CategoryDiscourse and Pragmatics

Cataphoric vs Anaphoric References


Cataphoric Reference: A cataphoric reference unit refers to another unit that is introduced later on in the text/speech. To understand the unit refered to by a cataphoric reference you would need to look ahead in the text/speech. Anaphoric Reference: An anaphoric reference unit, on the other hand, refers to another unit that was introduced earlier on in the text/speech. To understand the unit...

Given/New Information & Theme/Rheme


Given information is information that is assumed by the addresser to be known to/assumed by/inferable by the addresser at the time of the utterance because it is: i. common/shared knowledge ii. part of the extralinguistic context iii. previously established in the discourse Given information is usually: i. placed early in a sentence ii. spoken with little stress iii. often reduced, abbreviated or...

Conversation Analysis


According to Levinson (1983) unlike a sentence, a conversation is not a structural product – it is rather the result of the interaction between two or more independent, goal-directed individuals, with often divergent interests. Conversation Analysis (CA), the study of talk in interaction (inspired by ethnomethodology) was developed in the 1960s and early 1970s principally by the...

Schemata & Schemata Theory


Our world knowledge and social knowledge is crucial for the production and understanding of discourse. For effective communication to occur, it is necessary that – the receiver have enough prior knowledge – the sender correctly judge the extent of that knowledge How our pre-existing knowledge of the world shapes the production and understanding of discourse attracted attention mostly...

Felicity Conditions & Conversational Implicature


Think about the following situation: You see a man snatch a lady’s bag and run. You chase the man and when you catch him you hold his hands behind his back and say, ‘You are under arrest’. Would the man consider himself under arrest? Why? Another example: If I were to say: ‘s of now, I declare the Maldives a kingdom!’ or ‘I will reduce enrollment fees for BA...