Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


Evolutionary Syntax

By Ljiljana Progovac

This book "outlines novel and testable hypotheses, contains extensive examples from many different languages" and is "presented in accessible language, with more technical discussion in footnotes."

New from Cambridge University Press!


The Making of Vernacular Singapore English

By Zhiming Bao

This book "proposes a new theory of contact-induced grammatical restructuring" and "offers a new analytical approach to New English from a formal or structural perspective."

Book Information

Sun Image

Title: Cross-Cultural Pragmatics
Written By: Anna Wierzbicka
Series Title: The Semantics of Human Interaction

This book challenges the approaches to human interaction based on supposedly universal 'maxims of conversation' and 'principles of politeness,' which fly in the face of reality as experienced by millions of people crossing language boundaries (refugees, immigrants, etc.) and which cannot help in the practical tasks of cross-cultural communication and education. In contrast to such approaches, this book is both theoretical and practical: it shows that in different societies, norms of human interaction are different and reflect different cultural attitudes and values; and it offers a framework within which different cultural norms and different ways of speaking can be effectively explored, explained, and taught.

The book discusses data from a wide range of languages and it shows that the meanings expressed in human interaction and the different 'cultural scripts' prevailing in different speech communities can be clearly and intelligibly described and compared by using a 'natural semantic metalanguage,' based on empirically established universal human concepts. As the book shows, this metalanguage can be used as a basis for teaching successful cross-cultural communication, including the teaching of languages in a cultural context.

Anna Wierzbicka is Professor at Australian National University,
Canberra. >From the contents:

Introduction to the second edition


Chapter 1
Introduction: semantics and pragmatics

Chapter 2
Different cultures, different languages, different speech acts

Chapter 3
Cross-cultural pragmatics and different cultural values

Chapter 4
Describing conversational routines

Chapter 5
Speech acts and speech genres across languages and cultures

Chapter 6
The semantics of illocutionary forces

Chapter 7
Italian reduplication: its meaning and its cultural significance

Chapter 8
Interjections across cultures

Chapter 9
Particles and illocutionary meanings

Chapter 10
Boys will be boys: even 'truisms' are culture specific

Chapter 11
Conclusion: semantics as a key to cross-cultural pragmatics

Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 3110177692
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xxxviii, 502
Prices: Euro 29.95 / sFr 48,- / USD $29.95