spaceCenter for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA)

Summary: Introduction to Pragmatics

In this unit you have learned some general ideas about pragmatics and communicative acts. Just as a refresher, here is a summary of the basic points we have covered.

  • Pragmatics addresses the way we portray meaning through communication. One way this meaning is communicated is through communicative acts and communicative act sequences. This includes verbal and non-verbal expressions.
  • Communicative acts and communicative act sequences, directly refer to linguistic action. For example, requesting, complimenting, inviting, and apologizing, among other actions. Communicative acts include non-verbal pragmatic strategies as well.
  • Pragmatics strategies include sociocultural and language strategies.
  • It is important to learn pragmatic features of language to ensure that you are communicating and interpreting the proper meaning, even in a different sociocultural group.
  • Miscommunication can occur at a variety of levels based on pragmatic gaps in content, incorrect expression of relationships between interlocutors, linguistic choices, and level of directness.
  • There are many varieties of Spanish found in the Spanish-speaking world. It is impossible to determine a set of rules. Instead, it is best to be aware of similarities among language varieties and utilize different strategies to help adapt to each one.
  • Numerous strategies are available for learning and performing communicative acts. Some can be applied generally, while others are more specific to each individual communicative act. Utilizing these strategies can help you improve your interlanguage pragmatic competence in Spanish.
  • CLICK HERE to see the resources used to create this module.

Globe with Magnifying Glass

Reflect on this module and complete the activities that follow.

List two things you found especially useful or interesting in this introductory unit.

List one question you would like answered that was not answered in this module.


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