LNGN 302-01: Pragmatics
(Spring 2014)
Class hour:
MR 10:00–11:15AM
Dr. Longxing Wei
Schmitt Hall 204
Schmitt Hall 240D
Office hours: M 1:30-3:30PM, R 1:30-2:30PM, Or by appointment
Required textbook:
Peter Grundy (2008). Doing Pragmatics (Third edition). London: Hodder Education.
ISBN: 978-0-340-97160-4
Course description:
This course studies the rules and principles which govern language in use and the relationships
between the abstract systems of language on the one hand, and the language in use on the other.
It examines language as situated speech and studies how context affects the interpretation of
meaning. It focuses on how language is interpreted by its users in its linguistic and non-linguistic
Course objectives:
Upon completing the course, students should:
1. Be able to explain some commonly recognized and accepted rules and principles which
govern language in use.
2. Understand some frequently used linguistic means for pragmatic functions.
3. Be able to interpret the pragmatic meanings which are contextually variable in contrast with
semantic meanings which are more fixed.
Course requirements and policies:
1. Exercise assignments: a minimum of 6 exercise assignments. Late assignments are penalized
one letter grade for each weekday elapsed after the due date. All assignments must be submitted
as a condition for passing the course, even if too many days have elapsed for the assignment to
receive a passing grade.
2. Exam: a final exam. There is no make-up for the final exam. The missing final exam is
assigned a grade of F.
3. Students must be responsible for their absences and the sequential course work.
Evaluation and grading:
The exercise assignment average and the final exam count toward the final course grade. Failure
to fulfill any of the course requirements will result in a final course grade of “F.” Class
participation (in-class discussion, performance and activities) is included in the evaluation of the
student’s course work.
6 exercise assignments
Final exam
Participation in classroom discussions
Exercises and final exam are graded based on the following letter scale:
A 100-93, A- 92-90, B+ 89-86, B 85-83, B- 82-80, C+ 79-76, C 75-73, C- 72-70,
D+ 69-66, D 65-60, F 59-
Tentative Weekly Syllabus
1. Each exercise assignment will be given as listed in the relevant week and its due date will be
2. If necessary, the instructor will select only certain sections or parts of a listed chapter and
announce them in advance.
3. The following schedule is subject to change with prior notice as class needs dictate.
Week 1 (Jan. 23)
Introduction to the course
Chapter 1: Using and understanding language
Week 2 (Jan. 27-30)
Chapter 2: Deixis – the relation of reference to the point of origin of the utterance
Week 3 (Feb. 3-6)
Chapter 2 (continued)
Chapter 3: Presupposition – accommodating background knowledge
Exercise assignment 1
Week 4 (Feb. 10-13)
Chapter 3 (continued)
Exercise assignment 2
Week 5 (Feb. 17-20)
Chapter 4: Speech acts – language as action
Week 6 (Feb. 24-27)
Chapter 4 (continued)
Chapter 5: Implicit meaning
Exercise assignment 3
Week 7 (Mar. 3-6)
Chapter 5 (continued)
Exercise assignment 4
Week 8 (Mar. 10-16) Spring Break
Week 9 (Mar. 17-20)
Chapter 6: Relevance theory
Week 10 (Mar. 24-27)
Chapter 6 (continued)
Exercise assignment 5
Week 11 (Mar. 31-Apr. 3)
Chapter 8: Pragmatic inference and language evolution
Week 12 (Apr. 7-10)
Chapter 8 (continued)
Chapter 9: Politeness phenomena
Week 13 (Apr. 14-17)
Chapter 9 (continued)
Exercise assignment 6
Week 14 (Apr. 21-24)
Chapter 11: Intercultural pragmatics
Week 15 (Apr. 28-May 1)
Chapter 11 (continued)
General review
Week 16 (May 5) Last Day of Classes
General review (continued)
Week 17 (May 8-14) Examination Period
Final exam