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date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article shows how a purely descriptive view of language cannot account for what happens to the speaking individuals on the social plane. Approaches inspired by the sociology of language and by sociolinguistics have, each from their own perspectives, endeavoured to introduce an interpretive take on language use and language users. In parallel to this, but not always coterminous with it, developments in linguistics itself have led to the establishment of what has become known as ‘pragmatics’, or the study of human communicative means (especially language), as they are being used in the context of society. Some practical applications of this view are discussed, and the emancipatory potentials of a pragmatically oriented sociology and sociolinguistics are outlined.

Keywords: Societal pragmatics, commodification, cooperation, power, critical discourse study, habitus, speech acts, conversation analysis, emancipation

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