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Handbook of Pragmatics Online


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Hrsg. v. Jan-Ola Östman und Jef Verschueren unter Mitwirkung von Jan Blommaert (1995-2002), Chris Bulcaen (1996-2002), IPrA Research Center (International Pragmatics Association)


Inhalt :: Content

Die Online-Version des "Handbook of Pragmatics", hrsg. v. Jef Verschueren, Jan-Ola Östman, Jan Blommaert und Chris Bulcaen (1995-2002) beinhaltet umfassende, namentlich gekennzeichnete Beiträge zu Sachthemen, Forschern, Forschungsrichtungen und -methoden der Pragmatik sowie zu Notationssystemen. Die Beiträge enthalten ausführliche weiterführende Literaturangaben und werden durch einen differenzierten Sachindex und einen Autorenindex mit Hypertext-Verknüpfungen erschlossen. Updates: jährlich.

Handbook of Pragmatics Online

Verlag :: Publisher

John Benjamins Publishing Company

Preis :: Price

Preise auf Anfrage / Prices on request

Das Angebot richtet sich nicht an Verbraucher i. S. d. § 13 BGB und Letztverbraucher i. S. d. PAngV.



Handbook of Pragmatics Online, Einzelplatz


Handbook of Pragmatics Online, Site License

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Verlagsinformation :: Publisher's information

The Handbook of Pragmatics provides up-to-date information on research in the field of linguistic pragmatics, conceived as the interdisciplinary (cognitive, social, and cultural) science of natural language use. This electronic encyclopaedia of one of the major fields of language studies is a continuously updatable source of state-of-the-art information for anyone interested in language use. The Handbook of Pragmatics Online is variously searchable and flexible to meet the needs of both beginners and established scholars in the field.

It consists of topical articles (from anaphora and bilingualism to codeswitching, cohesion, discourse markers, implicitness, mass media, negation, social institutions, and terms of address) and brief biographies of eminent scholars (such as Austin, Bühler, Grice, Morris, Sapir).

In addition, it offers an extensive overview of research traditions that belong or have contributed to pragmatics (from accommodation theory, analytical philosophy and anthropological linguistics, to cognitive linguistics, construction grammar, conversation analysis, discourse analysis, literary pragmatics, neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, relevance theory, sociolinguistics, speech act theory, and universal and transcendental pragmatics, to name just a few), of research methods (from contrastive analysis and corpus analysis to ethnography, experimentation, logical analysis, statistics, and taxonomy), and of notation systems (from formal semantics to transcription systems for spoken discourse).

The index is analysis-driven: it is not so much based on words and phrases that occur literally in the contributions to the Handbook; rather, it provides a conceptual road map with extensive cross-referencing. This index parallels the one for the Bibliography of Pragmatics Online and will be made fully compatible with it at a later stage.

The Handbook of Pragmatics Online incorporates all information from Jef Verschueren, Jan-Ola Östman, Jan Blommaert & Chris Bulcaen, 1995-2002, Handbook of Pragmatics (Manual & Installments). This first version (1.0) is basically the electronic form of that printed Handbook. Future online versions will add further entries, and will include updates, rewritings and extensive revisions of already available entries.

Purpose and scope

The Handbook of Pragmatics Online places the field of research known as pragmatics at its center of interest. But our broad definition of pragmatics as the cognitive, social, and cultural study of language and communication indicates the breadth of the issues we see as relevant to the study of language use and language in use. Details of what such a broad definition of pragmatics exactly means, and what it entails for the scientific status of linguistic pragmatics, is explained in Jef Verschueren´s overview article The pragmatic perspective (which already appeared in the 1995 Manual; a more complete account is to be found in J. Verschueren, 1999, Understanding Pragmatics, London, Edward Arnold).

The overall purpose of the Handbook of Pragmatics Online is that it should function as a tool in a search for coherence in the sense of cross-disciplinary intelligibility, in this necessarily interdisciplinary field of scholarship.

To the extent that theories - in the sense of coherent and systematically organized sets of assumptions, principles and procedures - can be said to have a central position at all in pragmatics, none of the current ones are adequate to capture the full richness of simple but fundamental intuitions about what it means to use language. Moreover, it would be pretentious to believe, at our present state of knowledge about the use of language, that anything exceeding the barest outline of a program leading to a sufficiently sophisticated theory could be formulated right now. Nor is it clear that it would be desirable to have one theory, since theoretical depth is more likely to result from the availability of competing models, or even competing paradigms - as we have witnessed in recent decades as proponents of monologism vs. dialogism have explored very different facets of language use. The Handbook of Pragmatics Online is primarily intended to organize our present limited knowledge in such a way as to stimulate future research and interdisciplinary debate, and to reduce the risks inherent in disconnected fragmentary studies.

Even this limited aim for the Handbook may seem overly ambitious. Yet there are good reasons to strive for greater coherence, even if it is not the intention to produce one overarching theory. The jumble of scientific enterprises with the label `pragmatic' is marked by such a high degree of fragmentation that two linguists with slightly different methodological and terminological backgrounds might be unable to understand each other when talking about the same subject, even if the basic points they are trying to make are very similar. A reasonably coherent way of organizing knowledge about pragmatic aspects of language is indispensable if we want to achieve a minimal degree of comparability across topics of inquiry, across terminologies, and across methodologies. Such comparability is a conditio sine qua non for any form of fruitful cooperation (which has been recognized for ages in the sciences as a basic requirement for the accelerated growth of insights). Without comparability across methodologies and terminologies, and without inter(sub)disciplinary cooperation, we cannot expect to have the means to undertake any serious applicability of our insights in areas such as language teaching, the treatment of speech disorders, international and intercultural communication, or natural language processing systems, to name just a few of the more important ones.

There is no doubt that the International Pragmatics Association has exerted a beneficial influence on the international development of the multidisciplinary field of pragmatics, by means of its regular International Pragmatics Conferences, its participation in the organization of smaller-scale events, its publications, and the like. The Handbook of Pragmatics can clearly be situated in the same kind of context, and now, the Handbook of Pragmatics Online seeks to become yet another outlet and means in this continuous search for (inter)disciplinary coherence. It follows that the major task of the Handbook of Pragmatics Online is not so much the search for unity as the struggle against counterproductive fragmentation. It should, therefore, represent a continuous exercise in flexibility, rather than an attempt to impose a monolithic and unchangeable framework. In other words, it is not intended to consolidate a new, artificial, field of research, but to enhance understanding by promoting communication across the various (sub)disciplines which are, in part or in their totality, relevant to pragmatics.

Some basic options follow from this brief description of the purpose and scope of the Handbook of Pragmatics Online.

  • Firstly, the primary aim of the Handbook of Pragmatics Online is to provide easy access, for scholars with widely divergent backgrounds but with converging interests in the use and functioning of language, to the different topics, traditions and methods which, together, make up the field of pragmatics, in its broadest sense.

  • Secondly, it is not intended as a textbook per se, nor is it intended to be a forum for new research; rather, it pertains first and foremost to be a state-of-the-art report. The governing principle is that it will not be a once-and-for-all ready presentation of what goes on in the field of pragmatics, but that it is a reference work to be continuously updated. In principle this will be a process taking place over an indefinite time span. The main caveat in relation to an attempt to keep up with new developments, is to make sure that whatever is of value in "outdated" trends and ideas should remain accessible. If the right balance is found between historical accuracy and the timely recording of innovative work, the Handbook of Pragmatics Online can develop into a major instrument of real scientific growth.

  • Thirdly, the intended target audience is a wide, international and interdisciplinary academic community covering the entire range of the humanities, and the social, cultural, and cognitive sciences. In addition, it wants to address any individual with a personal or professional interest in the problems of language use.

  • Fourthly, given the general purpose and scope, and given the practical options they entail, a special problem is posed by the strong need for a transcultural approach which pays due attention to the treatment of non-western traditions. A predominantly "western" slant can easily be detected in this first version of the Handbook of Pragmatics Online. Rather than reflecting a choice, this is merely the result of circumstances, in particular the restrictedness of knowledge readily available to the editors during the preparation of the project. In terms of active choices, a different picture is anticipated for the future development of the Handbook. That is, non-western concepts and traditions, whenever relevant, will become an integral part of the presentation: such linguistic traditions, as well as related disciplines, will be systematically screened for the ways in which they provide insight into the functioning of language. This search was seriously undertaken in our work on the paper-published version of the Handbook of Pragmatics, but we feel we have so far not been successful enough. This first online version will therefore retain this inadequacy, but we foresee a change for the better with the help of the international Editorial Board, which coincides with the IPrA Consultation Board, and with the help of the international network of scholars in the International Pragmatics Association.


The Handbook of Pragmatics Online primarily addresses the needs of students, researchers, scholars and experts on language and linguistics, and places the field of research known as pragmatics at its center of interest. But the publication is anything but intended for only a particular group of students and academics: it wants to address any individual with a personal or professional interest in the problems of language use and communication, such as:

- linguists

- sociologists

- anthropologists

- historians

- philosophers

- communication specialists

- marketing professionals

- journalists

- writers

- editors

- teachers

- translators and interpreters

- language specialists in business and institutions

- literary critics

- politicians

- public service servants

- lawyers

- medical practitioners

- behavior therapists

- social workers

- psychologists

- business managers

- human resource professionals

- (intercultural) organization specialists

- media specialists

- information specialists

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