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date: 10 December 2019

(p. xi) Preface and Acknowledgements

(p. xi) Preface and Acknowledgements

The aim of this handbook is to provide a collection of authoritative, comprehensive, thorough, insightful, and yet accessible, state-of-the-art critical surveys of current original research in pragmatics, by a group of the world’s most distinguished scholars working in the field.

Unlike many other one-volume handbooks of pragmatics, this one has two distinctive characteristics. The first one is that the research overviews contained in the handbook are made from both the Anglo-American component and the European Continental perspective points of view. Secondly, the handbook surveys the most important sub-branches of (macro-)pragmatics in a systematic way, ranging from clinical through interlanguage to historical pragmatics. There are, however, a few topics that are not covered in the handbook. This is because either the contributors contracted were unable to meet the final submission date (I commissioned chapters on the philosophical foundations of pragmatics for Part I, pragmatics and philosophy for Part V, and a history of pragmatics as an Appendix, and had also to step in to write the chapter on neo-Gricean pragmatics at the last minute), or for various reasons, a suitable author could not be found for a particular subject. Rather than delaying publication further, I have decided to dispatch the handbook in its current form to Oxford University Press, in the hope that these chapters, together with newly commissioned ones will eventually be included in the second edition.

The handbook is aimed primarily at scholars, researchers, and graduate and advanced undergraduate students specializing in linguistics, especially pragmatics and semantics. It will also be suitable for advanced undergraduate students taking a linguistics option as part of a language, humanities, or social science degree, and for scholars and researchers in the philosophy of language, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, computer science, informatics, neuroscience, language pathology, anthropology, and sociology.

My greatest debt of gratitude is to my stellar set of contributors for their scholarship, patience, and above all, trust in me. I am particularly grateful to Deirdre Wilson for her constant encouragement and support. Thanks to Shuangshuang Chen and Danyang Zheng for their assistance with the references and index. I would also like to thank John Davey, Julia Steer, Vicki Sunter, and William Richards of Oxford University Press for their professionalism in preparing the work for publication. The preparation of the final version of the handbook was partially made while I spent part of my 2015 sabbatical/research leave at the Faculty of Linguistics, Phonetics, and Philology at the University of Oxford. I am indebted to Martin Maiden for inviting me and to the faculty for providing me with an opportunity to do research in a stimulating and congenial environment. (p. xii) Once again, I dedicate this book to my daughter and my wife: without their love, I would not have completed the handbook; and to the memory of my parents: during the dark days of Mao’s ‘Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution’ in China, it was they who, despite being persecuted, tried their best to bring me up, educate me, and teach me how to be a decent person.

Yan Huang 黄衍

Auckland and Oxford

December 2015