- Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics
- The Oxford Handbook of Pragmatics
- Preface and Acknowledgements
- List of Symbols and Abbreviations
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: What is Pragmatics?
- Contextualism and Semantic Minimalism
- Neo-Gricean Pragmatics
- Relevance Theory
- Formal Pragmatics
- Continental European Perspective View
- The Sociological Foundations of Pragmatics
- Presupposition and Givenness
- Speech Acts
- Deixis and the Interactional Foundations of Reference
- Cognitive Pragmatics
- Developmental Pragmatics
- Experimental Pragmatics
- Computational Pragmatics
- Clinical Pragmatics
- Politeness and Impoliteness
- Cross-Cultural and Intercultural Pragmatics
- Interlanguage Pragmatics
- Conversation Analysis
- Pragmatics and Semantics
- Pragmatics and Grammar: More Pragmatics or More Grammar
- Pragmatics and Morphology: Morphopragmatics
- Pragmatics and the Lexicon
- Pragmatics and Prosody
- Pragmatics and Language Change: Historical Pragmatics
- Pragmatics and Information Structure
- Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics
Abstract and Keywords
This essay summarizes the findings of studies investigating aspects of linguistic pragmatic behaviour and the brain correlates underlying such behaviour. Although pragmatics is a large field, most brain-oriented studies have focused on specific aspects of linguistic pragmatics such as structural discourse and figurative language. Research indicates that linguistic pragmatic behaviour relies on brain correlates that are routinely activated during word and sentence processing (the default language network). Although no agreement has yet been reached concerning questions such as whether these correlates are qualitatively and/or quantitatively different, whether additional brain areas/networks are implicated, and, if so, what these are, some concrete suggestions have emerged. At a more general level, there is consensus that the classical standard pragmatic model is not supported by most neuroimaging studies and that the right-hemisphere hypothesis on figurative language processing needs revision. The essay ends with some speculations on interpreting pragmatic behaviour within a microgenetic framework.
Keywords: pragmatics, Neuropragmatics, brain, neural substrates, neuroimaging, electrophysiology, event-related potentials, metaphor, idioms, irony, sarcasm, humour, figurative language, non-literal language, standard pragmatic model, right-hemisphere hypothesis
Brigitte Stemmer completed her studies in Applied Linguistics at the University of Bochum and obtained her medical degree at the University of Essen, Germany. After spending several years as a physician and clinical researcher in a neurological acute care and rehabilitation hospital she was awarded a Canada Research Chair in neuroscience and neuropragmatics at the Université de Montreal, Canada where she is a full processor and researcher at the Centre de Recherche, Institut universitaire de Geriatrie de Montreal (CRIUGM). She is associate researcher at the Department of Psychology at Brock University, St. Catharines.
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