Pragmatics and its impact on understanding of language and communication

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The paper concerns the study of pragmatics as an important branch of linguistics. The aim is to describe advantages and problems associated with the relationship between natural language as well as users of that language. A main claim to be argued here is that, conversational implicatures — or that which a speaker implies and which a listener infers with the help of quantitative including comparative methods.

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Communication plays a vital role in social development as it is the main tools to connect, to work and live in harmony as human being. Communication cannot be separated from the society because it is important for them. Clear, beautiful, brief as well as purposeful speech is of great importance in human interaction. Knowing the language is not enough to achieve effective speech. In order to achieve purposeful and attracting speech, it is significant to know not only the language itself, however at the same time it is highly essential to know the linguistic forms as well as when, where and how to use them. If we want a fuller, deeper and generally more reasonable account of human language behavior we need pragmatics, because outside of pragmatics, no understanding; sometimes the pragmatic account is the only one that makes sense. Pragmatics is the skill of using language socially and being able to adapt it to different situations. It's key to being able to take part in conversations and interactions in socially acceptable ways.

Initially, Pragmatics comes from the Greek words pragma, pragmatos, which means work, action. Pragmatics is a field of semiotics and linguistics that studies the functioning of language signs in speech, in other words, it is a branch of science that studies the attitude of the subjects who use it to this system of signs by mastering a certain sign system. Pragmatics, as a branch of linguistics, came into existence in the 60-70ths of the 20th century by Ferdinand de Saussure. The term «pragmatics» was proposed by the American philosopher Charles Morris in the 1930s as the name of a separate branch in semiotics, the science of signs.

Literature review and methods

The last century witnessed a great and ever-growing attention in pragmatics and its problems. So far, seventeen International Pragmatics Conferences have been held since 1985, the first one being a precursor to the actual founding of the International Pragmatics Association.

A large pragmatics bibliography which contains four volumes and 2197 pages was produced by Jan NUYTS & Jef VERSCHUEREN in 1987, the name of the bibliography is ‘A Comprehensive Bibliography of Pragmatics’. A completely new bibliographical tool was edited by Frank BRISARD (University of Antwerp), Michael MEEUWIS (University of Ghent), and Jef VERSCHUEREN (University of Antwerp), covering the entire field of pragmatics in its widest sense. On 1 January 2020, the Bibliography, with over 60,000 entries, turned into an open access community product, maintained on the John Benjamin’s website, and further developed under the auspices of IPrA. The pragmatics community is called upon to actively contribute.

Morris (1960) characterizes the pragmatics as the scientific discipline that studies the use of the sign, which specifically refers to the way people use sign language sign language and how it is interpreted.

According to Dann (1987:2) is the Pragmatic is the rules of usage of language, as an example, the selection of language form and determination of its meaning with respect to the intent of the speaker in accordance with the context and style. Pragmatics as a science is predicated on some other sciences, also study the language and the factors associated with the use of the language of science is philosophy of language, sociolinguistics, anthropology and Linguistics.

From the point of view of Jacob L.Mey (2001), this is a succinct introduction to the rapidly developing field of pragmatics — the study of language from the point of view of its users, of the choices they make, the constraints they encounter in using language in social interaction, therefore the effects their use of language has on other participants in communication. The book reviews the work of Austin, Grice, Searle, Levinson and others, examining the implicit meaning of everyday conversation, as well as the social importance and determination of our individually performed 'pragmatic acts'.

Moreover, the series Handbooks of Pragmatics by Wolfram Bublitz, Andreas H. Jucker and Klaus P. Schneider (2011-2018), which comprises nine self-contained volumes, provides a comprehensive overview of the entire field of pragmatics. It is meant to reflect the substantial and wide-ranging significance of pragmatics as a genuinely multi- and transdisciplinary field for nearly all areas of language description, and also to account for its remarkable and continuously rising popularity in linguistics and adjoining disciplines.

Results and discussion

I’ll never forget an incident that occurred when I was five years old and attending kindergarten. It was holiday time, thus we were putting on a recital. The parents were invited, then the teacher printed out little programs. And since most mothers and fathers were coming as couples, she handed me a stack of programs and told me, «Put one on every other chair.»

I proceeded to put a program on each chair in the room. The teacher started yelling at me, «No! Every other chair! Every other chair!»

I was perplexed. There was THIS chair…and the rest of the chairs in the room were all OTHER chairs. I knew the meaning of the word «every,» I knew the meaning of the word «other,» and I knew the meaning of the word «chair.» That still didn’t help me understand what the heck she wanted me to do.

This demonstrates the difference between the «semantics» and the «pragmatics» of a language. Semantics refers to the technical, dictionary definition of words. Pragmatics refers to the way that words are sometimes used in slang, figures of speech, including everyday conversation which do not match their technical, dictionary definitions. And unfortunately, this can make things quite difficult for little kids or second language acquisition on occasion.

Thus, pragmatics is manifested through a specific communication situation, the speech process that encompasses the social activity of a person. Linguistic pragmatics does not have a specific form, appearance; its scope includes the speaking subject, the addressee, their mutual relations in communication-intervention, also many issues related to the situation of communication-intervention. For example, in connection with the subject of speech, the following issues are studied: overt and hidden purposes of the statement, conveying any information or opinion, such as questioning, commanding, requesting, promising advice, apologizing, congratulating, complaining and others; speech acts and types of speech etiquette; conversation, speaking rules; speaker's purpose; assessment by the speaker of the addressee's general knowledge base, outlook, interests and other feelings.

The figure below attempts to bring some order to the pragmatic wastebasket by systematizing two closely related but overlapping areas of research in the analysis of meaning in context. While meaning is conceptualized in semantics as a discretely bounded conditional, truth-conditional meaning, pragmatic meaning is seen as speaker-implied, untruthful conditional meaning indicated by uncertain boundaries. Besides, meaning is autonomous and is expressed in semantics by properly constructed context-independent sentences, and it is extracted and expressed by appropriate context-dependent sentences in pragmatics. Semantics and pragmatics meet at the interpretive interface, where the computation of the meaning of an expression is provided by the linguistic code and at the same time pragmatic inferences (De Gruyter, 2011).

Meaning in context.
Рисунок 1. Meaning in context

There are two major types of problems to be solved within pragmatics: first, to define interesting types of speech acts and speech products; second, to characterize the features of the speech context which help determine which proposition is expressed by a given sentence. … It is a semantic problem to specify the rules for matching up sentences of a natural language with the propositions that they express. In most cases, however, the rules will not match sentences directly with propositions, however will match sentences with propositions relative to features of the context in which the sentence is used. Those contextual features are part of the subject matter of pragmatics (Stalnaker 1970).


Conclusively, the role of pragmatics in gaining purposeful speech is vital and essential. There are four aspects of pragmatics: speech acts; rhetorical structure; conversational implicature; and the management of reference in discourse. Although, incomputable research and investigations are having been witnessed since pragmatics appeared as an independent branch in linguistics, the problem of pragmatics still needs further study and explorations. The main types of problems to be solved in pragmatics: to define interesting types of speech acts and speech products; as well as to characterize the features of the speech context which help determine which proposition is expressed by a given sentence. The time required to prepare and conduct the studies may be longer than for the more traditional paradigms. There may be discrepancies between different types of data that are hard to interpret.

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Список литературы

  1. Ashurova, D. U., and M. R. Galiyeva. "Text linguistics." Tafakkur qanoti. Tashkent (2012).
  2. Bublitz, Wolfram and Norrick, Neal R. Foundations of Pragmatics, Berlin, New York: De Gruyter Mouton, 2011.
  3. Burton-Roberts, Noel (ed.) (2007). Pragmatics. Palgrave-Macmillan.
  4. Hawley, Patrick (2002). What is said. Journal of Pragmatics 34 (8):969-991.
  5. Jan NUYTS & Jef VERSCHUEREN, 1987, A Comprehensive Bibliography of Pragmatics (4 vols.). Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2197 pp.
  6. Korta, Kepa & Perry, John (2008). The pragmatic circle. Synthese 165 (3):347 — 357.
  7. Mao, L.R. (1995). Pragmatics: An introduction: Jacob L. Mey, Oxford: Blackwell, 1993. 357 pp. Journal of Pragmatics, 23.
  8. Stalnaker, Robert C. (1970). Pragmatics. Synthese 22 (1-2):272--289.
  9. Сафаров, Шахриёр. "Прагмалингвистика." Тошкент: “Ўзбекистон миллий энциклопедияси 320 (2008).


Шакирова, М.Б. Pragmatics and its impact on understanding of language and communication / М.Б. Шакирова, Ф.Р. Хошимова. — Текст : электронный // NovaInfo, 2023. — № 137. — С. 67-69. — URL: (дата обращения: 30.05.2023).