Desktop version

Home arrow Sociology arrow Discourse interpretation : approaches and applications

Pragmatic functions performed by language units

Considering the specificity of pragmatic functions performed by language units, one can single out the following groups:

- stating-performed by units which do not accentuate the pragmatic aspect of discourse. They do not provide any deep implications.

Their connotative meaning remains unimportant. The pragmatic charge of these units equals “zero”;

  • - accentuating-performed by units which actively accentuate their pragmatic background or pragmatic aspect of meaning both with “+” and “-”, regardless of the fact that these additional aspects of meaning may not be represented in the thesaurus;
  • - qualifying-performed by units which possess the meaning of evaluating the attribute, state or action with regard to the extent of its occurrence. Their pragmatic role presupposes intensification/ removal of a categorical tone;
  • - reacting-performed by units which convey reactions to the previous remarks of the speaker. They comprise pragmatic idioms, revealing their intentional aspect solely in discourse.

Language units which reveal their intentional charge are targeted at adding persuasiveness to discourse and intensifying the listener’s/reader’s perlocutionary effect, i.e. change of their emotions. All the functions, except for stating, serve as a unique component for a more efficient influence on the addressee. Moreover, the categorization of language units, as well as their potency to acquire a new pragmatic function, seem totally dependent upon a specific communicative situation.

Besides, the functional specificity of language units involved in the utterance can experience such changes itself. For instance, language units can often lose or acquire a certain pragmatic charge, or possibly alter it (from “+” to “-“ or vice versa): It smells awfully>I am awfully glad; She is crazv>She is crazy about opera; He likes nuts!>They say, he is nuts, etc.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >

Related topics