity, informality and familiarity.
E.g. exaggerate interest in H, sympathize with H, avoid disagreement
Negative strategies conversely are addressed to Hs negative face and are
characterized as expressions of restraint, formality and distancing.
E.g. be conventionally indirect, give deference, apologize
We are thus confronted with politeness strategies and markers of different status:
behaviour strategies (e.g. give deference) are mixed with linguistic strategies (e.g.
nominalize) (see Ide, 1989). Some are countable (e.g. intensifiers), some gradable (e.g.
nominalization), some can transform a negative into a positive strategy (e.g. contraction
and ellipsis).
Brown and Levinson interestingly state, however, that politeness is implicated by the
semantic structure of the whole utterance, not communicated by markers or
mitigators in a simple signaling fashion which may be quantified (1987:22).

Bibliografie minimal:
Butler, C.S. et al. (eds.). 2005. The Dynamics of language Use. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:
John Benjamins Publishung Company
Brown, P., Levinson, S.C. 1978. Universals in Language Usage. Politeness Phenomena.
Cambridge: CUP
Cottom, D., 1998. Text and Culture. The politics of Interpretation. Minneapolis:
University of Minnesota
Cutting, J. 2002. Pragmatics and Discourse. A Resource Book for Students. London and
New York: Routledge
Grundy, P. 2000. Doing Pragmatics. London: Arnold
Kecskes, I., Horn, L. 2007. Explorations in Pragmatics. Linguistics, Cognitive and
Intercultural Aspects. Berlin/New York: Mouton Gruyter
Jaworski, A., Coupland, N. 1999. The Discourse Reader, London & New York:
Levinson, S.C. 1983. Pragmatics. Cambridge: CUP
Levinson, S.C. 2000. Presumptive Meanings. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Vilceanu, T., 2005. Pragmatics. The Raising and Training of Language Awareness,
Craiova: Universitaria
Yule, G. 1996. Pragmatics. Oxford: OUP
Watts, R.J., Ide, S., Ehlich, K. (eds). 1992. Politeness in Language. Studies in Its History.
Theory. Berlin-New York: Mouton de Gruyter

Comment on the following sentences in terms of the Politeness Principle (PP)
and of the maxims of politeness:
a) A: Well all miss George and Caroline, wont we?
B: Well, well all miss George.
b) P: Someones eating the icing off the cake.
C: It wasnt me.
c) - I wouldnt mind a cup of coffee.
- Could you spare me a cup of coffee?
d) A: Her performance was outstanding!
B: Yes, wasnt it?
A: Your performance was outstanding!
B: Yes, wasnt it?
e) A: Do you like these apricots?
B: Ive tasted better.
f) Please accept this large gift as a token of our esteem.
g) Im terribly sorry to hear that your cat died.
h) This is a draft of chapter 4. Please read it and comment on.
i) Basils wife is in hospital:
You just lie there with your feet up and Ill go and carry you up another
hundredweight of lime creams
j) In a very expensive gourmet restaurant, a notice reads: If you want to enjoy the
full flavour of your food and drink you will, naturally, not smoke during this meal.
However, if you did smoke you would also be impairing the enjoyment of other
Unitatea de nvare IV
Deixis person, emphatetic, space, time, discourse, social deixis

Contientizarea aspectelor complexe legate de deixis;
Familiarizarea studenilor cu aspectele descriptive i normative ale identificrii i
utilizrii noiunilor referitoare la deixis personal, empatic, spaial, temporal, discursiv
i social;
Dobndirea de strategii rezolutive n gestionarea factorilor pragmatici implicai n
comunicarea intra i intercultural.
Timp alocat: 6 ore

Deixis, from the Greek word deiknyai to display, to show, is one of the most
obvious ways of indicating how the contribution of the context of utterance is actually
managed by the speaker. As a pragmatic phenomenon, it is concerned with the linguistic
encoding of the context of utterance (speech event).
Deixis is often equated to indexicality. In fact, all deictic expressions are indexical
(they pick out referents in the real world / extra-linguistic context), but not all indices
deictic. Therefore, indexicality has a broader scope, i.e. it covers all phenomena of
context sensitivity whereas deixis has a narrower scope, dealing with the linguistically
relevant aspects of indexicality.
Deixis can be further divided into six types: person deixis, empathetic deixis,
place deixis, time deixis, discourse deixis and social deixis.
Person deixis

Following Ch. Peirces distinction among index (a sign based on an existential and contiguity relation
with the entity it is a sign of), symbol (a sign which has a conventional relation to the entity it is a sign of)
and icon (a sign which resembles the entity it is a sign of)
It is about deictic reference to the participant role of a referent: speaker,
, bystanders ratified participants which are neither the speaker nor the
addressee. Person deixis is instantiated in the system of personal pronouns (first, second
and third person). The first person pronouns I, we represents the grammatical
encoding of the reference to the speaker(s), the second person pronoun you- represents
grammaticalization of reference to the addressee(s) and the third person pronouns he,
she, they are the grammatical encoding of reference to bystanders.
Furthermore, we distinguish between the inclusive-of-addressee and the
exclusive-of-addressee use of the first person plural pronoun we:
E.g. United we stand. (President George Bushs speech on the 11 September
events; inclusive we)
We shall leave in two hours time. (exclusive we)
As far as the second person pronoun is concerned, there is the unique form you,
which is unmarked for the second person singular and marked for the second person
plural. You optionally allows for gestural use:
E.g. You cant teach an old dog new tricks. (symbolical)
You have to go there at once. (optionally gestural)
Customarily, the third person referring expressions are regarded as semantically
deficient or residual, i.e. their descriptive content does not suffice to identify a referent. In
this respect, we can draw a cline of deficiency on which indefinite and personal pronouns
are ranked as deficient to the highest degree:
E.g. someone, she the woman the beautiful woman Anne
In the course of the interaction, participant roles undergo shifts e.g. turn-taking
in conversations, taking the floor at conferences etc. and the deictic centre (or origo if
we feel indebted to Bhler) shifts with them. The deictic centre is organized around the

A. Bell (1984) coined the phrase audience design which he defines as the extent to which the speakers
accommodate to their addressees. He makes a useful distinction between addressees (ratified participants
directly addressed) auditors (ratified participants, not directly addressed) overhearers (neither ratified
participants nor directly addressed) eavesdroppers (the speaker is not aware of their presence, so
accommodation does not apply to this case)
speaker at the place and time of speaking (Coding Time in Fillmores terms). Yet, many
deictic expressions can be transposed or relativized to some other deictic centre.
Reference to the person involved in the speech event also becomes manifest in the
use of possessive pronouns and adjectives, and verb conjugation (e.g. English verbs add
s in the 3
person singular, present simple tense; the verb to be displays different forms
for different persons; In Romance languages there are different endings attached to verbs
when conjugated e.g. Romanian present tense: eu lucrez, tu lucrezi, el/ea lucreaz, noi
lucrm, voi lucrai, ei-ele lucreaz etc).
Empathetic deixis
It refers to the metaphorical use of deictic forms to indicate attitude, i.e. emotional
or psychological distance between the speaker and the referent. Broadly speaking, the
demonstrative pronoun this is invested with empathy or solidarity while that indicates
emotional distance. However, there are numerous instances when the distinction is
E.g. This is what I like. But also I like that. (empathy)
That man! (distance)
Place deixis
It can be defined as deictic reference to a location relative to the location of a
participant in the speech event, typically the speaker. The grammatical realizations of
place deixis are adverbs of place, demonstrative pronouns, spatial prepositions and
motion verbs.
Denny (1978) proposes the term boundedness to refer to the presence / absence of
meaning indicative of a border at the location; expressions such as in there, in here, out
there belong to bounded deixis while here and there pertain to unbounded deixis (lack of
a defined border).
Authors (notably Levinson) identify several frames
of spatial reference:

Goffmann (1967) sees frame as individual conceptualization of the structure within which participants are
- intrinsic or pure place-deictic words: the adverbs here and there, the
demonstrative pronouns this and there (proximity vs. non-proximity);
- absolute: east, west, north, south, upstream, downstream, across river etc;
- relative: to the right/left of, behind, in front of, away from, next to etc
Levinson (1983: 79 ff.) distinguishes between gestural (as a way of securing the
addressees attitude to a feature of the extra-linguistic world; pointing at something
constitutes an ostensive definition) and symbolical usages of place deictic words. Used
symbolically, here indicates the pragmatically given unit of space that includes the
location of the speaker at CT (coding time; see the ongoing discussion) and gesturally it
refers to the pragmatically given space, proximal to the speakers location at CT, that
includes the point of location gesturally indicated.
E.g. Im in Madrid and I love it here. (symbolical)
Bring it here. (gestural)
Sometimes, there, which is typically distal from the speakers location at CT, can
serve to indicate proximity to the speakers location at CT (e.g. on the phone) or RT
(receiving time; e.g. when receiving a letter).
Spatial prepositions have deictic and non-deictic values. They are deictic when
there is reference to the speaker location:
E.g. Billy is behind the tree. (non-deictic)
Billy is behind the tree, hiding from me. (deictic)
Verbs of motion or come-and-go verbs indicate direction relative to the location
of participants, typically the speaker. The verbs belonging to the go class serve to show
movement away from the speakers location at CT whereas the verbs of the come type
gloss as movement towards the speakers location at CT. Levinson draws our attention
towards the fact that some other time can be involved when performing the movement
and he cautiously suggests to use the broader term reference time.
E.g. Come to me! (reference time coincides with CT)
Go there! (reference time coincides with CT)
You can come to see me when I return from England. (reference time does not coincide
with CT)
Some other verbs of the above mentioned type are: bring, fetch, take etc. The verb
come can also indicate not the speakers current location but his/her home-base:
E.g. I came at 10 oclock, but you were not at home.
Special mention needs to be made of the fact that place deixis always incorporates
a time-deictic element (CT) while the converse does not hold true.
Time deixis
It refers to time relative to a temporal reference point. Typically this is the
moment of utterance what Fillmore (1975, 1997) calls Coding Time (CT) or temporal
ground zero as different from the Receiving Time (RT) when there is no temporal
deictic simultaneity or there is deviation from the canonical situation of utterance.
Time deixis is encoded in adverbs of time, tenses and other deictic expressions
(greetings). The basic distinction concerns the use of now the time at which the
speaker is producing the utterance or broadly the pragmatically given span including
CT (Levinson, 1983: 73-74) and then as marking departure from the moment when
the utterance is produced (anteriority or posteriority).
E.g. Do it now!
Im now reading an interesting article on traditions.
I was very young then.
Then, youll have to repeat the procedure.
Before discussing the deictic use of the adverbs of time (today, yesterday,
tomorrow, Sunday, May, this afternoon, this year, next month etc), it is useful to
remember that time is measured in days, months, seasons, years these temporal
divisions are measured against a fixed point of reference (including the deictic centre),
being non-calendrical in use or they are used calendrically to locate events in absolute
time (non-relationally). For instance, the deictic use of the time adverb today serves to
indicate the diurnal span in which the speech event takes place, while calendrically the
adverb refers to the span of time running from midnight to midnight. Some other
examples include:
E.g. Ill go there this week. the utterance allows for both a calendrical and
non-calendrical interpretation, i.e. it guarantees achievement within the calendar
unit beginning on Sunday and including utterance time (CT) or within 7 days
from the utterance time.
I wrote this yesterday and wanted you to receive it today. CT and RT are
distinct. Starting from this example we can state that today systematically varies
reference (the reference of today will be different tomorrow etc).
Ill be back in an hour. (notice on the office door) the exact time when
the person comes back is hard to be guessed as there is no indication of CT and
RT are not identical.
Tenses are a mixture of deictic temporal distinctions and aspect. Seen in this
light, the present tense represents the time span including CT, the past tense is the
relevant time span before CT and the future tense is the time span following CT. Tenses
are classified into absolute and relative (perfect tenses indicate anteriority to a specified
moment of time).
Last but not least, greetings function as time-deictic elements since they are time-
restricted: Good morning is used in the morning, Good afternoon is used in the afternoon
etc. It is worth mentioning that Good morning, Good afternoon and Good evening are
uttered only when meeting the addressee whereas Good night is used only as a parting
Discourse deixis
It concerns deictic references to a portion of the unfolding discourse relative to
the speakers current location in the discourse (e.g. this chapter, the previous chapter,
the next chapter, as mentioned before). This and that are discourse deixis elements (we
can speak of a re-categorization of these place-deictic elements which become
multifunctional). This refers to the forthcoming portion of the discourse and that:
E.g. This is what Ill tell you.
That was the only word she could say in Chinese.
Levinson claims that the phenomenon of anaphora should be kept distinct from
discourse deixis, although the two are not mutually exclusive. Anaphoric elements refer
outside the discourse to other entities by connecting to prior referring expressions:
E.g. The British Prime Minister delivered a speech yesterday. Tony Blair / He
pointed to the importance of the event. - The British Prime Minister , Tony Blair / He
are co-referential expressions (they pick out the same referent in the external world.
Pronouns are prototypical exemplars as far as anaphora is concerned. For the sake
of distinction, let us mention that cataphora connects to referring expressions that are
present later in the discourse:
E.g. In front of her, Jane noticed a girl playing with a doll.
Discourse markers (anyway, but, therefore, nevertheless, moreover, actually etc)
relate a current contribution to the prior portions of discourse (we have already discussed
these terms as giving rise to conventional implicature).
E.g. She acknowledged his presence but pretended not to. contrast is thus
established between the two portions of the utterance.
Social deixis
It is concerned with direct or oblique reference to the social status and role of the
participants in the speech event. Linguistic encodings of social deixis include honorifics,
kinship terms (mother, mum) terms of endearment (My dear, darling, Billy), insults
etc. Social deixis falls into two categories: absolute (reference to some social
characteristics of a referent apart from any relative ranking of referents e.g. royal we
editorial we for authorized speakers and Your Honour, Your Majesty, Mr. President ,
The Honourable Member for authorized recipients see Fillmore, 1975 ) and relational
social deixis (reference to the social relationship between the speaker and the addressee).

The distinction between a formal plural form of address and the informal singular form of address is
political in nature: there were two Roman emperors in the 4
century (in Rome and in Constantinople) and
the words addressed to one were by implication considered to be addressed to both. It can be said that the
plurality of emperors triggered a plurality of the address term
Bibliografie minimal:
Butler, C.S. et al. (eds.). 2005. The Dynamics of language Use. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:
John Benjamins Publishung Company
Cutting, J. 2002. Pragmatics and Discourse. A Resource Book for Students. London and
New York: Routledge
Grundy, P. 2000. Doing Pragmatics. London: Arnold
Kecskes, I., Horn, L. 2007. Explorations in Pragmatics. Linguistics, Cognitive and
Intercultural Aspects. Berlin/New York: Mouton Gruyter
Jaworski, A., Coupland, N. 1999. The Discourse Reader, London & New York:
Levinson, S.C. 1983. Pragmatics. Cambridge: CUP
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Yule, G. 1996. Pragmatics. Oxford: OUP

Identify deictic elements in the following utterances and discuss their nature:
1. This one is genuine, but this one is a fake.
2. We cannot afford a holiday this year.
3. Mr. Smith did not attend the meeting on Monday.
4. Ladies and gentlemen (opening address).
5. You can never tell what they are after nowadays.
6. There we go.
7. I was born in London and have lived there ever since.
8. Lets do it!
9. You are to fasten your seat belts now.
10. I am now working on a Ph.D.
11. Tomorrow is Wednesday.
12. I hurt this finger.