Levinson, S. C.
Universals in pragmatics. In P. C. Hogan (Ed.
), The Cambridge encyclopedia of the language sciences
(pp. 654-657). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Changing Prospects for Universals in Pragmatics
The term PRAGMATICS has come to denote the study of general principles of language use. It is usually understood to contrast with SEMANTICS, the study of encoded meaning, and also, by some authors, to contrast with SOCIOLINGUISTICS
and the ethnography of speaking, which are more concerned with local sociocultural practices. Given that pragmaticists come from disciplines as varied as philosophy, sociology,
linguistics, communication studies, psychology, and anthropology, it is not surprising that definitions of pragmatics vary. Nevertheless, most authors agree on a list of topics
that come under the rubric, including DEIXIS, PRESUPPOSITION,
implicature (see CONVERSATIONAL IMPLICATURE), SPEECH-ACTS, and conversational organization (see CONVERSATIONAL ANALYSIS). Here, we can use this extensional definition as a starting point (Levinson 1988; Huang 2007).