Pragmatics among Linguistic Disciplines: Problems of Definition and Classification

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Abstract


Until the mid-20th century, the term “pragmatics” was employed by different fields of research (such as semiotics, philosophy, sociology, psychology), which made the content of the term very wide and ambiguous. Due to the emergence and development of linguistically oriented pragmatics, it became necessary to define the place of pragmatics in relation to linguistics and to determine the range of tasks it serves to accomplish. There are three ways to interpret the relationship between pragmatics and linguistics: 1) pragmatics is a separate discipline closely related to linguistics; 2) pragmatics is a branch of linguistics; 3) pragmatics belongs to a certain branch of linguistics. The article discusses these three possibilities with reference to the existing literature. Pragmatics is postulated as a discipline of its own, if it is developed as a cross-disciplinary theoretical approach (Habermas 1998, Mey 2001). When considered among other branches of linguistics, it is referred to as pragmalinguistics or linguistic pragmatics. Nowadays, this is the most widespread point of view found in many linguistic dictionaries and handbooks (Akhmanova 1966, Norman 2009, Bußmann 1990, Ernst 2002, etc.). Those who view pragmatics as part of a certain branch of linguistics, usually attribute it to text linguistics or semantics (Lyons 2003, Heinemann and Viehweger 1991). In conclusion, the author proposes another interpretation: in addition to core linguistics, applied linguistics, interdisciplinary linguistics and other possible subdivisions, it is expedient to distinguish communicational linguistics. Pragmatics makes part of it, alongside with phonetics.


About the authors

Elizaveta Georgievna Kotorova

University of Zielona Góra; National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University

Author for correspondence.
Email: e.kotorova@gmail.com
al. Wojska Polskiego 71A, 65-762, Zielona Góra, Poland; 30, Lenin avenue, Tomsk, 634050, Russia

Ph.D. (Advanced Doctorate), Professor at the University of Zielona Góra (Poland), Institute for German Studies, Head of the Department for Lexicology and Pragmalinguistics. She is also Professor at the Department of Foreign Languages at National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University.

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