Speech Actions in Theory and Applied Studies, the first of the two volumes
of Pragmatic Perspectives on Language and Linguistics, brings together
twenty essays which critically examine linguistic action and explore ways
in which it can be accounted for. The articles presented in this collection
are all focused on “doing things with words”, but in most cases do not
subscribe to speech act theory in the tradition of John L. Austin and John
R. Searle. The linking thread through the volume is not a theoretical
commitment to one of the speech-act theoretical models, but the authors’
perspective on language as a means of action, how linguistic expressions
become effective in context and how this effectiveness can be explicated.
The papers represent different pragmatic approaches and varied levels of
expertise in the research area; among the authors there are eminent
linguists and philosophers, well established researchers, and young
beginners. The texts include purely theoretical discussions, case studies,
reports on research in experimental pragmatics, contrastive and corpus
studies, and considerations of the pedagogical implications of pragmatic
reflection on the nature of language. Without purporting to cover all
relevant topics, this variety reflects the complex character of linguistic
pragmatics and integrates studies which cross-cut other research fields.The
book is divided in three parts.
The seven papers gathered in the first part of the volume, “Speech Action
in Theory”, are concentrated on theoretical issues pertaining to speech as
a type of action with emphasis both on linguistic forms (e.g. fragments)
and theoretical commitments and particular theories’ explanatory power.
Part two, “Case Studies & Experimental Pragmatics”, includes reports on
research into irony processing in Polish and in English as a second
language, intercultural differences in interactions broadcast in the media,
power relations in doctor/patient interaction, and metaphors in media
discourse at the time of crisis.
Part three, “Pragmatics, Grammar, and Language Pedagogy”, contains five
essays, which explore both more “formal” pragmatics through analyses of
grammatical forms and the interface which the analysis of these forms share
with context-grounded research, and the practical implications of pragmatic
knowledge in language didactics.
This collection is supplemented by the essays gathered in volume two,
entitled Pragmatics of Semantically Restricted Domains.