Of babies and bath water: Is there any place for Austin and Grice in interpersonal pragmatics?

GRAINGER, Karen (2013). Of babies and bath water: Is there any place for Austin and Grice in interpersonal pragmatics? Journal of Pragmatics, 58, 27-38.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2013.08.008
Link to published version:: 10.1016/j.pragma.2013.08.008

Abstract

This paper discusses a particular strand of interpersonal pragmatics that may be known as ‘discursive’ pragmatics and attempts to delineate what is entailed in such an approach. Some scholars may characterise it as placing emphasis on participant evaluations, others may foreground the analysis of contextualised and sequential texts, while still others consider it to include both of these. In general, though, discursive pragmatics often seems to involve a reaction to, and a contrast with, so-called Gricean intention-based approaches. In this paper I argue that, far from discarding the insights of Grice, Austin and others, a discursive approach to interpersonal pragmatics should embrace those aspects of non-discursive pragmatics that provide us with a ‘tool-kit’ and a vocabulary for examining talk-in-interaction. At the same time, I will argue that the shortcomings of the speaker-based, intention- focused pragmatics can be compensated for, not by privileging hearer evaluations of meaning, but by taking an ethnographic and, to some extent, ethnomethodological approach to the analysis of naturally-occurring discourse data. By providing a critique of Locher and Watts’ (2005) paradigmatic example of a discursive approach to politeness and then a sample analysis of interactional data, I demonstrate how a combination of insights from Gricean pragmatics and from ethnomethodology allows the analyst to comment on the construction and negotiation of meaning in discourse, without having recourse to notions of either intention or evaluation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Issue title : Interpersonal pragmatics
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.pragma.2013.08.008
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Karen Grainger
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2012 16:34
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2015 15:55
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5295

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