Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Reading :: Doing Pragmatics

Doing Pragmatics
By Peter Grundy

When I picked up this book—the 1995 edition, not the later one you'll find at the link—I thought, "Oh yes, pragmatics. Why did I not enjoy this in grad school?" Somewhere around Chapter 7, I remembered: It's all so very detailed.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm certainly glad that linguists are interested in studying and explicating the details. And Grundy provides a gentle-but-thorough introduction to several aspects of pragmatics, including indexicality, relevance, presupposition, and intentionality, using common (and very British) examples to demonstrate these aspects. The writing style is easy and casual, managing to illuminate concepts that may be difficult to the lay reader.

If you're planning to study pragmatics, or even if you just want a refresher, this book is a solid pick. Personally, I don't plan to do much with pragmatics—but now I know enough about it that I can have an intelligent conversation about the subject.

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