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date: 20 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Pragmatics, the youngest linguistic discipline, has a venerable past: all the way from the Greek sophists through the medieval nominalists and nineteenth-century pragmatic thinkers to today’s workers in various sub-disciplines of linguistics, sociology, psychology, literary research, and other branches of the humanities and social sciences. In the chapter, a line is drawn connecting these historical tendencies, converging in the contemporary interest in pragmatics as the science of linguistic social behavior in various situational and institutional contexts. Attention is paid to predecessors, both immediate and remote, as well as to the man protagonists on today’s pragmatic scene, and how they interact with the neighboring disciplines, especially under a societal perspective. In particular, it is shown how the classical theory of speech acts is in need of being revised and extended in various directions, such as relevance theory, the theory of pragmatic acts, the study of cooperation in interaction, and more.

Keywords: pragmatics ancestry, communication, speech acts, pragmatic acts, societal pragmatics

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