Pragmatics Integrated with Other Disciplines

Textbook, 2019

315 Pages


Table of Contents



Chapter One

Religiopragmatics: Islamic Perspective

Religion and pragmatics
Linguistic pragmatics
Language and religion
Works cited and consulted

Chapter Two

Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis

Discourse Analysis
Pragmatics versus Discourse Analysis
Context versus Co-text
Trends in Pragmatics
Discourse Pragmatics
Discourse Pragmatics: Frameworks
Speech Acts
Conversational Implicature
Discourse Pragmatics and Information Structure
Discourse Pragmatics and Argumentation
Critical Discourse Pragmatics

Chapter Three

Applied Pragmatics: A Theoretical View

Applied linguistics
Pragmatics: Main theories
Speech act theory
Cooperative principle and the concept of implicature
Pragmatic presupposition
Politeness theories
Applied pragmatics: Pragmatics and other disciplines
Teaching pragmatics
Pragmatic Competence
Pragmatic failure
Pragmatic transfer
Pragmatics in classroom
Pragmatics and Translation
Clinical Pragmatics
Literary pragmatics
Legal Pragmatics
Man-machine Interaction
Contrastive Pragmatics and cross-cultural pragmatics

Chapter Four

Lexical Pragmatics.
Relevance Theory and Lexical Pragmatics
Relevance Theory
Lexical pragmatics
Varieties of lexical adjustment
Lexical narrowing
Narrowing in Relevance Theory
Category Extension
Lexical Blocking
Neologisms and word coinages
Pun like cases
Discourse particles

Chapter Five Pragmastylistics: The Integration of Pragmatics and Stylistics.

Pragmatics, Stylistics, and Pragmastylistics
Foregrounding vs. Automatization
Literary and Non-literary Discourse
Pragmatic Theories Exploited in the Interpretation of Literary Texts
The Interpretation of Literary Texts by Means of Speech Theory
The Interpretation of Literary Texts by Means of Grice's
Cooperative Principle
Character-level Interaction and Implicatures
Higher-level Interaction: Narrator-reader Implicature
Assessment of the Contribution of CP to the Interpretation of Literary Discourse
The CP and Symbolism
The Interpretation of Literary Texts by Means
of Politeness Theory
Politeness: Narrator and Reader Level
Politeness: Character to Character level
The Structure of Narrative
The Competent Reader

Chapter Six

Basic Tenets of Rhetorical Pragmatics
Historical Background
Pragmatics and Communicative Intentions
Rhetoric and Dialectic
Rhetoric and Communication
Rhetorical Pragmatics
Leech's Model of Communication
Interpersonal and Textual Rhetoric
The Interpersonal Rhetoric
The Interpersonal Role of the Cooperative Principle
The Interpersonal Role of the Politeness Principle
The Interpersonal Role of the Irony Principle
The Banter Principle
The Textual Rhetoric
The Processibility Principle
The Economy Principle
The Expressivity Principle
Rhetorical Pragmatic Strategies
Rhetoric, Argument and Argumentation
Pragmatic Reasoning of Argument
Pragmatic Structures of Argument
Argumentative Appeals (Rhetorical triangle)
Figures of Speech
Tropes (Rhetorical Devices)
Destabilization Tropes
Substitution (Emphasis) Tropes
Rhetorical Questions
Overstatement (Hyperbole)
Understatement (Litotes)
Strategic Maneuvering
Maneuvers involving the same arguments
Maneuvers involving the different arguments

Chapter Seven

The Basic Foundations of Pragma-Dialectic Theory
The Development of the Pragma-Dialectical Theory
Components of Pragma-Dialectics
Critical Discussion
The ideal model of a critical discussion
Speech Acts and Pragma-dialectic
Rules of Dialogue
Violations of Rules of Critical Discussion
Application of the pragma-dialectical theory

Chapter Eight

Strategic Maneuvering
Dialectic, Rhetoric and Strategic Maneuvering
Aspects of Strategic Maneuvering
Parameters in Determining the Strategic Function of Argumentative Maneuvers
Some Modes of Strategic Maneuvering
Persuasive Definitions
Rhetorical Questions
Fallacies as Derailments of Strategic Maneuvering
Persuasive Effects of Strategic Maneuvering
Effect Size Expressions
Two Varieties of Strategic Maneuvers
Maneuvers Involving the Same Arguments
Gain-loss Appeal Framing
Explicit Conclusions
Identification of Information Sources
Argument Completeness
Figurative Versus Literal Expressions
Maneuvers Involving Different Arguments
One-sided Versus Two-sided Messages
Adapting Appeals to Cultural Values


The editors would like to express their gratefulness to all those who contributed to this work and helped in having it come out in this form.


This book is an attempt to reveal the linguistic link between pragmatics and other disciplines which leads to the emergence of new studies incorporating them together.

In Chapter One, Religiopragmatics , Muhammad-Reza Fakhr-Rohani, a professor of linguistics in the University of Qom, Iran (Ph.D.), seeks to study and explore the linguistic pragmatic aspects involved in religious communication one side of which involves a human agent, whether a producer or recipient of the message communicated. He also concerns himself with multiple and oftentimes non-religious uses of religiously- charged words, phrases, and short sentences that have historically acquired idiomatic, and sometimes opaque, meanings. Moreover, he clarifies the notions which the title suggests, namely, ‘religion’ and ‘pragmatics’.

In Chapter Two, Pragmatics and Discourse , Prof. Fareed H. Al- Hindawi (Ph.D.) and Dr. Mariam D. Saffah have spotted light on the relationship between pragmatics and discourse in the sense that pragmatics and discourse analysis are closely interrelated and that there is a considerable overlap between them to the extent that they can be regarded as sister disciplines. They discuss the relationship between these two disciplines within the realm of linguistics. They propose that the relationship between them is by no means clear-cut and mono directional. The study attempts to show how the application of insights from pragmatics to the study of discourse analysis eventually assists to give birth to the hybrid discipline termed discourse pragmatics.

Chapter Three, Applied Pragmatics: A Theoretical View , coauthored by F. H. Al-Hindawi and Mariam D. Saffah defines applied linguistics in terms of solutions for everyday problems in which language is central.

With respect to this general definition, applied pragmatics (AP) is viewed as solving problems of everyday life in which pragmatics is involved. Like applied linguistics, although applied pragmatics focuses on some areas like teaching and learning second language, it includes a wide range of fields and disciplines. The present chapter is an attempt to present a brief theoretical background of AP and the fields that it covers. The study aims at highlighting these fields and how pragmatics contributes to them through utilizing its various theories like those of politeness and speech acts.

In Chapter Four, Lexical Pragmatics , Professor Al-Hindawi (Ph.D.) and Dr. Hussein Huwail Ghayadh deal with pragmatics as the relation of signs to their users and interpreters or the study of linguistic indices which can be interpreted only when they are used. Besides, they indicate that in Chomskyan’s tradition, pragmatics is concerned with performance rather than competence and this makes pragmatics different from lexis which is concerned with the referential meaning of words. In this vein, in both fields of study, some linguistic problems cannot be solved by means of any of them alone. Consequently, a kind of integrity between both fields is adopted to deal with those problems. This integrity has led to the birth of another field of study under the name of lexical pragmatics. This integration makes a need arise to explore the basic tenets of this newly born field. Furthermore, a distinction should be drawn between this new branch of study and lexical semantics. It is hypothesized, here, that lexical pragmatics can be distinguished from lexical semantics through dependence on the context. In other words, context plays a vital role in shaping and constraining lexical pragmatics. The study shows that lexical items have to be pragmatically inferred in context. In other words, lexical pragmatics considers the meanings of words as often context-dependent.

In Chapter Five, Pragmastylistics: The Integration of Pragmatics and Stylistics , Al-Hindawi and Lecturer Nesaem Mehdi Al-Aadili (Ph.D.) give an account of the relationship between pragmatics and stylistics which has led to the birth of pragmastylistics or pragmatic stylistics wherein various pragmatic theories are exploited in interpreting literary discourse. Among these theories are the speech act theory, the cooperative principle and conversational implicature theory, in addition to politeness theory. Hence, to form a vivid picture about this newly born field of study, it seems necessary to account for the narrative structure and the corresponding method of analysis.

Chapter Six, Basic Tenets of Rhetorical Pragmatics by Professor Al-Hindawi (Ph.D.), Assistant Professor Hussain H. Ma'yuuf (Ph.D.) and Lecturer Waleed Ridha H. Al-Juwaid (Ph.D.), addresses itself to the task of examining the basic tenets of Rhetorical Pragmatics. It starts with a brief idea about rhetoric; its relationship with dialectics, communication, and pragmatics and moves to show how rhetoric can work together with pragmatics under the title of 'Rhetorical Pragmatics' or 'Pragmarhetoric'. The study adopts Leech's model of communication which entails explaining the interpersonal rhetoric with its components: the cooperative, politeness, irony, and Banter principles. An idea concerning 'textual rhetoric' is also presented in this chapter to shed light on some significant points of its principles. The chapter also deals with rhetorical pragmatic strategies, types of arguments, figures of speech and tropes. It ends up with a brief idea about strategic maneuvering in argumentation focusing on its rhetorical aspects.

In Chapter Seven, The Basic Foundations of Pragma-Dialectic Theory , Professor Al-Hindawi, Assistant Professor Hussein Dhahi Muzhir Al-Hassnawi (Ph.D.), and Lecturer Hussein Huwail Ghayadh (Ph.D.) investigate the evolution of the pragma-dialectic school, the roots of this school, and its application. Additionally, they investigate the impact of pragmatics on argumentation in general and on dialectics in particular. The study integrates the communicative angle derived from pragmatic insights rooting in speech act theory with critical insights instigated by rational approaches. As such, the study attempts to disambiguate the relation between pragmatic indications and the dialectic insights, namely, the organization of critical discussion: the rules of critical rationalism in addition to the fallacies occurred due to the infringement of the rules.

Strategic Maneuvering , which is introduced in Chapter Eight by Professor Al-Hindawi and Lecturer Ramia Fua'ad Abdulazeez ( Ph.D.), is a somehow recent theory launched in (2002) by Eemeren and Houtlosser and proposed as the extended version of the standard pragma-dialectical theory originally launched in (1984) by Eemeren and Grootendorst. According to the standard version, resolving a difference of opinion requires discussants to follow a reasonable code of conduct represented by ten rules of reasonableness. The extended version, however, postulates that it is not only important to resolve the difference of opinion reasonably; it is equally significant to resolve it to an arguer's own good. This is done by making rhetoric join the queue. That is, every dialectical (i.e. reasonable) move has at the same time a rhetorical (effective) role of persuading the peer arguer.

Hence, strategic maneuvering is delivered.

The Editors

November 2019

Chapter One

Religiopragmatics: Islamic Perspective

Muhammad-Reza Fakhr-Rohani University of Qom, Iran


Religiopragmatics seeks to study and explore the linguistic pragmatic aspects involved in religious communication one side of which involves a human agent, whether a producer or recipient of the message communicated. It is also concerned with multiple and oftentimes non- religious uses of religiously-charged words, phrases, and short sentences that have historically acquired idiomatic, and sometimes opaque, meanings. [1] However, it is in order to clarify certain notions of which the title suggests, namely, 'religion‘ and 'pragmatics‘.


A quick search in the books concerned with academic studies of the phenomenon of 'religion‘ reveals that although it is fairly easy to sense and feel, 'religion‘ per se proves ―notoriously difficult to define" (Peterson, et al., 1991, p. 4). As expected, it seems to be more difficult to define religious language‘. Both the term and the concept of 'religion‘ are difficult to define. In the first place, it is a term that connotes various things and senses to different people in various communities. For a devout Zoroastrian, 'religion‘ means Zoroastrianism; for a Jewish rabbi, it means Judaism; and for a Buddhist monk, 'religion‘ finds expression only in Buddhism. Clearly, in a Muslim community, 'religion‘ refers to Islam. Nonetheless, Muslims (and/or, are expected to) observe and obey Islamic religious rules and regulations. Such a kind of religious observance and obedience cannot (and should not) be expected from a non-Muslim, or even from an atheist. For example, Muslims perform salat, Islamic canonical prayer, five times a day. No Muslim should expect any non-Muslim behave in this regard like a typical Muslim. What does this signify? 'Religion‘ appears to be essentially a value and/or sanctity-free term; it is religiously value-laden only before and in the community of those people who (really and sincerely) believe in it in this way. The sanctity of any religion, if vividly definable, is thus relative only to its followers. This is not a hard- and-fast rule, though. For example, Muslims revere all the Divinely dispatched prophets whose names are mentioned in the Holy Quran, yet they obey only Islam, neither Judaism nor Christianity, despite numerous references to them (and their prophets and messengers) as mentioned in both the Holy Quran and the vast hadith literature. It follows that ―no single definition [of religion] will suffice to encompass the varied sets of traditions, practices, and ideas which constitute different religions." (Crystal, 1991, s.v. religion). Smart (2002, p. 359) defines it as ―the pattern of belief and practice through which men communicate with or hope to gain experience of that which lie behind the world of their ordinary experience. Typically it focuses on an Ultimate or Absolute, thought of by some believers as God." In a more categorized way, Geertz (1973, p. 90) maintains that ―a religion is: (1) a system of symbols which acts to (2) establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by (3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic." (Original italics)

The phenomenon of religion received treatment even from the Left Wing who are famous for pretending to overlook this important phenomenon. Designated as ―a purely private matter" (1968, p. 253), Karl Marx and Frederick Engels maintain that they ―cannot know anything about the existence of God"(Ibid., p. 379) simply because ―[o]nly material things [seem] perceptible" (Ibid.). Based on such a reasoning, they pay no attention to any ―charges" (Ibid., p. 51) raised against their ―standpoint" such they barely deserve any ―serious examination" (Ibid., p. 51). Yet, the phenomenon of 'religion‘ is described, from the perspective of the same camp, not only as ―this important social phenomenon" (Ilitskaya, 1978, p. 462) and also as ―a part of the spiritual culture of mankind" (Ibid., p. 463) and as ―one of the principle forms of social consciousness, one of the major components of men‘s intellectual activity" (Ibid., p. 464).

There have been some dichotomies based on the presence and absence of religion. From a Durkheimian perspective, ―a religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and surrounded by prohibitions – beliefs and practices that unite its adherents in a single moral community called a church." (Durkheim, 2001 [1912], p. 46). It is religion that ―divides …the universe into two mutually exclusive categories, the sacred and the profane." (Cladis, 2001, p. xxi) There is yet another dichotomy in that Jensen (2014) believes that 'religion‘ refers to ―semantic and cognitive networks comprising ideas, behaviours and institutions in relation to counter-intuitive superhuman agents, objects, and posits." (p. 8) Perhaps on analogy with Chomskyan linguistics, Jensen introduces ―i-religion" as comprising ―individualistic psychological processes" in contrast to ―e-religion" which concerns "religious and social formations." (Ibid., p. 54).

Religion and pragmatics

Since the present paper deals with religiopragmatics, it is in order to discuss certain aspects of 'religious language‘. As a Divine creation, language is certainly a gift to man. This point has received references in the Holy Quran in that Allah granted the faculty of speech to man (The Holy Quran, Sura al-Raḥmān [55]: 4) and that languages are amongst several signs of the existence of Allah (The Holy Quran, Sura al-Rūm [30]: 22). Besides the Islamic world, in Christianity there are a few Biblical hints in the New Testament (John, 1: 1-2) that endorse that language is a Divine gift. The British Archbishop Richard C. Trench referred to 'language‘ as God‘s perfect gift" (Trench, 1851; cited in Harpham, 2002, p. 222). Likewise, Whitney (1892, p. 400) regarded language as ―a divine gift to man" (1892, p. 399), and that language had a Divine origin (Ibid., p. 400). Yet, it appears that there is not any natural, human language which can be characterized as essentially 'religious‘ or 'sacred‘, in contrast any other language(s) to be identified as 'irreligious‘ or 'profane‘. There are certainly uses of language in 'semi-, non-, or even anti-religious‘ contexts. Any given language can virtually be used in any socio-religious context, whether religious, non-religious, irreligious, profane, or even blasphemous. Moreover, as 'religion‘ means different phenomena to different people, a'religious language‘ must have different connotations, manifestations, and effects for different people. While a devout Hindu may regard Sanskrit as a sacred language, it is seldom regarded as such in a Muslim community. It follows that 'sacrality‘, 'sacredness‘, 'religiosity‘ and 'religiousness‘ are not just attributes to be attested to a language out of nothing; it is after the advent of a macro-religious phenomenon, or such phenomena, e.g., the emergence of a religion, the revelation of a sacred book, and so forth, in a community that the language being used to such an end can gradually be regarded as a 'religious language‘. Rather, ―…the sacred is contagious….it spreads out from this [sacred] hub to things connected to it." (Cladis, 2001, p. xxii) In a similar vein, the very specific language, particularly the words and symbols, including abbreviations, can be looked up to as 'sacred‘ by those who are adherents of that religion. In a similar way, the very words used in the Holy Quran as well as the authoritative hadiths from the Prophet Muhammad and the Shia Infallible Imams are regarded as 'sacred‘ because of the Divine origin and source of the Holy Quran and the Infallibility of the Infallible personalities in whom Shiite Muslims believe.

This type of belief in the 'sacredness‘ of the Arabic language, as used in the aforementioned discourses, cannot be generalized to any text produced in Arabic. It follows that the 'sacredness‘ believed to be inherent in the aforementioned types of discourses is a function of their sources, not the language utilized.

So far as 'pragmatics‘ is concerned, it is indisputable that by the term 'pragmatics‘ the American philosopher Charles Morris meant ―the relations of signs to their users‘ […] which implies that signs are produced for a purpose" (Posner, 1998, p. 515). By this term, Morris meant ―the science of the relation of signs to their interpreters." (Davis, 1991, p. 3) Traditionally divided into Anglo-American vs. Continental European traditions, the former seems to be more interested in certain discussions mainly in the philosophy of language and speech-act theory (Chapman, 2011, p. 5), the latter lays emphasis on ―sociolinguistics and discourse analysis, and emphasizes the functional perspective on language behavior." (LoCastro, 2012, p. 7).

Linguistic pragmatics

Another topic worthy of discussion here is 'pragmatics‘, more properly 'linguistic pragmatics‘. As ―the study of communication – the study of how language is used" (Kempson, 2001, p. 396), linguistic pragmatics is very much concerned with studying ―what the message intends to communicate" (LoCastro, 2012, p. 6), for this is the real scope pragmatics in that its task lies in ―understanding intentional human action" (Green, 1996, p. 2, cited in Grundy, 2000, p. 214). It is with this ―societal character of pragmatics" (Mey, 2001, p. 6) that it is rightly expected to focus on that aspect of pragmatics ―where one studies how linguistic knowledge and extralinguistic knowledge interlock in the production of successful communication " (Harris, 2003, p. 58 [emphasis added]). With these considerations, Verschueren‘s definition of 'pragmatics‘ seems to be an encapsulating and all-embracing one: ―a general cognitive, social, and cultural perspective on linguistic phenomena in relation to their usage in forms of behavior" (1999, p. 7). To this definition, and specifically amongst the adjectives listed above, 'religious‘ can and must be added, hence the present paper, ―Religiopragmatics".

Before embarking on discussing certain aspects of religiopragmatics as used in a typical Muslim, specifically Shiite, community, it deserves giving an explanation on the rationale behind developing the present work. It deserves explanation why the community of linguists, mainly Western linguists, and even a great majority of those Muslim linguists who have been trained and educated in that camp of thought, have remained so inattentive to the interface of linguistics and religious data. Traditionally, in Muslim communities linguistic considerations have made part and parcel of religious scholarship. Examples can be found in focusing on training non- Arab students in learning proper pronunciation of Classical Arabic for the sake of Quran recitation and how to correctly perform salat – mandatory Islamic ritual prayer. Apart from this minimal requirement, those who aspire to make experts in the realms of formal religious education must take lessons in Arabic grammar, rhetoric, and certain linguistic-cum- rhetorical interpretation of primary resources of religious knowledge, i.e., the Holy Quran and the hadiths. [2] There has been a major point of difference between Western linguistic scholarship from their Eastern, typically Muslim counterpart. While the latter has remained ―strongly dominated by religion" (Seuren, 1988, p. xii, cited in Harpham, 2002, p. 219), the former has been ―basically secular and nonreligious" (Seuren, 1988, p. xii, cited in Harpham, 2002, p. 219). It seems that time is ripe for considering certain Islamic religious phenomena from a pragmatic perspective under the rubric of 'religiopragmatics‘. [3]

Language and religion

Apart from a few other basically human phenomena, e.g., family, both language and religion make two fundamental characteristics of every human community. While religion is viewed as ―the primary evolutionary universal" (Darquennes and Vandenbussche, 2011, 5), religion and language together are regarded as ―anthropological constants in the evolution of mankind" (Darquennes and Vandenbussche, 2011, 5). Granted a basic social function of language is communication, there seems to be no religious act devoid of the purpose of communication. However, the other end of this religious communication can be placed along a continuum, ranging from the Deity, in Islam called Allah, to ordinary people gathered in a religious service or function. Based on what was touched upon, there is no intrinsically and essentially religious language; however, there are indeed many religious occasions wherein language acquires a religious coloring. [4] All Divine texts are essentially acts of religious communication from the Deity to mankind via a Divinely-dispatched prophet. This is accomplished for the sake of religious guidance of mankind. From a pragmatic perspective, it is a Divine act of communication accomplished in a human language. The sacredness of this text emanates from its Divine source. It is such a kind of Divine sacredness that makes not only the whole text but every bit of it so sacred that its words, when written or printed out cannot be touched without having performed wudu, ritual ablution. [5] Such a text is being credited with having the Deity, Allah, as its ― author " (a Goffmanian terminology) Who has formulated and dictated ―the actual words" (Goffman, 1981, cited without page reference in Keane, 1997, p. 58). The Holy Quran has various uses in Muslims‘ life, ranging from its recitation at intervals to using and making references to its fragments for various reasons. In this case, the person who recites or reads out some fragments of it can be called its "animator who utters" (Goffman, 1981, cited without page reference in Keane, 1997, p. 58 [original italics]) it for various purposes, [6] yet the addressee and/or the audience are expected to derive the actually intended meaning. [7, 8] The case of the Quran recitation is intriguing, in that not only its recitation but also listening to it is an act of devotion, hence a bystander‘s attentive listening to its being recited is also a rather passive act of devotion, even if it is not live recitation but a recorded one. [9]

For performing Islamic religious acts of devotion being serious and have a solemn intention (in Classical Arabic nīyyah, in Persian nīyyat) is a prerequisite. [10] Yet, it poses certain difficulties, for example, when the performer of an act of devotion either pretends or tries to teach the stages of the act to anybody not yet initiated to the very act in question. When a father performs the various acts of wudu, without using water, and simply for teaching how to do it to his son or daughter, or when he uses water but does not religiously and/or ritually intend to perform wudu, his wudu turns religiously null and void. As an act of communication, teaching how to perform wudu may have been successfully taught to a novice, yet the performer has not attained the state of ritual purification (ṭahārah).

As indicated above, the continuum starts from the Deity. It then moves on to infallibly sacred people, specifically to those whom we in Shiite Islam believe to be infallible (in Arabic and Persian, maՙṣūm), e.g., those religiously and devotionally high personalities who never make mistakes, let alone committing sins, a self-controlling power that emanates not only from their profound religious knowledge and cognition but also from their strong determination and resolution not to act whatsoever against the Divine commands. [11] Such a high religious status makes it binding for pious believers to regard their instructions seriously. Here the long lapse of time seldom counts, unless the Infallible‘s instruction was directed to a certain person in a narrowly specified socio-spatial context. Otherwise, their socio-religious and moral instructions are valid, hence binding for pious Muslims to follow. [12]

As the various modes of communication between the Deity and the long-deceased Infallibles are no longer subject to our practical or verifiable scrutiny, however appealing such topics might sound to specially dedicated people, it is better to leave them rather unfinished here. This is because of our lack of verifiable data. The case of the Holy Quran and the hadiths issued by the Infallibles deserve serious attention, yet the broad, international, and multi-faith communities of linguists cannot be expected to have enough interest in such topics, nor will it be logical to expect them to make pious Muslims beforehand and follow such insiders‘ Islamic doctrinal, and often boring and unprofitable, topics.

Another mode of communication between man and Allah, the Arabic name of the Deity in Islam, is glorification of Allah, a religious act of devotion that serves not only as a constative but as a performative act of devotion. [13] In some of the prayers to be read out at dawn in the month Ramadan, the Islamic month of mandatory fasting, one of the prescribed prayers reads thus (in English translation): Subḥān[a] man yaՙlam[u] jawāriḥ[a] al-qulūb[i] ('[I proclaim] Glorified is He Who knows the innermost feelings of [people‘s] hearts); subḥān[a] man yuḥṣī ՙadad[a] al- dhunūb[i] ('[I proclaim] Glorified is He Who knows the number of [people‘s] sins)… subḥān al-ra’ūf[i] al-raḥīm[i] ('[I proclaim] Glorified is the All-kind, All-compassionate‘). [14] Another instance is concerned with Divine glorification, in Classical Arabic taḥmīd, in which Allah is praised for His abundant bounties on us. A few Quranic examples are as follows: "They conclude their prayers by saying: 'Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.‘ " (The Holy Quran, Sura Yūnus (Jonah) [10]: 10); and ―All praise belongs to Allah Who has removed all grief from us." (The Holy Quran, Sura al-Fāṭir [35]: 34) As evident, in such prayers, no explicit request is addressed to Allah, hence it can be said that they constitute a kind of glorificatory prayer whose ―illocutionary force" (Austin, 1975, p. 100) and the religious ―function of language" (Ibid.) may be termed as 'glorificative‘, on analogy with the aforementioned, Austinian ―constative" and ―performative" (Ibid., passim), although their ―locutionary content" (Medina, 2005, p. 24) sounds merely glorification or adoration of Allah. As such, these instances of what I should like to label as glorificatives fall within the category of indirect religious speech acts; since no explicit request is mentioned in them, they call also be categorized as non- requestive (or irrequestive) prayers. Interestingly, the same religious formula (Arabic and Persian dhikr) subḥān Allāh ('[I proclaim] Glorified is Allah‘) is repeated in various parts of mandatory ritual salat. This Islamic ritual phenomenon indicates that there must be more than one or two levels of ritual speech acts in Islamic devotional rites and rituals. (This is a suitable topic for further religio-ritual studies and explorations. Based on abundant similar and comparable data, it seems that Islamic religious data and formulas must contain several layers or strata of religio-pragmatic functions.)

Another noteworthy topic is concerned with salaaming in ritual contexts and settings. [15] At least at the first moment of viewing the dome and minaret(s) of a Muslim shrine wherein an Infallible Imam [16] is buried, hence a venerable pilgrimage destination, e.g., the sacred shrine of the third Infallible Imam al-Ḥusayn in Karbala, Iraq, pious Muslims utter and humbly pay a sincere salaam unto Imam al-Ḥusayn. [17]. Salaaming unto Imam al-Ḥusayn is usually done after drinking water, as there is an explicitly religious injunction. In such cases, the illocutionary force or intention may range from showing personal politeness and courtesy to performing a religious act of devotion. [18] The locutionary act consists of uttering the salaaming formula which is expressed in this way (in Classical Arabic): al-salām[u] ՙalayk[a] yā Abā ՙAbd Allāh ('May salaam be unto you, O Abā ՙAbd Allāh [i.e., Imam al-Ḥusayn].‘) [19] The perlocutionary effect is that the pilgrim and/or the person who utters such a salaam receives abundant religious rewards. [20, 21]

Takbīr is another phenomenon to consider. Lexically, takbīr means 'enlargement, magnification, aggrandizement, exaltation‘; however, in generally Muslim contexts, utterance of takbīr, i.e., the Classical Arabic sentence Allah[u] akbar ('Allah is the Greatest‘) is a multifunctional formula. It is the first sentence uttered in both azan (Arabic adhān, literally, announcement; public call to salat, ritual prayer) and aqāmah (literally, practice, performance; a non-mandatory, but highly meritorious and a slightly different version of azan that is highly recommended to be uttered) that precede performing the salat. In addition to its ritual function to start the ritual and canonical prayer, i.e., salat, in other non-salat-oriented contexts, it is used for expression of surprise and annoyance. [22] In Quran-recitation contexts, uttering Allah[u] akbar means giving a signal that the Quran reciter intends to shift from reciting longer suras to the shorter ones which is followed by finishing Quran recitation before long. [23, 24]

Takbīr has received a rather confirmatory function in post- Revolutionary Iran. This is evident in political speeches. When a Muslim preacher or statesman says something that is politically in favor of the standards of either the 1979 Revolution or the benefits of people, one of the audience may cry ― Takbīr !", and then the crowd answer by repeating ― A llā h[ u ] akbar " three times. [25] Such instances of takbīr are usually followed by other more revolutionary mottoes. By doing so, the audience may confirm and express their public approval of the statement just made. Interestingly, when high-ranking statesmen get together before and in the presence of a personality such as the president or a higher figure, they seldom shout takbīr in confirmation of any statement. Rather, their participation in the assembly or conference fulfills such a function.

The Arabic sentence ' Lā ilāh[a] illā Allāh ‘ ('There exists no deity save Allah‘), usually referred to as tahlīl, is yet another noteworthy phenomenon. As a religiously meritorious sentential formula, merely uttering it makes the pious Muslim who utters it abundant religious rewards. As such, it can be regarded as an Islamic religious devotional speech-act. It is uttered in both azan and aqāmah. Being the cornerstone of the Islamic religious doctrines, it fulfils other functions. Uttered intentionally and together with testifying and approving the prophethood of the Prophet Muḥammad, it is sufficient to enable a non-Muslim convert into a Muslim.

Apart from such an aforementioned neophytical function, tahlīl has other functions, too. It is often recommended to be uttered when entering a holy shrine and a cemetery. As a mystical formula, its utterance is highly recommended. Moreover, it can be uttered as a sign of (and for expressing one‘s) amazement or surprise. In the typical Iranian Muslim context, its utterance in a friendly or familial context may sometimes indicate the utterer‘s annoyance, despair, or sorrow, too.

Tahlīl has also another socio-ritual function. When the body of a dead person is carried toward the cemetery, people who accompany it cry Lā ilāha ill(ā) Allāh. In such contexts, there is a man who cries it in a loud voice, and the mourners repeat it after him. This is a posthumous function of tahlīl.

Taḥmīd, which is ―praise of the God of providence, Donor of gifts and graces" (Padwick, 1996 [1961], p. 65) is another remarkable case worthy of mention. It is mainly and almost exclusively uttered as assign of expressing one‘s appreciation. Since all good comes to men from Allah alone, it is logical to be thankful to Him for all betterment, graces, and gifts He grants us.

Ṣalawāt has its numerous, multivalent functions. Semantically, salawāt means 'a special and continuous greeting‘ in favor of a most beloved and highly-esteemed personality. It is originally and essentially both a statement and an injunction as explicitly stated in the Holy Quran. The Holy Quran is explicit thus: ―Indeed Allah and His angels bless the prophet [i.e., Muhammad particularly and continuously]; O believers! [You must] Bless him [specially and continuously] and pay salaam unto him and surrender [yourselves to him] thoroughly." (The Holy Quran, Sura al- Aḥzāb [33]: 56). As such, it is a Divine(ly stated) imperative speech act; therefore, all Muslims must obey it. It follows that it is an established formula for honoring the Prophet Muḥammad and his Infallible household and descendants. In addition to its being recited after every mention of the name of the Prophet Muḥammad, salawāt can be recited in favor of any of the rest of thirteen Infallibles in Islam.

Apart from many ritual uses of salawāt, in Muslim and particularly Shiite communities, salawāt is recited on several other occasions. Passengers recite it in the beginning of their trip and in a positive answer to a public pray for and in favor of all Muslim passengers‘ reaching their destinations safe and sound. Pilgrims recite it at the time of reaching their destination, usually a sacred pilgrimage city. An extension of this function of salawāt can be seen in pilgrims‘ utterance of it when an airplane is about to take off and also when it lands safely. It is recited when the wedlock formula is just pronounced, and also when the newly-married couple reach the wedding ceremony. It is also recited when a prisoner is announced (and is about to be) to be released from the jail. It can be uttered as a signal for some people who are quarreling to terminate their quarrel if the issue is not that serious. In Shiite congregational contexts, when a preacher is delivering his talk and at the same time an older and more respectable or more learned cleric, usually an ayatollah, who joins the assembly, the preacher oftentimes asks the listeners to recite (an honorific) salawāt for the well-being and longer life of either the ayatollah or more respectable cleric who has just joined them or in favor of all Muslim clerics.

Salawāt has many other functions and uses. It is recited before and after reciting prayers. According to Islamic instructions, any prayer which is preceded and followed by salawāt will be fulfilled by Allah. It is also one of the highly recommended formulas to be recited when entering holy shrines. Noteworthy is that, the eve and day of Friday are amongst most recommended times for its recitation. There are many more cases where it is highly recommended to recite salawāt that cannot be listed and explained in the present paper.

It is appropriate to mention certain Iranian political uses of the Islamic formula Salawāt. Before the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, in revolutionary gatherings, loud congregational cries of Salawāt meant political indignation and dissidence. However, just near the dawn of the Revolution, political mention of the name of Ayatollah Khomeini was instantly followed by reciting Salawāt three times. An almost rare occurrence was that in Qom, where other high-ranking mujtahids and ayatollahs reside and teach, mentioning the name of other ayatollahs was followed by reciting Salawāt only once. This political use of Salawāt is still current in the circles where partisans of the present supreme leader get together, all in addition to certain governmental meetings. (It remains a thought-provoking question why the names of the Najaf- and Karbala- based Shiite ayatollahs have seldom been followed by congregational cries of Salawāt in formal, Iranian Revolutionary contexts. Is political confirmation and alliance with the Iranian Revolution a determining factor?)

The designation 'martyr‘ (Arabic and Persian shahīd) is an honorific title, with special semantic contours. In post-Revolutionary Iran, anybody who is killed in a way connected with the dominant ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran is designated and receives the title Shahīd (Martyr), even if non-Muslim. This title is applied to Iranian Christians and Zoroastrians who were killed in the way of defending the nation. In recent times, when the Daesh (the so-called ISIS) that was operative in Syria and Iraq, those people who were killed by the agents of the Daesh received the title 'martyr‘ in the Iranian media. The same holds true in the case of the Palestinian, Lebanese, and Syrian victims of the Zionists in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria, respectively. In similar cases, it seems that it must be political interests and benefits of Shiite clerics of Iran that determines whether or not the title 'Martyr/ Shahīd ‘ should be applied to the victims.

The Shiite title 'Ayatollah‘ has got a curious history in post- Revolutionary Iran. Chiefly current in Iran, it began to be used in Iran from the time of the Qajar dynasty (1779-1923). [26] It is also used by mainly the Iranians who reside in Najaf and Karbala, Iraq, in the case of outstanding (usually Iranian) mujtahids (religious jurists qualified and capable of coming up with their individual reasoning in religio-legal matters and issues) who reside and teach there. [27] Applicable to mujtahids, use of this title has come to have political overtones in Iran and the Iranian governmental media, too. For example, when the life of a certain Shiite cleric (who is in line with the Islamic Republic of Iran) might be socially or politically at risk in a non-Muslim country, his name receives the title 'ayatollah‘ in the Iranian news media to indicate that he is a great religious scholar, hence the government authorities of the country wherein he lives must be very careful about his life, well-being, and security condition. Such uses of the Shiite religious title 'ayatollah‘ are marked by socio-political ends and purposes.

In contrast to the above, when a Shiite cleric is disfavored or announced disqualified (mostly for socio-political, but barely for scholarly, reasons), Iranian governmental mass media desist from using the title 'ayatollah‘ before his name. In such cases, only the name of the person is mentioned, with no title whatsoever prefixed. [28]

In the category of religio-honorific titles, Imam, Sheikh, and Sayyid are those which have got various uses. From among them, Imam is a title that is applied to both Infallibles (Arabic and Persian, maՙṣūmīn) and non- Infallibles. In the Persian Shiite discourse, it precedes the names of only the twelve Infallible Imams, starting from the first Infallible Imam ՙAlī and finally with the twelfth Infallible Imam al-Mahdī. According to Shiite Islamic beliefs, it is only Allah Who grants the deserving personality the post of imamate. Reference is usually made to the Holy Quran in which Allah indicated to the prophet Abraham that it was He (Allah) Who appointed him as an Imam for people. (The Holy Quran, Sura al-Baqarah [2]: 124.) This strictly Divinely-determined office has received a radical change during and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran. During this time, it was first the Iranian Shiite cleric Dr. Hasan Rouhani, currently the Iranian president, who first applied the title 'Imam‘ to the name of Ayatollah Khomeini (1902-1989). Rouhani made reference to Ayatollah Khomeini in his political speech that he delivered in a commemorative funeral gathering held at a mosque in Tehran in honor of the late Sayyid Mustafa, the elder son of Ayatollah Khomeini, who had died in Najaf in the autumn of 1977. Since that time, Iranian political activists have referred to Ayatollah Khomeini as Imam Khomeini. It seems that such application of the title 'Imam‘ has come to indicate a new phase of political, in contrast to purely and originally religious, leadership in a revolutionary Shiite community. The late Ayatollah Khomeini never prevented people from applying the honorific title 'Imam" to him. [29] A recent phenomenon is that the title 'Imam‘ is used for Ayatollah Khamenei, currently the supreme leader and Ayatollah Khomeini‘s successor, in rather informal and more revolutionary contexts. It appears that the title 'Imam‘ has received semantic extension in modern times; any 'unrivalled, top-ranking, religious leader‘ may be referred to by the title 'Imam‘.

Application of the title 'Imam‘ in the Shiite Arab world has a slightly different route. While in Iran any descendant of an Infallible Imam who has got a shrine and has been regarded as a pilgrimage site is referred to as an 'Imamzadeh‘ [30], they are regarded simply as 'Imam‘ in the Iraqi Shiite context. It is on this premise that that Iraqi Shiites refer to al-ՙAbbās, the younger step-brother of Imam al-Ḥusayn, as ―Imam al-ՙAbbās". Apart from this usage, Shiite Arabs use the title 'Imam‘ for high-ranking religious leaders who are assumed to be of Arab origin, hence al-Imam al-Sayyid Muḥsin al-Ḥakīm, a leading Najaf-based Shiite cleric and marjaՙ al-taqlīd. [31] Within the Lebanese context, the title 'Imam‘ was applied to the Qom- born Lebanese Shiites‘ socio-political leader Sayyid Mūsā al-Ṣadr, hence al-Imam Mūsā al-Ṣadr.

The Prophetic descendant title 'Sayyid‘ is very interesting particularly in Iran. Etymologically meaning 'A great man‘, this title appears before of the given names of those men whose paternal ancestor goes back to one of the Infallible Imams and thus ultimately to the Prophet Muḥammad. In Shiite non-clerical usages, when a person uses the title 'Sayyid‘ before his name, either he may intend to either indicate his full name, or he might intend to receive extra, religious respect from his associates, all due to his lineage. [32] In informal Shiite clerical contexts, sometimes the Prophetic descendant title 'Sayyid‘ may appear before a cleric‘s surname, e.g., Sayyid Tehrani.

Another Prophetic descendant title is Mir, a truncated and shortened form of Amir. Mir has less uses than Sayyid. Like Sayyid, Mir appears before male names, e.g., Mir Ahmad.

Use of the Prophetic descendant title 'Sayyid‘ before the name of Iranian females is a different story. Before the Islamic Revolution of Iran, it was customary toindicate either Sayyid and/or Sayyidah (the feminine form of Sayyid) before given names. In the post-Revolutionary years, this is largely replaced by using the suffix -al-Sādāt after female names, e.g. Maryam al-Sādāt, or sometimes simply Maryam Sādāt. It seems that ladies might rarely wish to make political uses of this Prophetic descendant title. In contrast to Sayyidah and -al-Sādāt, Mir has no feminine variant.


Religiopragmatic phenomena are noticeable in communities where religion is considered a very significant and influential social factor. Religiopragmatic markers are expected to be relative in the sense that they are effective in certain communities that share the same language, religion, and culture. As such, religiopragmatic markers receive semantic and pragmatic extension in the communities where they are widely used; their influence may go beyond the religious contexts and may exert their influence in other walks of life, daily interactions, politics, and even economics.

Dedication: To my wife and family for their patience and cooperation; to my dedicated and insightful Iraqi colleagues who have appreciated the scholarly gap of making an interface between linguistic pragmatics and Islamic religious data.


I ought to thank the following academics for their invaluable assistance and comments: Fareed Hameed al-Hindawi, Sayyid Haider al- Mousawi, Riyadh Tariq Kazim al-Ameedi, and Waleed Ridha al-Juwaid (Iraq), Abdur Raheem Kidwai and Sujan Mondal (India), Steven Davis (Canada), Jef Verschueren and Jean-Pierre van Noppen (Belgium), Hasan Shikoh, Sophia Butt, Peter Grundy, Chris C. Park, Ian Reader, and Richard S. Briggs (UK), Sandy Petrey and William P. Alston (USA), the Rev. J. Peter Ford, Jr. (Lebanon/ USA).


[1] My most sincere and cordial appreciation goes to my Iraqi colleague, Dr. Fareed Hameed al-Hindawi, for his agreement on developing the present contribution. I cannot forget a daylong, familial tour we had, together with Dr. Waleed Ridha al-Juwaid, across the Iraqi city of al-Hillah on 23 March 2018. It was in the evening of that unforgettable day that the topic of the present contribution was agreed upon.

[2] It is a pity that Shiite Muslim religious academic circles have largely remained inattentive to profound and insightful achievements made in the camp of Western linguistic thoughts and traditions. Whatever its causes might be, they seem to be rather unwilling to bridge this gap and come to take Western achievements seriously. More deploring is that, with quite a few exceptions, they often take pride in not knowing typical Western languages, e.g., English, an undeniable requirement for scholarship in the present-day world.

[3] Although the prevailing atmosphere of the post-Revolutionary Iranian university departments of foreign languages and linguistics seldom favor Islamic religious themes for master‘s degree theses and doctoral dissertations, itself a topic worthy of serious attention, there have been just a couple of graduate theses and dissertations that focus on Islamic religious data. Viewed from this perspective, Iraqi universities have taken precedence. Of the limited number of studies that focus on Islamic religious data within the fields of the English language, translation studies, and linguistics, some noteworthy titles are as follows: Fakhr-Rohani (2003, 2005).

[4] It would be desirable to develop a graded scale based on which the relative, if not absolute, religiosity of certain religio-communicative linguistic acts could be measured.

[5] Originally wuḍū’, the word wudu is recorded as an originally Arabic loanword in The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (4th edn., 1993).

[6] Reasons for Quran recitation can range from reading portions of it in the funeral session of a deceased person to reciting it throughout the month Ramadan or as a daily practice or an act of devotion that is practiced at intervals. As mentioned, some indirect answers can be given by reciting a fragment roughly relevant to the very situation concerned.

[7] This feature can be expected to be operative either in Muslim communities where people understand Arabic. It does not usually apply to many non-Arab Muslim communities, especially where people‘s knowledge of Arabic is rather shallow.

[8] Divination (Arabic, istikhārah) by means of opening a page of the Holy Quran at random is a case in point in which only those who can make an adjustment between the original context of the revelation or references indicated in the very Quranic fragment encountered, on the one hand, and the very situation concerned, on the other hand, can find out the intended or implied answer to the very problematic situation.

[9] There is an explicit Quranic injunction in Surah al-Aՙrāf [7]: 204, in that when it is being recited, believers ought to keep silent and listen to it attentively so that they may receive the Divine mercy. Shiite Muslims do the same when a prayer or a pilgrimage prayer, i.e., a ziarat-text, is being recited by a prayer leader for others to follow. Attentive listening and shedding tears are both signs and emotive reactions of their following the solemn religious program, e.g., recounting certain heart-rending scenes of the afflictions imposed on the Infallibles, for instance and most conspicuously, in the case of the tragic scenes that pertain to the Ashura episode of the martyrdom of the third Infallible Imam al-Ḥusayn and his martyred companions in Karbala, Iraq, in 61 AH/ 680 CE.

[10] For a profound, philosophical account of various aspects of intention, see Anscombe, Intention (1963 [1957]).

[11] Usually regarded as infallibility or immaculateness (in Arabic ՙiṣmah, and in Persian ՙiṣmat), this is a serious doctrinal topic usually dealt with in Shiite books of creeds or articles of faith. For a medieval Islamic source see, for example, Muḥammad b. ՙAlī b. al-Ḥusayn b. Bābawayh al-Qummī ―al-Ṣadūq" (d. 381 AH/ 991), Kitāb al-iՙtiqādāt, var. edns., Chapter 36. It is English version bears the title The Shiՙite Creed, translated by Asaf A. A. Fayzee. Certain views of al-Ṣadūq received further elaboration, developed by Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. Nuՙmān ―al-Mufīd" (d. 413 AH/ 1022) in his doctrinal magnum opus, Taṣḥīḥ al-iՙtiqād, in recent years translated into English by Irfan Abdul Hamid, under the title of The Emendation of A Shiite Creed. In it, its Chapter 32 deals with ―The Belief on Impeccability". For a modern Shiite interpretation and wider outlook, see Kawrani (2010 / 1431 AH) The Infallible and the Text. A serious threat is that recently and particularly in post-Revolutionary Iran and post-Saddam Iraq, some people have come to devise other, rather casual and apocryphal, modes of infallibility and apply them to certain individuals to sanctify them and their deeds.

[12] Throughout this study, emphasis is laid on 'pious‘ Muslims, for, as a reality, not every single Muslim can be expected to be pious enough with regard to practicing Islamic instructions and injunctions.

[13] Here the terms 'constative‘ and 'performative‘ are used in the senses used in J. L. Austin‘s posthumous classic How to Do Things with Words (1962, 1975).

[14] A phrase used exclusively for the praise of Allah in Islam, the Arabic noun subḥān[a] is translated as ―(I proclaim) the glory of …" in Padwick (1996 [1961], p. 65).

[15] The case of ―uttering 'Salaam‘ " is mentioned in Austin (1962, p. 70; 1975, p. 70). However, as expected, Austin never delves into the religio- pragmatic aspects of expressing salaam, simply because such analysis requires thorough religious competence, if not religious and ritual performance.

[16] In most cases, there are more than one high-ranking religious dignitary, e.g., an Infallible Imam, is buried in a shrine or pilgrimage destination. However, the shrine is known, hence religiously salient, due to the highest or most renowned dignitary who is buried there. An example is the sacred shrine of the first Infallible Imam ՙAlī in Najaf, Iraq, where two pre-Islamic, Biblical Divinely-dispatched prophets, Adam and Noah, are buried just beside him (as this is asserted in a pilgrimage prayer to be recited in his favor), yet the shrine is well-known as that of Imam ՙAlī because he is buried there.

[17] Pilgrimage is never a devotional religious and ritual act restricted to Muslims and Shiites. It seems that pilgrimage must be almost a religious universal, alongside other religious universals so far recognized. For a brief and good overview of pilgrimage, yet not that concerned with Islamic pilgrimage, see Reader (2014, 2015), Coleman and Eade (2004), Margry (2008), and Park (1994).

[18] Such an act of salaaming can be performed from virtually anywhere, usually regarded as pilgrimage from afar. In such case, the intention or illocutionary force of paying a sincere salaam is very important.

[19] The Arabic patronymic Abā ՙAbd Allāh (Father of the Servant of Allah) is just a famous honorific designation of Imam al-Ḥusayn.

[20] Shiite Islamic religious literature records various types of rewards for paying a sincere salaam unto Imam al-Ḥusayn. For further knowledge regarding the awe-inspiring rewards based on an earlier medieval Arabic source, see Jaՙfar b. Muḥammad b. Qūlawayh al-Qummī [d. 367 AH/ 977], Kāmil al-zīyārāt, ed. ՙAbd al-Ḥusayn al-Amīnī (Najaf: al-Murtaḍawīya, 1356 AH/ 1937), Chs. 32-77, pp. 100-192, and in its English translation done by Sayyid Muhsin al-Husaini al-Milani (Miami, FL: Shiabooks, 2008), pp. 200-398. For another authoritative book, written much later, see Muḥammad-Bāqir Majlisī [d. 1110 AH/ 1698], Tuḥfah al-zā’ir (Qum: Imam Hādī Institute, 1386 Sh/ 2007), Section 5, pp. 214-263.

[21] Salaams constitute the smallest form of expressing religious courtesy toward an infallible character. More elaborate texts are salawāt s and pilgrimage prayers (provisionally termed as ziarat-texts). The originally Arabic word ziarat is recorded thus in both The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 4th edn., ed. Lesley Brown (2 vols., Oxford: Clarendon- Oxford University Press, 1993) and The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edn., 20 vols., ed. John Simpson, and E. S. C. Weiner (20 vols., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989).

[22] The latter use of takbīr is a typical Iranian mode of expressing annoyance. It is chiefly used in informal, whether friendly or familial, contexts.

[23] Such instances of Allāh[u] akbar may be followed by the phrase wa lillāh[i] al-ḥamd, i.e., Allāh[u] akbar[u] wa liilāh[i] al-ḥamd ('Allah is the Greatest and all praise belongs to Allah.‘) The Arabic phrase ' lillāh ‘ is a contracted form of li Allāh ('for/ to Allah‘).

[24] This practice seems to be a chiefly Egyptian style of mujawwad recitation of the Holy Quran in contrast to its murattal version or variety. It is more noticeable in pleasurable Quran recitations performed by such renowned figures as Sheikh ՙAbd al-Bāsiṭ Muḥammad ՙAbd al-Ṣamad, Sheikh Muḥammad Ṣiddiq al-Minshāwī, and Sheikh Rāghib Muṣṭafā Ghalwash, to mention just a few representatives.

[25] Phonetically and prosodically, in uttering the word ― Takbīr !" in a commanding or imperious mode, the second syllable, i.e., ― bīr " is lengthened and pronounced more forcefully. And in answering such a choral demand, the audience may often pronounce ― Allāhu akbar " in such a way that the second syllable, i.e., ― " receives more vocal energy, hence audibly more salient.

In hot political and electoral speeches, and usually in anti-American harangues, the political preacher, usually a cleric, might indicate it to some of his own and special men (who usually accompany him here and there) that in the middle of the speech he would say so and so after which he usually pauses for some more seconds to receive such a confirmatory takbīr from the listeners. In the short moments when he pauses, one of his special men must shout ― Takbīr " so as to elicit confirmatory ― Allāhu akbar " from the listeners, fans, bystanders, and the passengers (when the speech is made in streets and squares). If he does not receive any such a takbīr on time, he may emphatically repeat his motto, just to give an indirect signal to the audience that they must confirm whatever he has just said. Oftentimes a (usually cleric) preacher says something and pauses for some more seconds, without having given such a signal to his special men in advance. In such cases, similar instances of pausing implicitly indicates that he is in need of public approval of whatever he has just said. The present writer remembers that he had witnessed at least one such case when one special man (who had been assigned with the mission to utter ― Takbīr " in a hot political speech of a cleric in Qom) was absent at the right moment and, as a result, the political harangue left little influence on the people who had gathered. The cleric then left the session angrily and indignantly, for he never received the due confirmation he had anticipated. Such instances of ― ta kbīr " can be regarded as later and merely secondary, ideology-cum- politics-oriented uses of an originally Islamic religious dogma.

It is both thought-provoking and questionable that why in and throughout various stages of the Islamic Revolution of Iran (since 1979 onward) no such prayer-like Arabic phrases appeared that show public annoyance or gratitude.

[26] S.v. ―Ayatollah," in The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, ed. J. L. Esposito, pp. 30-31.

[27] The title 'ayatollah‘ must be used by others (usually students and disciples) in the case of a certain mujtahid who is recognized as such. There are many qualified mujtahids who may not be referred to by this title.

[28] It is interesting that stately-determined deletion of one‘s scholarly title applies only to Shiite clerics who have happened to be no longer favored by the ruling government for any reason whatsoever. Such a kind of political deletion of titles has almost never appeared in the case of Iranian educated dissidents.

[29] In the days just before the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, some people, who seemed to be more considerate and cautious, fabricated the title 'Nā‘ib al-Imam‘ (the Deputy of [the Infallible] Imam) and used it before the name of Ayatollah Khomeini. Their belief and justification were that the title 'Imam‘ must be used exclusively for any of the twelve Infallible Imams. Use of this title never lasted long. It was soon replaced by 'Imam‘. After Ayatollah Khomeini, and particularly after the 2009 events in Tehran, the title 'Imam‘ has been widely and emphatically applied as an honorific title for his successor, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei.

[30] The word and title ― imamzadeh " is a blend of the Arabic noun ―imam" and the Persian suffix ―- zadeh " which means 'son or daughter of‘.

In northern Iranian provinces of Mazandaran and Golestan, local Mazandarani-speaking people refer to an ' imamzadeh ‘ as ' masumzadeh ‘. The latter title is derived from the Arabic noun ' maՙṣūm ‘ (Infallible) and the Persian suffix '- zadeh ‘. However, in notice boards, the Persian word ' Imamzadeh ‘ is used.

[31] The Arabic title marjaՙ al-taqlīd 'source of religious emulation‘, in Persian ' marjՙ-i taqlīd ‘, is used in the case of top-ranking majtahids who teach advanced lessons of Shiite Islamic fiqh, Quran interpretations, and many students. Though not necessary, they often live and teach in Shiite sacred shrine cities, e.g., Qom and Mashhad, Iran, and Najaf and Karbala, Iraq.

[32] In post-Revolutionary Iran, some candidates who (are truly 'Sayyids‘) and wish to receive more votes from people to win in a national election campaign use the title 'Sayyid‘ in their political advertisements. This is because such an honorable, Prophetic descendant title brings more social respect in typical Iranian social context. Use of 'Sayyid‘ in political campaigns might imply that such and such a candidate is expected to be more qualified for the intended political post. Clearly, this is just a 'political‘ (mis)use of the Prophetic descendant title.

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Chapter Two

Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis

Fareed Hameed Al-Hindawi

Mariam D. Saffah

University of Babylon

1. Introduction

Pragmatics and discourse analysis are two fields of study that are sometimes regarded as interdisciplinary because both share interest in those aspects of language that are context-dependent.

Nevertheless, as Reisigl (2011: 13-23) states, the question concerning the relationship between pragmatics and discourse analysis cannot be answered absolutely and definitely, but only relatively. He argues in favour of a theoretical conceptualization which assumes that the relationship between them is one of family resemblance.

It has been proposed that both pragmatics and discourse analysis are oriented towards analyzing language as a social action and examining language use in social context. Moreover, pragmatics is mostly concerned with expounding an abstract taxonomy of speech acts and with abstract distinctions of essential parts of speech acts such as illocutionary act, propositional act and perlocutionary act. However, discourse analysis has the tendency to concentrate on social, political, socio-psychological aspects of language use (ibid: 22).

In spite of such a line of demarcation, the two fields nowadays often seem to be intermingled and it is often difficult to differentiate between them (ibid).

Barron and Schneider (2014: 1) suggest that the study of discourse is not perceived as falling outside the realm of pragmatics: Rather it can be seen as an integral part of it. Hence, the pragmatics of discourse and the pragmatics of utterance represent two complementary levels of analysis, correspondingly emphasizing more global and more local aspects of human interaction. Whereas the latter concentrates on investigating speech acts as the fundamental units of analysis, the former investigates how speech acts can combine into larger units. The two- level analysis referred to above has been termed as micropragmatics and macropragmatics.

It is assumed that several approaches to discourse analysis are pragmatic in nature because they are more concerned with interactional issues than with syntax. These include some recent trends such as discourse pragmatics and critical discourse pragmatics.

2. Pragmatics

Levinson (1983: 1) suggests that the use of the term pragmatics is pioneered by the philosopher Charles Morris (1938) denoting a branch of semiotics. Within semiotic traditions, syntax is concerned with the formal relations among signs. As for semantics, it is interested in the relations between signs and the objects they signify, while pragmatics investigates the relations between signs and their users.

According to Yule (1996:3), pragmatics is interested in the analysis of meaning as expressed via a speaker and understood via a listener. Thus, it can be said that pragmatic analyses are more concerned with what people convey through producing certain utterances than with what the words in those utterances may mean in isolation.

It is worth mentioning that in pragmatics, meaning is not considered to be as stable as linguistic forms. On the contrary, it is dynamically created in the course of employing language (Verschueren, 1999: 11).

Mey (2001: 6) believes that a genuine pragmatic account has to deal with the language users in their social context; it cannot confine itself to those grammatically encoded aspects of context.

Broadly speaking, pragmatics is concerned with those facets of meaning that are context-variable. It endeavors to widen the scope of traditional linguistics by housing many issues and aspects that characterize language in use (Horn and Kecskes, 2013: 356)

However, Horn and Kecskes (ibid: 357) proceeded, the emergence of pragmatics has been immensely influenced by launching certain theories into the field of language study. These include: first, the innovation of speech act theory by Austin (1962) with its subsequent development by Searle, second, the appearance of Grice‘s (1975) notion of the cooperative principle supported by four maxims which can be infringed to generate conversational implicatures. Finally, the introduction of Sperber and Wilson‘s Relevance theory is a developed version of Grice‘s theory.

3.Discourse Analysis

Discourse belongs to a category of terms that are recurrently employed in all sorts of context. It may be used interchangeably with text to denote longer chunks of written or spoken language. Additionally, it may refer to the semantic representation of some connected sentences, or it could refer to various communication on a specific issue, e. g. human rights discourse (Fetzer, 2014: 35).

Thus, discourse analysis is possible to be interpreted in a number of diverse ways and can accordingly be conducted in different fashions. It is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry (Barron and Schneider, 2014: 1)

Driven by the desire to differentiate sentences from propositions, and propositions from utterances, a group of theorists have endeavored to go beyond the sentence boundary and to become concerned with the meaning of discourse around the beginning of the seventies. Their basic assumption is centered on the fact that besides the well-known linguistic units pertaining to the diverse levels characterizing a language, one is capable of postulating another unit of analysis which goes well beyond the boundary of the sentence (Puig, 2003: 2).

In a previous treatment of the issue, Brown and Yule (1983:1), assert that analyzing discourse means analyzing language in action. Consequently, it is unlikely to be confined to the clarification of linguistic formulas excluding the goals and tasks that those formulas are proposed to accomplish in human issues. Hence, a discourse analyst devotes him/herself to conducting an investigation of what language is utilized for.

The discourse analyst needs to take a pragmatic perspective when doing discourse analysis. Thus, s/he has to take into consideration the context in which a fragmentary discourse appears. This is due to the fact that specific linguistic units like deictic forms demand contextual clues to be understood (ibid: 27).

Puig (2003: 1) states that discourse is likely to be considered as a linguistic component, or as an interactive level attached to that who creates it. In the latter case, discourse is regarded as a coherent whole. Hence, specific linguistic units are proposed as indications of the cohesion of a text. These include devices such as pronouns, definite descriptions, and discursive anaphoric nominal.

As for the structure of discourse, it is possible to distinguish between local and global structures. Whereas the former has to do with the individual speech acts and their connectedness, the latter relates to the series of speech acts as a whole. For instance, one may locally issue an assertion followed by a request, but with the entire sequence of speech acts one may globally produce a speech act of request. Put differently, the global structure pertains to the global function of the utterance (Van Dijk, 1980: 6).

4. Pragmatics versus Discourse Analysis

Cutting (2002:2) believes that pragmatics and discourse analysis have much in common in the sense that both investigate context, text and function. Both fields concentrate on the significance of words in communication and how interlocutors convey more meaning than what is literally conveyed by the words they utilize. Additionally, both of them study discourse and text focusing on how pieces of language become significant and integrated for their users. Furthermore, the two fields are interested in function.

For instance, in order to interpret a piece of discourse such as We are not amused, pragmatics and discourse analysis will take into consideration the fact that Queen Victoria had been in a long depression, resulted from the death of her husband. Her words were a reply to a joke which her courtiers had just made. Analysts will infer that her intention was to stop them attempting to make her laugh and lift her out of the depression (ibid: 1)

Similarly, Puig (2003: 1) states that the two domains, pragmatics and discourse analysis, move behind the formal description of phrases and concentrate on upper components, for instance, speech acts and conversational turns. Moreover, both approaches investigate context and its structuring. Nevertheless, pragmatics exerts more effort to the identification of the speaker‘s intention in addition to the recovering of the covert ingredients which the hearer needs to access.

As for the divergence of pragmatics and discourse analysis, Coulthard (1985: viii) says that discourse analysis examines how stretches above the sentence level are knitted together. Moreover, discourse analysis has to depict the construction of suprasentential text or social transaction through forcing a certain apparatus on the data either overtly or covertly.

To draw the borderlines between the two fields, Puig (2003: 2) believes that, whereas discourse analysts focus on the elucidation of the implied components within the language without considering anything external, pragmatics utilizes diverse domains of human affairs to appropriately interpret utterances. For example:

A: You should hurry up a little in persuading them, because we're all in a hurry to do all that.
B: Do you read the papers?

In order to interpret B‘s response, A has to infer that it is based on conversational implicature. That is, B‘s reply implies if you read the newspapers, you will know that I have done so many times. Such aspect of meaning is pragmatic because it is not explicitly stated in the utterance but has to be inferred depending on the context (ibid).

The two notions of context and intention are vital to pragmatics. It is worth mentioning that no other approaches to language have made use of such concepts. Whereas in discourse analysis, context refers to something static in nature and external to the speaker, in pragmatics it signifies something personal and dynamic. That is, it is not offered at the beginning, but is created by the interlocutors utterance by utterance (ibid: 3).

As for intention, pragmatics assumes that success in the overall interpretation of an utterance involves a recognition of the speaker‘s intention.

According to Sauerland and Schumacher (2015: 6), Grice proposes that two notions of meaning need to be distinguished. The first is the speaker‘s meaning, i. e. a reconstruction of the speaker‘s intention when producing that utterance. The second is the sentence meaning, i. e. the semantic representation of the grammar allocated to a sentence.

For instance, when a happy father says to his wife The boys have arrived, his intention may be to make her attentive to the fact that their sons will soon be home. However, a robber, a Mafiosi, or a policeman producing the very sentence can easily be understood to have a totally different intent. The example above indicates that diverse utterances grounded on the same sentence meaning can convey various speaker‘s meaning (ibid).

For, de Saussure (2007: 152) a pragmatic account of meaning supplies all the components that discourse analysis portrays. On the one hand, if discourse is taken to represent verbal communication, then it can be elucidated merely with reference to the speaker‘s intended meaning. On the other hand, if it is considered as standing for organized spans of texts or utterances, then they have to be meaningful spans of texts or meaningful utterances.

5. Context versus Co-text

Allott (2010: 38) states that the context of an utterance signifies a source of information that assists the hearer in finding out what the speaker wishes to express. Without taking the context of words and phrases into consideration, it will not be likely to interpret the implicatures of an utterance. Moreover, in numerous situations, it will be impossible to calculate the proposition conveyed or the desired illocutionary force. Since pragmatics is interested in speaker‘s meaning and how the hearer interprets it, context is vital to pragmatics.

According to Song (2010: 876-877), context performs crucial functions that help interactants in interpreting utterances. These include removing ambiguity, specifying referents, and distinguishing conversational implicature.

Nevertheless, various types of context can be identified. One type is designated as linguistic context or the co-text. The co-text of a certain word refers to all other words that occur within the very phrase or sentence. It has a powerful influence on working out the meaning of a particular word. Another type of context is the physical context in which words are embedded. Here, the physical location guides the interpretation of meaning (Yule, 1985: 98-99).

Consequently, it can be said that pragmatics is concerned with the physical context whereas discourse analysis has more to do with the co- text.

6. Trends in Pragmatics

Horn and Kecskes (2013: 366) believe that pragmatics is primarily an utterance-based field. Nevertheless, because utterance is not that easy to define and because utterance meaning is determined both by the linguistic components of a specific utterance and subsequent utterances, pragmatics has looked for meaning elements inside and outside the utterance. Consequently, three different approaches to pragmatics have emerged.

The first approach is referred to as pragma - semantics. It is pursued by the inheritors of Paul Grice and numerous scholars with a referential- logical background and with diverse degrees of commitment to truth- conditionality. It concentrates on the construction of meaning through cognitive and formal models (de Saussure, 2007: 2).

A second trend, labeled pragma - dialogue, endeavors to attract attention to the dialogic nature of interaction through stressing the idea that interactants are actors who both act and react. Hence, the speaker-hearer not only interprets but also reacts to the other interactant‘s utterance. The dialogic principle identifies dialogue as a chain of actions and reactions (Horn and Kecskes, 2013: 366).

Another trend is pragma-discourse which goes beyond the utterance and shows a special consideration to socially determined linguistic behavior. It can be assumed that the crucial difference between pragmatics proper and discourse is that whereas the former concentrates on individual utterances(organized set of words) in context, the latter focuses on an organized set of utterances (ibid).

The relation between the components of utterances and the components of discourse is somewhat similar. It is assumed that discourses, just like utterances, possess properties of their own. Hence, an utterance is not the sum of the lexical items that forms it, nor is discourse the sum of the utterances that made it. Both single utterances and sequences of utterances are needed in order to uncover what is conveyed by interactants (ibid: 367).

It is worth mentioning that all the three trends discussed above try to discuss the issue of the speaker‘s meaning, which is the basis of all of pragmatics.

7. Discourse Pragmatics

This kind of study shows where the two fields in question meet. According to Van Dijk (2007: 8), the term discourse pragmatics refers to the hybrid field of investigating which comes into being as a result of the collaboration between pragmatics and discourse. There are numerous discoursal researches that can be called pragmatic as they are more concerned with language in use than with syntax.

Moeschler (n. d.: 218) proposes that the Discourse Pragmatics comes into existence as a consequence of two statements: first, cognitive approaches of utterances interpretation lack external constraints on utterance interpretation process; second, no general or specific rule has been theoretically or empirically demonstrated since the emergence of works in discourse analysis.

As for the first statement, it is at the origin of pragmatics. Since Grice‘s (1989) work, it is acknowledged that principles generating utterance interpretation depend on general principles of communication and human rationality. The cooperative principle and the conversational maxims vary from one culture to another. For example, if a Greek passer-by gives one an answer on one‘s road and that answer is false, it simply means that the maxim of quantity wins over the maxim of quality. However, Western European culture would prefer the maxim of quality to that of quantity (ibid: 219)

Concerning the second statement, the lack of particular discourse rules does not mean that discourse is not minimally constrained in its organization, rather that discourse rules do not play any role in utterance interpretation (ibid).

Discourse pragmatics concentrates on speech acts such as assertions, promises, questions, congratulations and the like. Moreover, it focuses on how such social acts are performed by language users and those that are performed in texts. It stresses the idea that speech acts typically occur in a series as in conversations, where one speech act supplies a motivation for a forthcoming one as in It’s stuffy in here. Could you please open the window? (Van Dijk, 2007: 8).

Fleischman and Waugh (1991: 1) mention that there is a growing awareness that regardless of their intrinsic meaning, grammatical categories require pragmatic factors and discourse context for their interpretation. Hence, such a view of discourse pragmatics incorporates an array of different notions relating to structuring information, creating textual cohesion and connectivity, establishing discoursal point of view, conveying speaker attitude in discourse, and presenting information relevant to the relations between speech act participants and the text.

This indicates that grammatical categories,, properties of the text, and characteristics of the context are intricately intermingled, and thus collectively provide the proper function for a general and explanatory functional analysis of these categories (ibid)

Blum-Kulka and Hamo (2011: 160) propose that discourse pragmatics has moved away from the concept of context as determining language use to a more dynamic, reciprocal and dialectical view of context relationships. In this respect, context is both presumed and understood by interactants. Additionally, context is considered as multi-dimensional notion comprising setting, cognitive context and mutual knowledge, socio-cultural context and discursive sequences.

Horn and Kecskes (2013: 262) state that discourse pragmatics is an attempt at widening the realm of pragmatics via emphasizing the importance of the social and cultural restrictions for interaction besides the linguistic and semantic properties of utterances. It aims at producing a sophisticated image of the functions and connectedness of pragmatics and discourse in the process of interactional and intercultural interaction.

8. Discourse Pragmatics: Frameworks

According to Blum-Kulka and Hamo (2011: 143), pragmatics initiates in the school of ordinary language philosophy connected with the works of John Austin, John Searle and H. Paul Grice. Work in this tradition captured the main facets of language use as a social action and came up with particular analytic frameworks for understanding the way language functions. These frameworks are then embraced by students of discourse and used in the analysis of actual sequences of text and talk in context rather than individual utterances as in classic pragmatics. Such research tradition is referred to as Discourse Pragmatics.

8.1 Speech Acts

The notion of speech act is first introduced by Austin (1962), and then developed by Austin‘s student, Searle (1969).

In his book, How to Do Things with Words, Austin (1962) proposes that when articulating certain utterances speakers perform certain actions. According to Austin, there are three types of act that an utterance performs: locutionary act, illocutionary act, and prelocutionary act. However, he confines his use of the term speech act to refer exclusively to the second type of act, i. e illocutionary act (Levinson, 1983: 236)

According to Moeschiler (1998: 2), there exists an argument among philosophers and linguists concerning the stretching of speech act theory to discourse analysis. The essence of this argument is the idea that conversation consists of a series of speech acts. This argument is as follows:

“Speech acts are not isolated moves in communication: they appear in more global units of communication, defined as conversations or discourses.” (Vanderveken and Kubo, 2002: 240)

In this regard, Van Dijk (1977: 213) states that speech acts usually occur in sequences such as an assertion followed by an explanation or addition, an assertion followed by a correction or alternative, or an assertion followed by a denial or contradiction. For example:

I need money. Can you lend me a thousand dollars?

In the example above, the first speech act is executed to establish conditions for the following speech act. It can be said that the former provides a reason for the latter. Hence, it may alter the context of communication in a way that the speech act of request becomes not only appropriate but also a normal act (Van Dijk, 1980:185).

Similarly, Ferrara (1980: 234) says that speech acts customarily occur in series where they are issued via speakers who are involved in rule- governed acts like debating, making conversation, proposing bills in parliament and the like. For instance:

There are thirty people in here. Could you open the window?

The utterance above is possible to be delivered in a stuffy classroom via someone near enough to someone else sitting by the window. Here, the speaker‘s principal goal is to get the window open whereas his subsidiary goal is to supply a good justification for the request (ibid: 235).

It is worth emphasizing that the speech act sequences cited above are produced by solitary speakers, but it is possible for sequences of speech acts to be issued by different speakers as in conversation. In this case, such sequences are referred to as adjacency pairs.

The notion of 'adjacency pairs‘ is originally introduced by Schegolff and Sacks (1973:73-74). They propose that there exists a category of strictly interconnected sequences of turns that they call adjacency pairs. Examples are question-answer, greeting-greeting, request-acceptance, etc. According to Coulthard (1985: 70), adjacency pairs are fundamental structural ingredients in exchanges because they can be employed for initiating and concluding a conversation.

It is worth emphasizing that adjacency pairs is a notion which reflects how much pragmatics and discourse analysis are interrelated. This is due to the fact that they are composed of basic pragmatic ingredients (sequences of speech acts) occurring in the course of a conversation, an area which falls within the domain of discourse analysis.

8.2 Conversational Implicature

Brown and Yule (1983: 31) mention that the term implicature is adopted by Grice (1975) to deal with those aspects of meaning that a speaker implies beyond what he literally states. According to Mey (2001: 450), this word is derived from the verb to imply. Consequently, a conversational implicature refers to something that is left embedded in conversation. That is why pragmatics is concerned with implicatures.

Thomas (1995: 56) suggests that Grice‘s theory is an attempt at elucidating the process in which the hearer moves from the level of expressed meaning to that of implied meaning. According to Levinson (1983: 101) Grice proposes four essential maxims guiding the undertaking of conversation, which together convey a broad cooperative principle.

The cooperative principle reads as follows:

Make your contribution such as required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged. (ibid)

The conversational maxims supporting the cooperative principle include the maxims of quality, quantity, relevance, and manner.

According to Grice (1975: 49) cited in Eemeren and Grootendorst (1984: 120), it is assumed that conversationalists abide by these maxims when they are engaged in a conversational encounter. However, they often breach them to implicate a hidden meaning, i. e. implicature, as in:

Johnny: Hey Sally let’s play marbles

Johnny’s Mother: How is your homework getting along Johnny?

In this instance, Johnny‘s mother violates the maxim of relevance in order to convey an additional meaning. She reminds her son that he may not yet be free to play marbles (Levinson, 1983: 111).

According to Sauerland and Schumacher (2015: 6), when speakers intend to express a certain meaning, they usually employ diverse components which go beyond the linguistic capabilities. Nevertheless, listeners are somewhat accustomed to the various factors speakers resort to and therefore often succeed in uncovering the meaning the speaker wishes to convey. As a result, the meaning of an utterance is possible to be left unspecified.

For example, the sentence The boys have arrived could be produced with diverse intentions. It could be said by a parent hosting a party to announce that it is time to serve the cake. However, it could be uttered by a Mafia boss to produce a threat to someone or by a robber to warn a partner that the police have gotten to the scene (ibid).

According to Thomas (1995: 57), Grice suggests that there are two different types of implicature: conventional and conversational. These are similar in that they both express an extra level of meaning which goes beyond the semantics of the words spoken. In conventional implicature, however, the very implicature always occurs independent of the context in opposition to conversational implicature where implied meaning differs based on the context.

It is assumed that Grice‘s model can be applied to all forms of communication. However, the case of language is the most interesting one because of the fact that the grammar of sentence meanings provides an infinite array of possibilities to the speaker (Sauerland and Schumacher, 2015: 6)

8.3 Presuppositions

Crystal (2003: 410) argues that a presupposition refers to something presumed by a speaker when uttering a specific sentence in apposition to what is explicitly stated.

Broadly speaking, speakers regularly formulate their messages depending on the presumptions regarding what their hearer previously knows. Such presumptions are possible to be wrong, but they determine much of what speakers say in their actual language use (Yule, 1985:100). Sbisa (1999: 8) suggests that pragmatic presuppositions refer to the assumptions shared by the speaker and hearer which constitute the background of their ongoing discourse. Some of these shared background assumptions have linguistic markers or triggers.

In pragmatics, two major types of presupposition are discussed: conventional and pragmatic presupposition. The former is less reliant on context than the latter and is typically tied up to specific linguistic forms. For instance, would you like some coffee? suggests that coffee is already prepared. Nevertheless, pragmatic presuppositions are context-dependent and arise from the use of an utterance in a specific context (Paltridge, 2006: 60).

Prior to that, Yule (1996: 27-28) suggests that there are three types of presupposition: existential, lexical and structural. Existential presuppositions are associated with definite descriptions, lexical presuppositions are those arisen by certain forms such as factive verbs, and structural presuppositions are linked to specific syntactic structures such as cleft constructions.

As for discourse analysis, Polyzou (2014: 123) states that presuppositions are currently utilized in the critical approaches to discourse analysis. It is proven that they are decisive to reveal naturalized ideologies underlying discourse, and scrutinize manipulative functions of discourse, particularly strategies making it socially or cognitively difficult to challenge ideological presumptions.

8.4 Reference

Reference is a notion which is central to discourse analysis because it is a basic meaning of textual cohesion and coherence.

In this regard, Halliday and Hasan (1970: 31) propose that cohesion can be provided by relationships involving reference. They assert that in every language there exist specific items having the property of reference. That is, rather than being interpreted in their own right, they look for something for their interpretation. These include personals, demonstratives and comparatives. For example:

Three blind mice, three blind mice.

See how they run! See how they run!

What distinguishes this specific type of cohesion is that the information to be recovered consists of the referential meaning, the identity of the particular thing that is being referred to. Hence, in the example above, they refers to three blind mice.

Generally speaking, reference items may be exophoric or endophoric. The latter category is subdivided into anaphoric and cataphoric (ibid: 33).

As far as pragmatics is concerned, Yule (1996: 17) mentions that it is possible to consider reference as an act in which a speaker employs linguistic formulas in order to help a listener to recognize something. Such referring expressions can assume the forms of proper nouns, noun phrases, and pronouns.

According to Birner (2013: 110), a referring expression designates a linguistic form utilized via the speaker in the pursuit of assisting the addressee to identify an entity in the world. Moreover, referring expressions belong to heterogeneous sub-classes including deixis, definite, indefinite anaphoric expressions, and demonstratives.

Yule (1996: 17) states that the selection of a certain referring expression is claimed to be grounded on the speaker‘s assumption regarding what the listener formerly identifies. Hence, in shared visual contexts, the speaker can resort to those pronouns that function deictically for appropriate reference, as in Take this. However, more expanded noun phrases can be utilized when identifications are problematic, such as Remember the old foreign guy with the funny hat?.

According to Yule (2010: 131), successful reference requires recognition of the significance of inference. Inference refers to supplementary information resorted to by the hearer in order to establish a link between what is expressed and what is left implicit. Hence, it is not possible to make sense of the following utterance without carrying out the process of inference.

A: Can I look at your Chomsky?
B: Sure, it’s on the shelf.

8.5 Politeness

According to Paltridge (2006: 72), politeness is an area of pragmatics that is of concern to people interested in looking at language from a discourse perspective. It is proposed that politeness and face are important for understanding why people decide to say things in a certain way in spoken and written discourse.

The most influential work in politeness theory is Brown and Levinson‘s (1987). They assert that their notion of face is based on that of Goffman‘s (1967) and the English folk notion of face, which ties up with notions of being embarrassed, humiliated or losing face. Face refers to the public self-image that every individual wishes to maintain for himself. Their concept of face is broken down into positive and negative face.

For Brown and Levinson, politeness is the reflection of respect of the interlocutor‘s face. In interpersonal communication, participants wish to sustain each other‘s face, and want to defend it whenever it is threatened. The underlying assumption is that face is vulnerable. That is, some acts are threatening social harmony and therefore involving softening or mitigation by means of a wide spectrum of linguistic strategies (Geyer, 2008:16).

In an earlier work, Lakoff (1973) proposes a conversational-maxim approach to politeness. As a conversational maxim, politeness can be considered as an extension of the cooperative principle, where Grice‘s maxims are complemented by other rules or principles. That is, in this model, the interpersonal rule be polite supplements the cooperative principle which she rephrase as the rule b e clear (ibid: 14).

Similarly, Leech (1983) suggests additional interactive maxims completing Grice‘s cooperative principle. He places politeness within the domain of interpersonal rhetoric, which is associated with social goals rather than illocutionary aims.

For him, some verbal acts are inherently impolite, while others are inherently polite. Consequently, politeness involves reducing the influence of impolite acts and enhancing that of polite ones (Cruz, 2015: 6).

It is asserted that the shortcoming of these pragmatic models is their extreme dependence on utterance-level. That is, politeness is presumed to

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Pragmatics Integrated with Other Disciplines
University of Babylon
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pragmatics, integrated, other, disciplines
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Fareed Hameed Al-Hindawi (Author)Waleed Ridha H. Al-Juwaid (Author), 2019, Pragmatics Integrated with Other Disciplines, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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