Pragmatic Acquisition


INTRODUCTION In communications, one meaning or one function can be said with various form / structure. For instruction others, speaker can express it by imperative sentence, declarative sentence, or even with interrogative sentence. In communication, we sometimes experience of miscommunication because of we have a difference perception of a speaker’s intended meaning. From the simple description above, pragmatics is the correct one to be learnt because pragmatics helps the learners to deliver and interpret meaning of utterances. Pragmatics tends to analyze the unctionalism than formalism.

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Pragmatics is the study of the relationships between linguistic forms and the users of those forms (Yule, 1997:4). Pragmatics concerns with the context and function of the speaker’s utterance and how the relationship between speaker’s utterance and context or situation is. Various acts in society, such as representative act, directive, expressive, and declarative, indirect and direct act, or combination from two or more act, are things or interesting phenomena to be studied pragmatically. Every body experiences pragmatics acquisition since he/she s a child.In the acquisition of pragmatics children are faced with learning diverse skills. They need to learn amongst other things to take the listeners perspective into account and choose the correct pragmatic function they want to convey. There has been considerable work on the acquisition of pragmatics. Pragmatic is different from semantics in the case of pragmatic studies about act with set of its analysis in the form of acting to say (speech act), while semantics analyze meaning set of lingual (sentence or word) with set of its analysis in the form of meaning.

Those phenomena interest the writer to do a library research in order to find more about the information relates to the pragmatics acquisition and the relationship of the semantics and pragmatics. In short, the writer would like to discuss some fundamental issues of pragmatics. To be more specific, it discusses the following issues: 1 . What does the pragmatic mean? 2. What does pragmatic acquisition mean? 3. How is the development of pragmatics acquisition? 4. What is the correlation between pragmatics and semantics? II.

PRAGMATICS ACQUISITION A. THE DEFINITION OF PRAGMATICSThe writer has collected several definitions of pragmatics and will be explained briefly. Pragmatics studies the abstraction concepts and the relation of concept representing sign (Montague, cited in Hasan, 1993: 38). Here after, Montague says that pragmatics studies the “idexical” or “deictic”. In this pragmatics congeniality relates to reference theory or deixis. Language usage shows certain reference according to its usage.

Levinson (1983: 75) in his book, Pragmatics, gives a definition 0T pragmatlcs. Pragmatics Is tne study 0T tnose relations Detween context ana anguage which provided the basic of the explanation of language meaning.In this limitation means to comprehend the usage of our language, we have to comprehend the context of the language. Levinson states that pragmatics is the study of the ability of language usage to correlate sentences with appropriate context. Pragmatics is the study of those relations between language and context that are grammaticalized, or encoded in the structure of a language. (Levinson, 1983: 9) Leech (1983:6 in May 1993: 43) sees pragmatics is as a scope of study in linguistics which has related to semantics.

In Leech’s word: The view that semantics and pragmatics are distinct, though complementary and interrelated fields of study, is easy to appreciate subjectively, but is more difficult to Justify in objective way. It is best supported negatively, by pointing out the failures or weaknesses of alternative views (Leech, 1983: 6). Leech distinguishes three possible ways of structuring this relationship: semanticism (pragmatics inside semantics), pragmaticism (semantics inside pragmatics) and complementarism (they both complement: each other, but are otherwise independent areas of research.According to Noss and Llamzon (1986: 4) Pragmatics is the ability of using Language in communicating which requiring the adjustment of language form with determinant factors communicative act. The factors that include are: who the speaker is, with whom, for what purpose, in what situation, in what context, what media and in what event.

Therefore, it can be concluded that the nature of pragmatics refers to the ability of language user to use his/her language according to determinant factors in communicative act and pay attention to the principles of Language usage correctly.In other side, Yule (1996;3) mentioned 4 pragmatics efinitions, those are (1) a science that study speaker meaning, (2) a science that study meaning based to its context; (3) a science that study speaker’s utterance meaning and (4) a science that study speaker’s expression based on social context. Thomas (1995; 2) explained the tendency of pragmatics into two parts. First, by the social viewpoint, it is the relationship of the pragmatics and speaker meaning.

Second, by the cognitive viewpoint, it connects pragmatics to the act interpretation.More over, Thomas (1995:22) said that meaning is a dynamic process by engaging the earer, speaker, act context and utterance meaning. From the explanation above, Thomas concludes that pragmatics studies utterance inside interaction. There are quite a lot limitations or definitions about pragmatics. Next, we are going to give the summaries according to the previous definitions.

The summaries are as this follow: (1) Pragmatics studies the relationship between sign and interpreter, while semantics studies the relationship between sign and object of sign. 2) Pragmatics studies Language usage, while semantics studies meaning. (3) Pragmatics studies language and functional perspective. It means this science tries to explain the aspects of linguistic structure.

(4) Pragmatics studies the relationship between language and context. (5) Pragmatics studies deixis, implicature, presupposition, speech act, and reference. (6) Pragmatics studies how to use language in communication, especially the relationship among sentence, context and user’s situation. 1.IMPLICATURE The word implicature is derived the verb “to imply’, as is its cognate implication. The term is used by Grice (in Mey 1993: 99) to account for what speaker can imply, suggest, or mean as distance from what the speaker literally say.

A conversational implicature is, therefore something that is implied in conversation, that is, something which is left implicit in actual language use. Implicatures are primary examples of more being communicated than is said, but in order for them to be interpreted, some basic cooperative principle must first be assumed to be in operation.We can consider the following example: A : I am out of petrol B : there is a garage round corner In this exchange, Grice suggests that B would be infringing the instruction be relevant if he was gratuitously stating a fact about the word via literal meaning of his tterance. The implicature derived from the assumption that speaker B is adhering to the cooperative principle. In order to arrive the implicature, we have to know certain fact about the word, that garage sell petrol, and that round the corner is not a great distance way. We would like to emphasize the fact that implicature is a pragmatics aspect of meaning.It is partially derived from the literal meaning of an utterance, it produces a specific context which is shared by the speaker and the hearer.

2. PRESUPPOSITION Presupposition is defined in term of assumption the speaker makes about what he hearer is like to accept without challenge (Mey, 1993: 29). The nation of assumed “common ground’ is also involved in such characterization of presupposition and can be found in this definition: “Presupposition are what is taken by a speaker to be the common ground of the participant in the conversation”.In both quotations, the indicated source of presupposition is the speaker. A : when did you stop smoking? 3. SPEECH ACT The speech act theory originates in Austin’s (1962: 44) that while sentence can often be used to report states of affairs, the utterance of some sentences be treated s the performance of act.

The use of term speech act covers ‘action’ such as ‘requesting, ‘questioning’ and ‘informing. In speech act, we study three components, locution, illocution, and perlocution.The Locutionary aspect has to do with the utterance of sentence, the illocutionary aspect is the meaning of the statement, whereas the perlocutionary aspect deals with bringing out the effect on the hearer (Levinson, 1983 in Mey, 1993: 112-113).

For more understand, lets follow this example bellow: A : I am thirsty From the sentence, the locutionary act is the speaker’s throat was dry. The llocutionary act is the speaker would ask some drink but he doesn’t say directly. The perlocutionary act is the effect on the hearer, and this sentence may bring effect the hearer will come with a glass of water. .

REFERENCE I ne words tnat speaker produces usually use several utterances tnat may use an initial in direct or indirect for example, he, her, that article, that book and so on. The choice of utterance is based on the speaker’s assumption to everything that has been known by the hearer. Reference means that the speaker used the language or utterance in linguistic form which the hearer can know or catch those utterances.

Look at this following example: A : Can I borrow your Shakespeare? B : Yea, it’s over there on the table The italic item can be said as a reference.We assume that It’s refers to Shakespeare. The speaker used ‘it’s’. The speaker believes that the hearer can catch his intended meaning. 5. DEIXIS Deixis is pointing via language. Deixis is an expression of obvious examples of language which we can only understand in the speaker’s intended meaning.

The deixis expressions are: here, there, this, that, now, then, yesterday, l, you, him, her, them. Example: * You’ll have to bring that back tomorrow, because they aren’t here now. Out of context, this sentence is extremely vague.It contains a large number of expressions (you, that, tomorrow, they, here, now) which depend for their interpretation on the immediate physical context in which they are uttered. 6. POLITENESS To make a nice relationship in communication we have to pay attention to the language courtesy (politeness). The politeness in communication can be seen as the effort to avoid the conflict. The politeness is the result of the norm application especially social norm and the result of communication strategy.

You can see and compare these two sentences bellow as the example: 1). excuse me, Mr.Buckingham, but can I talk to you for a minute? (2). HI, Mr. Buckingham, got a minute? Those two sentences have the same meaning, asking a minute to talk.

But, we will see that first sentence shows politeness. The speaker respects the hearer. And as we know the polite utterance doesn’t imprint instruction. C.

PRAGMATICS ACQUISITION Acquisition is the act or process of achieving mastery of a language or linguistic rule or element. So, we can say that pragmatics acquisition is the process of achieving mastery of linguistic rule to understand the speaker’s intended meaning.Every body experiences pragmatics acquisition since he/she is a child.

In the acquisition of pragmatics children are faced with learning diverse skills. They need to learn amongst other things to take the listeners perspective into account and choose the correct pragmatic Tunctlon tney want to convey. I nere nas Deen conslaeraDle work on the acquisition of pragmatics.

Typically children begin to communicate intentionally at around the age of 9 months, some 2 to 3 months in advance of using their first words.In particular, typical toddlers use various combinations of eye gaze, esture, and nonlinguistic vocalization to express intentions to other people. To make a request for an object, for example, the child might point to the object and then look anxiously back and forth from object to adult while vocalizing in a “pleading” tone. Pragmatics is the area of language function that embraces the use of language in social contexts (knowing what to say, how to say it, and when to say it – and how to “be” with other people).Children with pragmatic difficulties have great trouble using language socially in ways that are appropriate or typical of children of their age. They ften do not understand that we take turns to talk, and they will “talk over the top of you” at times, or, at other times respond to what you say with inappropriate silences, or in a voice that is too quiet.

They may interrupt excessively and talk irrelevantly or about things the listener shows no interest in. Their communicative behavior often appears rude and inconsiderate.Pragmatics acquisition skills include: knowing that we have to answer when a question has been asked, being able to participate in a conversation by taking it in turns with the other speaker, the ability to notice and espond to the non-verbal aspects of language (reacting appropriately to the other person’s body language and ‘mood’, as well as their words), awareness that we have to introduce a topic of conversation in order for the listener to fully understand, knowing which words or what sort of sentence-type to use when initiating a conversation or responding to something someone has said, the ability to maintain a topic (or change topic appropriately, or ‘interrupt’ politely), the ability to maintain appropriate eye-contact (not too much staring, and not too much looking away) uring a conversation, and the ability to distinguish how to talk and behave towards different communicative partners (formal with some, informal with others). D. THE DEVELOPMENT OF PRAGMATICS ACQUISITION Children communicate remarkably well, even when their linguistic resources are still very limited. They persist in expressing their intentions and adults cooperate in trying to arrive at appropriate interpretations.Children use what they know, in context, to make inferences about the intentions of other. One and two-year-olds generally appear to rely on their knowledge about events in deciding how to treat equests.

By age three, they can sometimes offer explicit analysis of a situation. In short, children express their own intentions and make inferences about the intentions of others from an early age. According to Clark (Cited in Horn, 2007: 562) there are some pragmatics knowledge that children can draw on as they acquire communicative skills. Speech Acts Between 9 and 12 months age, infants start to make active efforts to attract adult attention to what interests them or what they want.

They indicate with pointing gestures. Pointing and reaching, typically present before the first words, have been ocumented by many researchers, and are generally viewed as proto-version of the speecn acts 0T assertlng (polnts) ana requesting (reacnes) (Warner ana Kaplan citea in Horn 2007: 570). Early points and reaches are combined first with single words and later with combinations of words as children become more skilled with language. Children must learn how to take into account in assessing in speaker’s intent, and hence the speech act being used. As children get older, they add to their repertoire of speech acts and to the range of forms used to convey each one.When learning anguage, children must not only be able to create language in an understandable form (locution) but must also understand that speakers have an intention (illocutionary force) and what is spoken has an effect (per locution). Reference Adults offer children extensive pragmatics information about language use. They offer information about how an unfamiliar term differs from and is related to other words in the same domain.

Whenever adults add further information about a new term, they both provide new words and connect them to their pragmatics. Mother (looking at the picture of some owls in a book with child): what are these? Those are birdies.Child: birdies Mother: and the names of these kinds of birdies they call owls. Mother: and they say “hoo-hoo” Child: hoo These child’s utterances suggest that she has probably made three inferences here: that the objects pictured belong to the category of bird (birdies), and to the subcategory owl (owls), and that this subcategory of bird says “hoo”.

Deixis Consider the exchange below between preverbal Jordan (aged 1;2) and his mother, with Jordan in his highchair looking toward a counter in the kitchen (Golinkoff cited in Horn, 2007: 562). Jordan (vocalizes repeatedly until his mother turns around) Mother (turns around to look at him) Jordan (points to one of the objects on the counter) Mother: Do you want this? holds up milk container) Jordan (shakes his head “no’) (vocalizes, continues to point) Mother: Do you want this? (holds up Jelly Jar) Jordan (shakes his head “no’) (continues to point) [two more offer-rejection pairs] Mother: This? (holds up sponge) Jordan (leans back in highchair, puts arms down, tension leaves body) Mother (hands Jordan sponge) This child is intent on communicating something, and manages to do so without words. He first has to establish Joint attention with his mother; he achieves this by etting her attention (with vocalization) then pointing at the counter. But the counter has several objects on it, and without words to pick out the one he wants, he has to one.He consistently rejects unwanted objects with a head-shake while continuing to point and vocalize until his mother hits on the thing he wants. This exchange is far from usual.

Adult use deictic terms in introductory utterances (e. g. this, that, see, here), names, and formulaic utterances to engage the child’s attention.

Once parents and young children achieve Joint attention, they can count as grounded whatever bject or action is at the focus of shared attention. Taking Turns Children begin to participate in conversation very early in acquisition. While the earliest “turns” in preverbal infants are imposed by adults who count hand-waves, smiles, and babbles as turns in babies.One-year-olds can often take a more deliberate role in contributing to conversation.

They contribute one-word utterances both in response to adult prompts and questions, and in initiating exchanges with adult. One way to assess children’s skill in conversation is to look at whether they offer pertinent information when they take a turn in an ongoing exchange, such as: nswering question and eliciting responses, Joining conversation between other family members, and contributing to conversation between a parent and older sibling. What children say on such occasions is generally relevant to the topic, and they add new information.

But they may come in late, perhaps a reflection on their lack of skill in production.The younger children were probably not yet as good at processing an ongoing conversation and, at the same time, planning their own turns, so that when they took a turn, they were often late and therefore Judged to be saying something irrelevant. Politeness To make appropriate us of politeness, children must master several different dimensions of use. They need to know the linguistic forms for marking different degrees of politeness. They must identify the pragmatic conditions on greetings and requests, for instance, according to the status, age, and sex of their co-participants (Brown and Levinson cited in Horn, 2007: 574).

Up until age four, children rely mainly on direct questions and imperatives.As they get older, they add expressions like please, they give reasons, they softeners of various kinds, and they start to state their wishes in generic form. By age six, they can produce a range of syntactic forms, but do not yet modulate their requests appropriately. By age seven or so, they can carry both form and content in making polite requests. These findings are consistent with children’s Judgments of politeness. Ill. SEMANTICS AND PRAGMATICS Pragmatics is another branch of linguistics that is concerned with meaning.

Pragmatics and semantics can be viewed as different parts, or different aspects, of the same general study. Both are concerned with people’s ability to use language meaningfully.Semantics is the study of the relationships between linguistic forms nd entities in the world that is how words literally connect to things (Yule, 1997:4). Semantics analysis also attempts to establish the relationships between verbal aescrlptlons ana states 0T aTTalrs In tne world as accurate (true) or not, regardless 0T who produces that description. Pragmatics is the study of the relationships between linguistic forms and the users of those forms (Yule, 1997:4). The advantage of studying via pragmatics is that one can talk about people’s intended meanings, their assumptions, their purposes or goals, and the kinds of actions (for example, request) hat they are performing when they speak.The remaining two stages of analysis, semantics and pragmatics, are concerned with getting at the meaning of a sentence. In the first stage (semantics) a partial representation of the meaning is obtained based on the possible syntactic structure(s) of the sentence, and on the meanings of the words in that sentence.

In the second stage, the meaning is elaborated based on contextual and world knowledge. To illustrate the difference between these stages, consider the sentence: *He asked for the boss. From knowledge of the meaning of the words and the structure of the sentence we an work out that someone (who is male) asked for someone who is a boss.

But we can’t say who these people are and why the first guy wanted the second.If we know something about the context (including the last few sentences spoken/written) we may be able to work these things out. Maybe the last sentence was ‘ ‘Fred had Just been sacked. “, and we know from our general knowledge that bosses generally sack people and if people want to speak to people who sack them it is generally to complain about it. We could then really start to get at the meaning of the sentence – Fred wants to complain to his boss about getting sacked. Anyw???ay, this second stage of getting at the real contextual meaning is referred to as pragmatics.

The first stage – based on the meanings of the words and the structure of the sentence – is semantics.Along these lines, it is standard, Kreidler (2002: 40) says, to distinguish between what a sentence means and what a speaker intends to convey by the utterance of the sentence, and to restrict the role of semantics to explicating the meaning of sentences in terms of conditions that must be fulfilled for the sentence to be used to truthfully describe a situation. Thus, Aspects of the interpretation of tterances that do not involve truth conditions are commonly considered outside the domain of semantics. Whether an utterance is a promise, a prediction, or a question and how metaphorical expressions are understood are matters of pragmatics, not Obviously the boundary between semantics and pragmatics is vague.Searle (cited in Leech, 1993: 9) suggests putting semantics into pragmatics-semanticism. Semanticists are those who focus their study of meaning on semanticism position. On the other hand, Ross (cited in Leech, 1993: 10) suggests putting pragmatics into semantics-pragmaticism. Pragmaticists are those who focus their study of meaning n pragmatics position.

Leech tries to be in between by stating that semantics and pragmatics are different but both of them complementary-complementarism. These three views can be seen from the diagrams below. ???semantlclsm’ ‘V. CONCLUSION ???complementerlsm’ ‘ Pragmatlclsm’ Plcture 1 We found that pragmatics is the study of the relationships between linguistic forms and the users of those form.The advantage of studying via pragmatics is that one can talk about people’s intended meanings, their assumptions, their purposes or goals, and the kinds of actions (for example, request) that they are performing when they speak. Pragmatics acquisition is the process of achieving mastery of linguistic rule to understand the speaker’s intended meaning.

Every body experiences pragmatics acquisition since he/she is a child. In the acquisition of pragmatics children are faced with learning diverse skills. Children express their own intentions and make inferences about the intentions of others from an early age. Children acquire pragmatics area in terms of; deixis, reference, speech act, and taking turn.Children communicate remarkably well, even when their linguistic resources are still very limited. They persist in expressing their intentions and adults cooperate in rying to arrive at appropriate interpretations. But the pragmatics knowledge children have really only marks the beginning. They must still learn how to put their knowledge of contrast to work in identifying speech act, in deriving implicature, and in coining words, to further their goals in conversation.

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Author: Rita Johnson


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