Pragmatics and Context in Language Study

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What is the main focus of pragmatics?

The social uses of linguistic expressions in context

What is the main contrast between pragmatics, syntax, and semantics?

Pragmatics is about the functioning of language in context while syntax and semantics are generally contextless

Who challenges the idea of 'sentence type' as a violent abstraction from linguistic reality?

All of the above

What is the main reason why the characterization of semantics and pragmatics is too simple?

Most sentence types do not have acontextual meanings

What is the key concept that pragmatics emphasizes?

The functioning of language in context

What does the author mean by 'dead' metaphors?

Metaphors that have lost their original figurative meaning and are now idioms

In the context of the passage, what does the author suggest about the term 'level'?

It is a dead metaphor with no other term for the meaning

What is the author's view on the use of 'mouth' in the context of a river?

It is a dead metaphor with contemporary literal meaning

What is the author's opinion on the term 'inclined to [do such-and-such]'?

It is a dead metaphor with contemporary literal meaning

What does the author imply about the term 'rich dessert'?

It is a contemporary metaphor with a figurative meaning

What does the author mean by 'dead' metaphor?

Metaphors that have lost their figurative meaning and are now used literally

In the context of the passage, what does the author suggest about the term 'mouth'?

It is a dead metaphor that has lost its figurative meaning

What is the main focus of pragmatics according to the passage?

The analysis of language use in context

What is the author's opinion on the term 'inclined to [do such-and-such]'?

It is a metaphor that has evolved into a dead expression

What is the key concept that pragmatics emphasizes?

The analysis of language use in context

Study Notes

Philosophers and Language

  • Philosophers tend to prefer literal language and consider it the default.
  • The focus on literal language in philosophy is reflected in the concentration on theories of literal reference and literal meaning.

Limitations of Philosophical Approach

  • The bias towards literal language leads to a neglect of metaphorical and figurative uses of language.
  • Philosopher's emphasis on literal language is not representative of how language is used in everyday contexts.

Nonliteral Language Usage

  • Virtually every sentence contains importantly metaphorical or other figurative elements.
  • Words like "element" and "level" are often used metaphorically, rather than literally.
  • Nonliteral usage is the rule, rather than the exception.

Implications

  • The dominance of literal language in philosophy does not reflect the way language is used in ordinary contexts.
  • Philosophers should consider the importance of metaphorical and figurative language in understanding how language is used.

Test your knowledge of the role of context in language use and understanding with this quiz. Explore the significance of pragmatics in relation to syntax and semantics, and deepen your understanding of language functioning.

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