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Pragmatics (Oxford Textbooks in Linguistics) [Paperback]

Yan Huang
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

23 Nov 2006 0199243689 978-0199243686
Yan Huang provides an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the central topics in pragmatics-implicature, presupposition, speech acts, and deixis. He also includes three 'interface' chapters on pragmatics and cognition (including relevance theory), pragmatics and semantics, and pragmatics and syntax. The survey and analyses are based on a rich collection of data drawn from a wide range of the world's languages.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (23 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199243689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199243686
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 16.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

[A]n excellent textbook in pragmatics. ... Huang's achievement is impressive. Journal of Pragmatics As for textbooks in pragmatics, there have been some on the market (see e.g., Cummings 2005, Grundy 2000, Levinson 1983, Mey 2001, Verschueren 1999), but the present one under review stands out. ... Students of pragmatics, philosophy of language in general, Gricean pragmatics, relevance theory and anaphora in particular will find this textbook useful and valuable. While all topics are introduced in terms accessible to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, this text, authoritative and up-to-date, can serve as a valuable resource for scholars from pragmatics and neighbouring areas of inquiry who wish to keep abreast of advances in the discipline. International Cognitive Linguistics Association Book Reviews This new publication by Professor Huang ... gives a very thorough introduction to this subdiscipling in linguistics, which is becoming increasinly interwined with psychology and neurolinguistics. ... I would therefore recommend this introductory text to any postgraduates or researchers in psycholinguistics. The Psychologist [T]he book is very thorough in its coverage of topics within the field. Mindful of its student audience, it also has extensive study questions, examples, and glossaries. My overall impressions is that it is a valuable textbook to anyone in the field of pragmatics. The Linguist List

About the Author

Yan Huang is Professor of Theoretical Linguistics at the University of Reading. He was a College Research Fellow in Linguistics at the University of Cambridge from 1988-1991, and a University Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Oxford from 1991-1993. He is the author of three books: Yingyu Changyong Duanyu Bianxi (Fujian Jiaoyu 1985), The Syntax and Pragmatics of Anaphora (Cambridge University Press 1994), and Anaphora: A Cross-Linguistic Study (Oxford University Press 2000).

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive book 22 April 2011
Format:Paperback
I did not regret the purchase of this book. It was as I expected to be. The book is divided into two parts. The first is concerned with the 'central topics' in pragmatics as Huang sees it. The first part explained implicatures, presupposition, speech acts and deixis. The second part titled 'pragmatics and interfaces' addresses the relation between cognition, semantics and syntax and pragmatics. The book is adopting the Anglo-American view of pragmatics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great 6 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i needed this for my uni essay after my other library copy was withdrawn this was here in two days.... exactly what i needed :)
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars one of the best 3 May 2009
By Timothy Tiller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Explaining pragmatics has got to be a difficult task, but professor Huang does an excellent job at it. The writing style is smooth and not packed too tight with technical information, making it a pleasant textbook to work with, yet it informs you very well.

One outstanding feature of this textbook is that it has 3 chapters on the interface between pragmatics and the cognitive, semantic, and sytax side of linguistics, a real plus. Unlike some textbooks, this one does not have a long drawn out cryptic introduction. The excercises at the end of the chapters are balanced (not to hard, not to easy) and appear to be well thought out.

I highly recommend it, and would give it a 5 star rating, except for an incorrect statement on page 102-103, where an illocutionary force of a speech act is made out to be the same as the illocutionary point. There is an important and fundamental distinction between them as pointed out by Searle (a founder of speech act theory) and Daniel Vanderveken (see Expression and meaning p.3, and Speech Act Theory and Pragmatics p.252-253)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hebraist Who Loved This Book 26 Mar 2012
By Adam Blauser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am currently studying Biblical Hebrew and Ancient Near Eastern Languages at the masters level, and I heard from one of my professors about this field of linguistics known as Pragmatics which really intrigued me, but, unfortunately, there were no classes in Pragmatics at the school I currently attend. Already having used Andrew Carnie's textbook [Syntax, a Generative Introduction] to learn syntax, I wondered if I could learn Pragmatics the same way. I chose this textbook in my attempt.

First of all, learning Pragmatics is difficult. I don't know whether it is just simply different than the way most people think about language, or whether the concepts are complex, or maybe it is a combination of the two. Nonetheless, Huang's textbook was clear and helpful. I found that if I took it slow, and made sure I understood before I moved on, Huang's textbook explained in detail what I needed to know in order to have an understanding of the field of pragmatics. The examples were especially helpful in illustrating the main concepts. After reading the examples in the book, I found myself seeing example after example of things like implicatures, presupposition, and speech acts, not only in the Hebrew Bible, but in my everyday interaction with people at work, at church, or at home. Pragmatics, and Huang's textbook imparticular, really opened up a whole new world in understanding the language of the Hebrew Bible as well as my own language.

There are also two things about this textbook that a newcomer to any field really appreciates. The first is an extensive bibliography. Whenever you enter into the study of any field, you want to know where you can get further reading. Not only does Huang go through and lay out the positions of several well known authors in the field of pragmatics on various topics [Grice, Levinson, Sperber and Wilson, Austin, Searle, Bach, etc.], he also gives you the sources from which he derived these arguments in the bibliography so you can go and read them for yourself. The second thing I really appreciated is the fact that Huang dedicates three chapters to the relationship between pragmatics and three related fields-Cognition, Semantics, and Syntax. When you study Hebrew exegesis, such an emphasis is put on semantics that it was helpful to see how the field of pragmatics relates to semantics. Also, having studied syntax, it was interesting to see how Neo-Gricean implicature could be used to help understand anaphoric reference.

All in all, this is an excellent textbook that I would recommend to anyone interested in learning pragmatics. I look forward to more reading and more study in this fascinating field!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 12 Jan 2013
By Mamadou Lamine Ndiaye - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am totally satisfied. Everything is as expected. And I am enjoying it. I wish all my purchases be like this one.
Best!
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a glorified bibliogarphy 30 Mar 2014
By Farley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is nothing more than a glorified bibliography. The author does not seem to have any ideas of his own: everything he says was said by somebody else before. It is probably the most boring book I've ever read. The format of virtually every sentence in the book is like this:
Subject ( bibliography, bibliography, bibliography) rest of the sentence.
By the time you reach the rest of the sentence you'll have forgotten what the sentence was all about. I read up to page 20 only, skimmed ahead and saw it was going to be the same song and dance, so I gave it up.Then I tried Betty Birner's book, which is a little better but still leaves a lot to be desired. This second author is very infelicitous in her choice of examples. She lacks imagination, not to mention that she insists on saying that "implicate" and "imply" are different. All good dictionaries I consulted list them as synonyms. She claims, for instance, that in the sentence "She brought the food from the kitchen and set it on the living room table" implicates but does not imply that she brought the food before she set it on the table. Go figure. It is also not a book to be read from cover to cover: it has many sterile, theoretical discussions which lead to nothing and begs the question:
"Do linguists have a life?"
A much better bet is the book "Pragmatics" by Siobhan Chapman, who tries to bring pragmatics as close as possible to real life.
You can see that I strayed a little from Huang's book, but how can you review an "almost nothing?"
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