Pragmatic Models in the Analysis of Real Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

pragmatic models in the analysis of real human behavior has been a major area of study. There are two main theories that are put into test for the analysis. These are the speech act theory and the implicature theory. The pragmatic model is very fundamental for the modeling of interpersonal communication and general language use.

It is important to note that the pragmatic models serve to emphasize the elements of creativity and motivational aspects of the human characteristics in the interaction domain. Language is a form of communication and communication by itself has creative aspects to it in terms of two aspects. Throughout the human history, there have been various forms of interactions that involve the aspect of communicative exchange of words or rather language. It is this history that forms the patterns of correlations that also emphasizes the individual human behavior that is often referred to as self-concept. With time, the process of interpersonal communication modifies these elements.

The kind of dialogue which is initiated whenever two or more persons interact has several unique attributes connected to it. While conversing with a true and actual language, the underlying structure of the language is very important for the communication to be effective. The persons involved in the communication or rather the exchanges of words in a particular language are forced to collaborate in order to come up with an infinite number of varied dialogues throughout their life span. The process of talking with another person can be likened to an improvisational dance or a perfectly choreographed musical jam session. This makes it a marvelous wonder of humanity and hence very enjoyable to both the subjects involved. The employment of pragmatic models therefore illustrates that communication process is highly motivated. This means that the main reason why we communicate is therefore to achieve various definite purposes. This process happens either consciously or subconsciously. The pragmatic model utilized in this case therefore has two people. Each of these persons is responding to one another based on their experiences which include some key aspects.

The initial aspect of the communication process involved in the pragmatic model is observation. This refers to the processes through which a person recognizes information that is coming through the five senses. That is the sense of tasting, smelling, hearing, seeing and touching. This means that we only study what other persons are saying and also how they are behaving in order to communicate effectively.However, other aspects or factors come into play in the process of fostering an effectively communicated process. Such aspects include the environment and other events that are unfolding in the surrounding as the communication progresses.

The second aspect of the pragmatic modeling includes the aspect of meaning. This by itself refers to the overall interpretation and even judgments that we formulate while using our process of thoughts. The other key aspect is observation. The perceived observation do maintain the stance of being mere simple recognitions of whatever is going on in our surrounding. Human being communicates through many ways. It could be by speech, by gesture or even by posture. Gestures such as a smile on someone's face may be interpreted to mean that she really enjoys your company or that she is mocking us for a certain mess ups that we just made. Therefore we might end up judging the person as either friendly or maybe vicious.

The next element of the pragmatic modeling involves the aspect of Affects. The affects include the emotions, the feelings and even the general mood that surround a particular situation and which is usually aroused by the stimuli that is derived from the observations. An hence we tend to say happy things only when in the company of a friendly company.

As illustrated by Austin in his works. He observed that there exists several uses of a language which do have the appearance of linguistics that are fact-stating (1967).The example is the use of certain explicit performatives such as "I quit" and "you are fired." These two for example are never to be utilized in the making of common and mere statements.

Wittgenstein for example argued that there was an excellent reason to bring a separation of the theory meaning of linguistic (semantics) from the other theory of usage of language (pragmatics), not because they are not unconnected. We can point out the difference between sentences, if we consider them in abstraction from their normal usage, and the acts that involves the speakers (or the writers) performing while using them. We can distinguish what sentences mean from what speakers mean in using them. Even though Wittgenstein adopted a more anti-theoretical view point toward the general subject, Austin however adopted a systematic, but majorly taxonomic, theory that explains the language useAt the same time Paul Grice came up with a conception of meaning which, even though was tied to the language use, he however emphasized a distinction between what constituted a linguistic expressions what speakers actually mean in employing them

The level effectiveness of these pragmatic models is further illustrated through the works of several researchers as demonstrated below.

An early and excellent example of the importance of this major distinction is illustrated by the Moore's paradox (which is also referred to by Wittgenstein, 1953, p. 190). An example is when say, "Tomatoes are fruits but I don't believe it," In this example you are actually denying the fact that you believe what you are trying to assert. This kind and level of contradiction is funny because it is not an exclusive logical inconsistency. The fact that tomatoes are fruits does not necessarily need your believing it, nor is the otherwise case, and there is lack of contradiction in uttering, "Tomatoes are fruits but you don't believe it." One's inconsistency comes not from what one is claiming but from the basic fact that one is claiming it. That's what it as a pragmatic contradiction.

Like any other pragmatic contradictions, pragmatic occurrences in general do involve information that is supplied by, or at least proved to be relevant by, acts of employing language. It is never to be confused with the main semantic information, which is deliverd by linguistic items themselves. The difference always should be kept in mind as we study the nature of speech acts (which includes Austin's explicit performatives), and the main intentions which are involved in communication, and the means by which what a speaker actually means can be different from what his words actually mean.

There is a need to differentiate between the illocutionary and the perlocutionary acts since utterances are generally treated as more than just mere acts of communication. They entail two levels of success: considered simply as an illocutionary acts, a request (for instance) succeeds in the case where you audience it presents.

The Implicature model

A certain speaker can be meaning just what she says, or she can mean something else entirely. The Grice's (1975) theory of conversational implicature is aimed at explaining this.A few of his examples demonstrates non-literality such as "He was a just little bit intoxicated," however, most of them are scenbarios that do state one thing by means of stating another, for example, "There is a hotel around the corner," used to tell someone where to get coffee, and "Mrs. Jane's command of English is very excellent, and her attendance been regular," used to state in an indirect manner that Mrs. Jane is not very well-qualified. All these are examples in which what is actually meant is not entirely determined by what is said. However, rice proposed a Cooperative Principle together with several maxims which he appropriately christened, in respect to Quality, Quantity, Relation, Kant and Manner-referred to as Kant's Modality. These ensure that one is enjoined to speak truthfully, while being highly informatively, relevant, perspicuous, and still be appropriate. His view of implicature explores how mere violations of the modalities can lead to certain degree of communicative success.

Even though Grice presented them as mere guidelines for how to successfully communicate. It is better if they are considered as presumptions that are made in the course of the strategic conclusion involved in communication. The listener therefore presumes that the speaker in this case is being entirely cooperative and is therefore speaking the truth, is informative, relevant, perspicuous, and is appropriate. If an utterance somehow appears not to be in conformity to this presumption, then the listener comes up with a way of taking the utterance in order for it to retain conformity. He therefore does so to a small extent by the supposition that it is intended to be so. The speaker utilizes this opportunity of this scenario by choosing her words to make it very evident that her communicative intentions are real. Because of their eminent clashes, these maxims and presumptions must never be viewed as making up part of a decision procedure. They should however viewed as providing an entirely different dimensions to be considered, in that the speaker may be assumed…

Sources Used in Document:


Bach, K. (1987a). On communicative intentions: A reply to Recanati. Mind & Language, 2, 141-154.

Bach, K. (1999a). The semantics-pragmatics distinction: What it is and why it matters. In K. Turner (Ed). The semantics-pragmatics interface from different points-of-view (pp. 65-84). Oxford: Elsevier.

Bach, K. & R.M. Harnish (1979). Linguistic communication and speech acts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Carston, R. (1988). Implicature, explicature, and truth-theoretic semantics. In Ruth Kempson (Ed). Mental Representations: The Interface between Language and Reality

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