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Session 6 - B : Laurence Horn and Istvan Kecskes - Pragmatics, Discourse and cognition

Pragmatic theories have traditionally highlighted the roles of intention, rationality, cooperation, common ground, mutual knowledge, relevance, and commitment in the formation and execution of communicative acts (see e.g. Horn & Ward, eds., The Handbook of Pragmatics, 2004). While not neglecting the central role of these factors, some current approaches to pragmatic research seek to extend the range of the discipline to allow for a more comprehensive picture of their functioning and interrelationship within the dynamics of both intracultural and intercultural communication.

The development of new perspectives on the study of natural language meaning can be attributed to several factors. Recent theoretical work on the semantics/pragmatics interface, applications of evolutionary biology to the study of language, and empirical work within cognitive and developmental psychology and intercultural communication has led to the reexamination of some of the central tenets and claims of the field. In addition, cultural changes emanating from globalization have informed our understanding of the relation of language to the wider world; in particular, the spread of English as a global language has led to the emergence of issues of usage, power, and control that must be dealt with in a full pragmatics of language. The link between classical philosophically-oriented pragmatics and research in intercultural and inter-language communication has led to the development of an Intercultural Pragmatics, focusing on the roles and functions of language and communication within a world-wide communication network.

Broadening the scope of pragmatics has proceeded mainly in two directions, discourse and cognition, which jointly constitute the focus of this session. Discourse represents the socio-cultural perspective, an interest in socially determined linguistic behavior, while cognition puts emphasis on how individual features and egocentrism affect utterance production and the shaping of this social behavior. Pragmatics basically is an utterance-based discipline. But because utterance is hard to define and because utterance meaning is shaped both by the building linguistic elements of a particular utterance (lexical units) and subsequent utterances, pragmatics, which is also defined as the study of meaning in context, has been looking for meaning “ingredients” both inside the utterance and outside the utterance. As a result, currently there seem to be three different approaches represented in the field of pragmatics (Kecskes 2012). Firstly, there is a strong pragma-semantics approach, as pursued by Griceans and post-Griceans (including relevance theorists; cf. Sperber & Wilson 1995, Carston 2002) and other scholars with a referential-logical background and with a concern for the role of truth-conditionality (e.g. De Saussure 2007). This trend is interested in both speaker meaning and the construction of meaning by the hearer, through cognitive and/or formal models. Secondly, there is pragma-dialogue, which calls attention to the dialogic nature of communication by emphasizing that interlocutors are actors who act and react. So the speaker-hearer not only interprets but also reacts to the other interlocutor’s utterance. (e.g. Cooren 2010; Weigand 2009, 2010). The dialogic principle defines dialogue as a sequence of actions and reactions. Thirdly, there is another view that looks beyond the utterance and pays special attention to socially determined linguistic behavior. This trend can be called “pragma-discourse”.

The basic difference between pragmatics and discourse is that while pragmatics analyzes individual utterances (organized set of words) in context, discourse focuses on an organized set of utterances. The relationship between the constituents of utterances (organized sets of words) and the constituents of discourses (organized sets of utterances) is quite similar. Analysts assume that utterances have properties of their own (distinct from the properties of single lexical items) and discourses also have their own properties (distinct from the properties of single utterances). Consequently, an utterance is not the sum of lexical items that compose it, nor is discourse is the sum of utterances that compose it. We need both the single utterances and span of utterances (dialogic sequence, discourse-segment) approaches if we want to give a full analysis of what is communicated by interlocutors.

Single utterances are reflections of individual human cognition while span of utterances in the discourse-segment reflect socio-cultural, environmental, background factors. Research in cognitive psychology and pragmatics (e.g. Barr & Keysar 2005; Giora 2003) has directed attention to elements of cognition such as egocentrism, attention and salience that, intertwining with socio-cultural and contextual factors play decisive roles in the communicative process.


For this sub-session, we are seeking innovative, stimulating papers on all varieties of non-formal approaches described above. We invite submissions that explore and analyze intracultural or intercultural interactions that focus on utterance, dialogue or discourse level and use experimental and corpus methods or deal with theoretical issues drawing on language data from a variety of sources.


22.07.2013   10:30-12:00

Title: Pragmatics and Cognition
Chair: Istvan Kecskes

10:30 - 11:00 Steve OSWALD
Cognitive pragmatic constraints on meaning in argumentative discourse
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11:00 - 11:30 Fuhui HSIEH
Sentential Complexity and Cognition: The Paiwan Case
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11:30 - 12:00 Adriana Maria TENUTA
The structuring of narrative texts into figure and ground: attention, memory and ADHD
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22.07.2013   14:00-16:00

Title: Relevance Theory: Implications and Applications
Chair: Karoly Bibok

14:00 - 14:30 Jose AMENOS-PONS et al.
Inferential processes in an L2: Indicative and subjunctive mood interpretation in Spanish language learners
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14:30 - 15:00 Manuel PADILLA CRUZ
Epistemic vigilance and jokes
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15:00 - 15:30 Karoly BIBOK
Lexical Semantics Meets Pragmatics
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15:30 - 16:00 Elena GHEORGHITA
Algorithmization of intercultural communication
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22.07.2013   16:30-18:30

Title: Applied Pragmatics
Chair: Serhiy Potapenko

16:30 - 17:00 Chung-chien CHANG
A Closer Examination of Profiling Survey - Manipulation or Protection?
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17:00 - 17:30 Serhiy POTAPENKO
Cognitive rhetoric of effect: Procedures for analyzing inaugurals' intended impressions
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17:30 - 18:00 Josette REBEYROLLE
Formes et fonctions de la clôture des structures énumératives : une étude fondée sur l'exploitation d'un corpus annoté
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18:00 - 18:30 Yuhui LIU et al.
A Study on Teacher Repair in College EFL Classroom Interaction
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23.07.2013   14:00-16:00

Title: Pragmatics, Cognition, and Discourse: Overview
Chair: Laurence Horn

14:00 - 15:00 Laurence HORN et al.
Pragmatics, discourse and cognition
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15:00 - 15:30 Michael HAUGH
Situating speaker meaning in time
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15:30 - 16:00 Yan HUANG
Unarticulated Constituents (UCs) in Neo-Gricean Pragmatics
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23.07.2013   16:30-17:00

Title: Politeness and Indirectness
Chair: Istvan Kecskes

16:30 - 17:00 Jason QUINLEY et al.
Would you trust me please?
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23.07.2013   18:30-19:30

Title: -- Poster session --
Chair: -- Poster session --

18:30 - 19:30 Adegboye ADEYANJU
A Functional Linguistic Analysis of Charismatic Christian Sermonic Discourses of a Popular Nigerian Pastor
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18:30 - 19:30 Alice TOMA
L'exception dans l'argumentation
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18:30 - 19:30 Chun CHANG et al.
Verbs of Visual Perception in Sinitic Languages: Objectivity and (Inter)Subjectivity
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18:30 - 19:30 Cristel PORTES et al.
Disentangling French intonational contours through specific utterance reactions in adjacent pairs
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18:30 - 19:30 Cyrine SAADANI
La complémentation des adjectifs d'identité: de la quantification à la qualification
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18:30 - 19:30 Elizaveta KOTOROVA
Communicative-pragmatic field as a model of culturally driven speech behavior
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18:30 - 19:30 Rusudan ASATIANI
The Information Structures of a Sentence: Cleft Questions in Megrelian and Laz
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18:30 - 19:30 Sabina NEDBAILIK et al.
Les particularités générales des mécanismes sémantiques de la dénomination secondaire (sur le matériel lexical de l'argot français et du slang anglais)
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18:30 - 19:30 Steve NICOLLE
Sociolinguistic determinants of relational coherence devices
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18:30 - 19:30 Tomoaki IHARA
We need summary and sequential scannning --- a case study in Japanese ---
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18:30 - 19:30 Yan DING
The Role of Subject-Area Knowledge in Consecutive Interpreting - a Semantic and Pragmatic Perspective
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25.07.2013   10:30-12:30

Title: Corpus Pragmatics
Chair: Mira Ariel

10:30 - 11:00 Mira ARIEL
Interpreting or Constructions
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11:00 - 11:30 Noureddine ELOUAZIZI et al.
Ostensive demonstratives in multimodal contexts
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11:30 - 12:00 Christian LEHMANN
Approaches to the typology of referentiality
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12:00 - 12:30 Liana POP
Controle des representations
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25.07.2013   14:00-16:00

Title: Experimental Pragmatics
Chair: Patricia Amaral

14:00 - 14:30 Stefanie RÖHRIG
Evidence for context-dependent interpretation of und
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14:30 - 15:00 Patricia AMARAL et al.
An experimental approach to Levinson's M-based implicatures
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15:00 - 15:30 Cecile BARBET et al.
Generating scalar implicatures: context, defaultness, and sense-selection
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15:30 - 16:00 Jessica SOLTYS et al.
Why imply something when you could say it explicitly? Cross-cultural motivations for off-record indirect speech
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25.07.2013   16:30-18:30

Title: Temporality and Speaker Intentions
Chair: Kasia Jaszczolt

16:30 - 17:00 Chiou-shing YEH et al.
Psych-verbs in Sinitic Languages: Lexical Properties, Constructions and Speaker's Epistemological Stances
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17:00 - 17:30 Cristina GRISOT
Cross-linguistic variation in verb tenses: conceptual and procedural information
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17:30 - 18:00 Kasia M. JASZCZOLT
Temporal reference in discourse: A modality-based asymmetric account
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18:00 - 18:30 Enikő NÉMETH T.
Intentions and perspectives in the social forms of language use
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26.07.2013   14:00-16:00

Title: Conditionals, Parentheticals, and Scope
Chair: Thorstein Fretheim

14:00 - 14:30 Thorstein FRETHEIM et al.
Intonation as a guide to a parenthetical vs. a non-parenthetical interpretation of a Norwegian cognitive verb
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14:30 - 15:00 Sabina NEDBAILIK
Le statut sémantique-fonctionnel des éléments de parenthèse connectifs discours-textuels dans les langues française et anglaise modernes
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15:00 - 15:30 Chi-He ELDER et al.
Conditional utterances and conditional thoughts: A contextualist account
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15:30 - 16:00 Rachel SZEKELY
The distribution of 'not' in there-sentences: scope and polarity sensitivity
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27.07.2013   08:30-10:30

Title: Negation and Presupposition
Chair: Laurence Horn

09:00 - 09:30 Pauline BEAUPOIL et al.
The development of multimodal negation from 1 to 4 : a case-study
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09:30 - 10:00 Alice TER MEULEN
Negation, focus meaning and strengthening in discourse structure.
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10:00 - 10:30 Hiroaki TANAKA
Common Ground and Additive Particles: Japanese Mo and English Too and Also
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