Pragmatics is a specialized branch of linguistics that is concerned with the use of language in particular contexts. This includes a variety of topics such as syntax, semantics, and ambiguity. It also incorporates a variety of concepts such as context and semiotics. The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy lists pragmatics as one of the three liberal arts.
One of the most important features of pragmatics is that it is a scientific study of meaning in a specific context. In this regard, it is different from other types of linguistic studies. Linguistics is a broad field that covers everything from natural sciences and humanities to social science and the study of language. Unlike other studies, which are primarily focused on abstract static entities, pragmatics involves real people and actual interactions.
Some of the most interesting features of pragmatics include the ability to accurately express one’s ideas and follow social rules. Social communication, for instance, involves observing and adhering to unspoken rules such as using appropriate gestures and speaking at a certain volume. Children often exhibit difficulty in these areas. They are usually taught the skills by their caregivers or teachers.
Semantics, on the other hand, is a more technical study of the meaning of words. Although not a requisite for a good utterance, it’s important. Using the right vocabulary is a good start. For example, if you’re talking about something in the past, you might say “I was born in 1832. I lived in London for the first twenty-seven years of my life. My parents divorced when I was sixteen. If you were in school, you would probably answer a question in class by raising your hands instead of shouting.
A related concept is the speaker’s plan. The term is used by some authors to describe the process by which a speaker makes sense of what he or she has said. Other terms are the illocutionary act, which is the speaking of a given message, and the force meaning, which is the speaker’s intent. Neither of these are a complete list.
Another aspect of pragmatics is the ampliative inference. This is the process by which the smallest details in a statement are derived from the larger context in which it is said. Examples of ampliative inference are induction and Bayesian reasoning.
As it turns out, there are two main kinds of ‘pragmatics’, the near-side and the far-side. The former is concerned with the rules of the game of interpreting sentences and determining their propositional content. On the other hand, the latter deals with how the sentence and the context it’s in are used to determine what is said.
Both of these branches of linguistics are a good way to learn about the art of language and its social context. However, pragmatics is a particularly interesting branch because it studies the use of language in particular contexts. Therefore, it can be compared to semiotics, which studies the ways in which signs are used to communicate.