In my blog of 30th November, I shared my first thoughts about the book my friends and I were studying (Jean Stilwell Peccei: Pragmatics). I commented that, unlike syntax and phonology and even certain approaches to discourse analysis, semantics still seems to be a hotchpotch of disconnected attempts to impose a meaningful framework on language and its relation to the real world.
Having worked and argued our way through the book, it is clear that this first impression was well-founded. Historically, language study has always been part of philosophy and philosophers have made several critical contributions to the new discipline of pragmatics.
Peccei draws on the work of the philosophers Grice, Austin and Searle in chapters 4-7 of her workbook on Pragmatics. In addition, the first chapters of the book come from another traditional area of Philosophy, that of Logic. I shall return to the example in the earlier blog: Continue reading