Pragmatics is the study of human communication. It is an interdisciplinary discipline whose main focus is on the relationship between the use of natural language and the people who use it. The study of pragmatics emphasizes the importance of a person’s ability to communicate, in both physical and social contexts.
Pragmatics integrates context to determine a phrase’s meaning. For example, the phrase “I have two sons” may be true or false. However, when the speaker is asked, “Do you have any daughters?” the meaning changes. The phrase now stands for “I have two sons and no daughters”.
A pragmatic approach involves looking at things from a practical perspective and using that knowledge to make decisions and take action. For example, when a person wants to know more about a certain issue, he or she looks at it from a pragmatic point of view. For example, a person who has a strong interest in the economy will analyze the situation from this perspective.
Another example of pragmatic communication involves using language in the right way. A child who has poor pragmatic skills will be less likely to speak appropriately to others. Fortunately, there are several methods to help children with pragmatic language skills. One way is to use visual supports and role-play situations. This way, a child can practice what they should say in a particular situation and avoid causing conflict or unintended consequences.
In order to distinguish between pragmatic and non-pragmatic choices, pragmatics emphasizes the need to communicate with others. An example of a pragmatic choice is showing a person a watch’s face to tell the time. On the other hand, waving a watch in front of someone’s face to chase away a flying insect is not.
The second example of a pragmatically impaired person is a child with language disorders. These children appear to be nerds but fail to understand the abstract principles of pragmatics. For example, when a child hears a cry for help, a child is likely to respond in an incoherent manner. The child with language disorder, for example, may not be able to understand the meaning of the words or understand the meaning behind the words.
Another example of a pragmatic principle is how people respond to time questions and indirect requests. In the case of indirect requests, people use the principle of optimal relevance to anticipate maximum cognitive effects while minimising effort from the listener. They also consider the possible obstacles to their answers. Hence, the answer to these questions is often indirect and not direct.