Historical Pragmatics: Pragmatic Developments in the History of English

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Until very recently, pragmatics has been restricted to the analysis of contemporary spoken language while historical linguistics has studied historical texts and language change in a decontextualized way. This has now radically changed and scholars from around the world are trying to build a new theoretical framework that integrates recent advances both in pragmatics and in historical linguistics.
The volume, which contains 22 original articles, starts with an introduction that is both a state-of-the-art account of historical pragmatics and a programmatic statement of its future potential and its different subfields.
Part I contains seven pragmaphilological papers that deal with historical texts and their interpretations by paying close attention to the communicative context of these texts.
The second and third parts comprise papers in diachronic pragmatics. The ten papers of part II take a linguistic form as their starting point, e.g. particular lexical items or syntactic constructions, and study their pragmatic functions at different times (diachronic form-to-function mappings), while the four papers of part III take a particular pragmatic function as their starting point, e.g. discourse strategies or politeness, and study their linguistic realisation at different times (diachronic function-to-form mappings).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556193286
  • Publisher: Benjamins, John Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Series: Pragmatics & Beyond New Series
  • Pages: 644
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.78 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
The Historical Perspective in Pragmatics 3
The Openness of Medieval Texts 37
They Had Their Points: Punctuation and Interpretation in English Renaissance Literature 55
Punctuation: And - 'Pragmatics' 65
A Close Reading of William Caxton's Dialogues: "... to lerne Shortly frenssh and englyssh" 99
Wills and Will-Making in 16th and 17th Century England: Some Pragmatic Aspects 125
Justifying Grammars: A Socio-Pragmatic Foray into the Discourse Community of Early English Grammarians 145
Communicative Clues in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 187
Pragmatic Maxims in Explanations of Language Change? 197
Pragmatic Constraints to Word Order, and Word-Order Change in English 217
The Semantic and Pragmatic Development of Substitutive Complex Prepositions in English 243
On Doing as You Please 275
Your Average Generalisations: A Case-Study in Historical Pragmatics 309
Demonstratives in Early Modern English Letters 329
The Ambiguous Adverbial/Conjunctions pa and ponne in Middle English: A Discourse-Pragmatic Study of then and when in Early English Saints' Lives 345
Middle English po and other Narrative Discourse Markers 359
Diachronic Analysis of Japanese Discourse Markers 393
Interjections in Early Modern English: From Imitation of Spoken to Conventions of Written Language 439
Topics in the History of Dialogue Forms 469
"Then I saw to antique heddes": Discourse Strategies in Early Modern English Travelogues 499
Linguistic Politeness Strategies in Shakespeare's Plays 515
Constraints on Politeness: The Pragmatics of Address Formulae in Early English Correspondence 541
Index of Names and Sources 603
Index of Subjects 617
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