Variational Pragmatics: A Focus on Regional Varieties in Pluricentric Languages

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Klaus Peter Schneider, Anne Barron
John Benjamins Publishing, 2008 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 371 pages
This collection of papers is designed to establish variational pragmatics. This new field is situated at the interface of pragmatics and dialectology and aims at systematically investigating the effect of macro-social pragmatic variation on language in action. As such, it challenges the widespread assumption in the area of pragmatics that language communities are homogeneous and also addresses the current research gap in sociolinguistics for variation on the pragmatic level. The introductory chapter establishes the rationale for studying variational pragmatics as a separate field of inquiry, systematically sketches the broader theoretical framework and presents a framework for further analysis. The papers which follow are located within this framework. They present empirical variational pragmatic research focusing on regional varieties of pluricentric languages. Speech acts and other discourse phenomena are addressed and analysed in a number of regional varieties of Dutch, English, French, German and Spanish. The seminal nature of this volume, its empirical orientation and the extensive bibliography make this book of interest to both researchers and students in pragmatics and sociolinguistics.

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