A Definitional Analysis with Implications for Classroom Teaching



Pragmatics has been a field that has been considered by some scholars to be rather difficult to define and/ or not sufficiently important to be considered distinct to semantics. It has also not always received sufficient attention in L2 learning. A clear definition of what pragmatics is in terms of context and meeting truth conditions is presented as well the potential for ambiguity in defining cross-cultural pragmatic failure from other types. The analysis demonstrates the importance of such understandings of pragmatics and some of the implications for teaching it particularly in the L2 classroom, so that students can be better equipped to avoid cross-cultural communication problems. Based on Jung's seminal work at, there are also a number of insightful ideas on how acquisitorial pragmatics can be approached. One important area of focus relates to ensuring L2 learners gain an acceptable appreciation of pragmatic strategies of relevance. Again understanding the pragmatics of politeness and face saving is an important area to return to for L2 students to get right in their language learning strategies. For consistent to Hanza getting a grasp on what constitutes cross-culture failure through losing face due to low pragmatic competence would seem to be especially worthy of classroom attention. For example, though a milder example of impoliteness, for some, certain L2 speakers may not understand the differences of how and when to use such modals as “can” and “could” versus the conditional “would”; the latter of which carries a more imperative meaning than the two modals in respect to making requests -at least among middle class Americans.

Key words: Pragmatics; Definitional analysis; Classroom teaching


Pragmatics; Definitional analysis; Classroom teaching

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.hess.1927024020120203.1233


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