AUTHOR: Ariel, MiraTITLE: Pragmatics and Grammar SERIES: Cambridge Textbooks in LinguisticsPUBLISHER: Cambridge University PressYEAR: 2008 Dinha T. Gorgis, Jadara University, Irbid, JordanSUMMARY
Pragmatics and Grammar
is a book that attempts to resolve a number of intriguing problems related to the complex relationship between grammar and pragmatics. Whilemaintaining the mainstream conviction about the grammar/pragmatics division of labor, the author seems to be more willing to announce a
between thetwo, though admitted (explicitly and/or implicitly) to be at times uneasy bedfellows,than keep them
. If they are kept absolutely distinct from each other, assuggested by standard analyses, Ariel argues that accounts for grammaticization andsemanticization will not be possible (cf. pp. xiii; 257). The book opens with a prefacefollowed by an introductory chapter and six more chapters distributed over three parts, each of which addressing questions intended to be answered on the basis of her mostly natural linguistic/discoursal examples collected from various sources, mainlyrepresentative of Hebrew and English. Original examples and their glosses can be found at:0780521559942/org.gecambrid.www
A cursory look at the rich list of references, followed by two indexes, is indicative of the tremendous efforts she has exerted on preparing the book.
Chapter 1: Grammar, pragmatics, and what's between them (pp. 1-24) draws our attention to the fact that although we need to draw a distinction between grammar, ascorrelated with a set of codes, and pragmatics, as correlated with different types of inferences, to which part I is devoted, we equally need to account for how inferencescross over and become codes. In addition to being content with "the now wellaccepted assumption that we always communicate by combining codes (grammar)with inferences (pragmatics)" (p.3), which means that inferences constitute an integral part of grammar by definition, the author is committed to the issue of cross-over which is believed to have serious implications for grammaticization and/or semanticization and hence the on-going development of current grammars. Arielappeals to Grice's pragmatic theory; for since it is assumed "that every act of communication is actually
" (p. 4), i.e. involving additional or complementary interpretation, it follows that all pragmatic theories are essentiallyGricean. As such, the author's position in this book "is contra the assumption made byother linguists, that there must be a purely grammatical literal meaning whichcorresponds to the complete utterance (usually assumed to be a single complete proposition) ….[for it] may well be a combined grammatical/pragmatic representationin most cases" (p. 24). Chapter 2: Distinguishing the grammatical and the extragrammatical: referentialexpressions (pp. 27-67) focuses on some referential expressions, mostly definiteexpressions and pronouns. In order to provide arguments for drawing the division of labor between interpretations and language use conditions whosegrammatical/pragmatic identity is opaque, presuppositions are given a special