chapter  8
14 Pages

Pragmatics

ByJONATHAN CULPEPER, CLAIRE HARDAKER

As a field, pragmatics deals with the construction and understanding of meanings in social interaction. This includes implied and inferred meanings, intentional and unintentional meanings, the dynamic and the emergent-in short, with phenomena that leave little overt trace in the text or are even entirely ‘invisible’. At first glance, then, pragmatics would seem like a non-starter for a corpus-based approach, since corpus methods and corpus searches, traditionally at least, rely on stable linguistic forms that can be consistently found and readily counted. Despite this apparent problem, the pursuit of ‘corpus pragmatics’ seems to be gaining momentum, as can be seen with the publication of major volumes and overview papers (e.g. Jucker, Schreier, & Hundt, 2009; Romero-Trillo 2008; Jucker 2013; Taavitsainen et al. 2014).