Masaryk university faculty of education



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Pragmatics




      1. Pragmatic Analysis

While the previous chapters dealt with the meanings of words and sentence organization, this chapter will deal with the rather less formal but equally important approach of language in context. The basic principle of pragmatics and the difference between this and the previous chapters is that pragmatic analysis is “more concerned with the relationship between the speaker and the utterance, on a particular occasion of use, than with the potential relationship of one sentence to another, regardless of their use.” (Brown and Yule, p. 27) While semantic and syntactic analyses are equally valuable, it should be noted that since the corpus is highly context driven, the pragmatic approach will supersede all others and dictate the final results.

According to Brown and Yule, “some of the most obvious linguistic elements which require contextual information for their interpretation are the deictic forms such as here, now, I, you, this, that.” (p. 27) Chilton further claims that the audience “set[s] up discourse worlds, which carry a deictic signature for space, time and modality and relationships among them,” upon hearing the message from the speaker. (p. 138) It is evident that modern political speech is taking advantage of these linguistic inventions, employing deictic forms to conquer spatial or temporal distance, profiting from the use of inference, historical and geographical analogies, knowledge (or other) frames or audience involvement strategies. Just how often these pragmatic elements are employed in all speeches will be analyzed and results will be compared and contrasted to see whether any correlations can be made. Special attention will be paid to the impact of mass media and other features of political speeches and features of war speeches.





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