Ecological Pragmatics

On the 28th of November Simon Borchmann (RUC) visits SDU to present his lecture "Ecological Pragmatics" (see abstract below). The lecture takes place in room O77 from 12.00 to 14.00.


In this talk, I will justify an ecological approach to pragmatics and give examples of ecological pragmatic studies and observations. The motive for developing an ecological approach to pragmatics is that existing linguistic descriptions of language use are misleading when applied to substantial parts of everyday language use. The discrepancies between these descriptions and language use are systematic and can be explained by the fact that the descriptions have idealized certain tasks of language use and ignored others, especially, the tasks that practitioners are faced with in the performance of activities in dynamic environments. The basic assumption of ecological pragmatics is that language evolves with (i.e. both enables and is adapted to) activities. Therefore, language must be described as part of activities and in terms of its contribution to the performance of activities. The empirical basis of ecological pragmatic studies is specific activities; in this lecture examples include road cycling and soaring.

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