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PRAGMATICS/ Class Code: hsm027l.

George Yule, 1996
Oxford University Press


SYNTAX: a glance in the wrong place on the internet
SEMANTICS: a glance in the wrong place on the internet
PRAGMATICS: Don’t glance in the wrong place on the internet

 Pragmatics is the study of speaker meaning. A

speaker can say something without meaning it.
A speaker can mean sth without saying it.
 Pragmatics is the study of the contribution of
context to meaning.
-He kicked the ball into the net.
-She dribbled the ball down the court and shot a basket.
-She putted the ball from two feet away.
-His racket missed the ball by mere inches.
-The ball rocketed across the alley and took down all 10 pins.
 Pragmatics is the study of how more gets
communicated than is said. (Interactors
communicate more meaning than the words
they use).



 Doobie: Did you invite Bella and Cathy?

Mary : I invited Bella.
Doobie has to do the calculation.
The Cooperative Principle (CP) is elaborated in
four sub-principles, called maxims:
-Make your contribution as informative as is
-Do not make your contribution more
informative than is required.
 QUALITY (Try to make your contribution one
that is true).
-Do not say what you believe to be false.
-Do not say that for which you lack adequate
 RELATION (Be relevant).
 MANNER (Be perspicuous).
-Avoid obscurity of expression.
-Avoid ambiguity.
-Be brief.
-Be orderly.
Thank you for giving me your book. I’ll spend
no time reading it.

1.The teacher punished the students who were
rude for good reasons.
2.Many people are lonely because they build
walls instead of bridges.
3.I’ve told you about this at least a million
times but you’re still so ignorant.
4.He drank the whole bottle.
5.There’s absolutely nothing on the telly this
6.The kettle is boiling.


1. A speaker can flout the maxim of quality by
using a metaphor.
e.g. -My house is a refrigerator in January.
-Don’t be such a wet blanket –we just
want to have fun.
-She’s got a bun in the oven.
2. A distinction must be made between
metaphorical concept and metaphorical
He was spellbound by her beauty.
She fled from his advances.
3.Conventional euphemisms can also be put in
this category.
e.g. -I’m going to wash my hands.
-garbage collector= sanitation engineer
-pass water is a euphemism for urinate.
-dishwasher= underwater ceramic
4.Hyperbole (overstatement) and litotes
(understatement) can also be put in this
e.g.- I’ve told you about this at least a million
times but you’re still so ignorant.
-I think I’m not too bad.
-There’s absolutely nothing on the telly
this evening.
5. Metonymy can also be put in this category.
e.g. I have read Shakespeare.
When we speak, we must address the
6.The last two main ways of flouting the
maxim of quality are irony and banter. An
friendly way of being offensive. Vs An offensive
way of being friendly
e.g. -If only you knew how I love being woken
up at 4 am by a firealarm.
-You’re nasty, mean and stingy. How can you
only give me one kiss?
7. There are 3 types of irony: verbal, situational
and dramatic.

The following are examples of flouting the
maxims. Identify the figures of speech. Which
maxims do they flout?
1. He kicked the bucket.
2. They are protected from the cradle to the
3. He murdered me at badminton.
4. To those who are lucky, life is a fun-fair.
5. You can be sure she’ll always add salt to the


Most of the time when you flout a maxim, you create
an implicature about something else. This strategy
allows you to be more brief in communicating by
relying on much to be inferred.
The speaker who flouts the maxim of quantity
seems to give too little or too much information.
A: Well, how do I look?
B: Your shoes are nice.
Speakers may flout the maxim by exaggerating as
in the hyperbole I’m starving. I could eat a horse.
-What an amazing baseball player John is!
(Negative comment on John’s abilities through
Similarly, a speaker can flout the maxim of quality
by using a metaphor, a euphemism, a litotes, a
banter, or a metonymy.
If speakers flout the maxim of relation, they expect
that the hearers will be able to imagine what the
utterance did not say, and make the connection
between their utterance and the preceding one(s).
A: So what do you think of Mark?
B: His flatmate’s a wonderful cook.
X: Am I in time for supper?
Y: I’ve cleared the table.
Using a Gricean analysis, we can say that the
second comment seems irrelavent to the first.
A: Where are you off to?
B: I was thinking of going out to get some of that
funny white stuff for somebody.
A: OK, but don’t be long –dinner’s nearly ready.
B speaks in an ambigious way, saying that funny
white stuff and somebody, because he is avoiding
saying ice-cream and Michelle, so that his little
daughter does not become excited and ask for ice-
cream before her meal.
Postmaster: Here’s your five-cent stamp.
Shopper, with arms full of bundles: Do I have to
stick it on myself?
Postmaster: Nope. On the envelope.
 Violating a maxim
 Infringing a maxim
*Generally infringing (a maxim) stems from an
imperfect linguistic performance (in the case of
a young child or a foreigner) or from impaired
linguistic performance brought about by
nervousness, drunkenness, excitement or
*Maxim infringement occurs when a speaker
fails to observe the maxim, although s/he has no
intention of generating an implicature and no
intention of deceiving.
Carpenter: I’m not sure what kind of wood you
would want to use for the shelves.
K: Yes, we want to have wood shelves.
 Opting out of a maxim
 Suspending a maxim
Husband: Your nagging goes in one ear and out
the other.
Wife: That’s because there’s nothing between to
stop it.

Which maxims have been flouted in the following?
1. Ann: Where are you going with the dog?
Sam: To the V-E-T.
2. Leila: Whoa! Has your boss gone crazy?
Mary: Let’s go get some coffee.
3. Teacher: Why didn’t you do your homework?
Student: May I go and get some water. I’m so


1. In pragmatics, a hedge is a mitigating word or

construction used to lessen the impact of an
utterance. Typically, hedges are adjectives or
adverbs or clauses. E.g. The party was somewhat
spoiled by the return of the parents.

2. By means of hedges, speakers take precautionary

measures to protect themselves from the negative
effect of their sayings. (They are cautious notes
expressed about how an utterance is to be taken).
3.The importance of the maxim of quality for
coorperative interaction in English may be best
measured by the number of expressions we use to
indicate that what we’re saying may not be totally
accurate. E.g.-I’m not sure if this is right, but I heard
they seperated.
-I am not an expert, but you might want to try
restarting your computer.
4. Hedges can be used to show that the speaker is
concious of the quantity maxim. E.g.
-As you probably know, I am terrified of bugs.
-So, to cut a long story short, we grabbed our stuff
and ran.
5. Hedges can be used to show that the speaker is
concious of the maxim of relation. E.g.
A: I mean, just going back to your point, I mean to me
an order form is a contract. If we are going to put sth
in then let’s keep it as general as possible.
B: Yes.
6.Hedges can be used to show that the speaker is
concious of the maxim of manner. E.g.
-Thank you Chairman. Just to clarify one point.
There is a meeting of the Police Committee on
Monday and there is an item on their budget for the
provision of their camera.

7. Hedges are pragmatic markers that attenuate

(weaken) the strength of an utterance.

1. Which maxims are the speakers aware of in the
following utterances.
-I won’t bore you with all the details, but it was an
exciting trip.
-I may be mistaken, but I thought I saw a wedding
ring on her finger.
-I’m not sure if this makes sense, but the car had
no lights.
-Perhaps you can sit over here, sir!
-I’m sorry. He’s kind of lost his interest in buying
the car.
Low pragmatic speaking ability should be avoided.

1. Communication is governed by a ‘cooperative
principle’ and ‘maxims of conversation’. (Gricean
2. In many cultures, it can be socially unacceptable
to always say exactly what is in one’s mind unless
one knows the hearer very well. Thus we might
prefer not to say to a shop assistant, as we hand
back a dress, “This looks awful on; I don’t want it
afterall”, but rather “I’ll go away and think about it
and maybe come back later.” We are not lying: we
know that she knows that we have no intention of
returning. (Cutting 2002: 36)

3. Sperber and Wilson (1995) say that all maxims can

be reduced to the maxim of relation. The maxim of
quantity can be expressed as ‘give the right
amount of relevant information’, the maxim of
quality can be stated as ‘give sincere relevant
information’, and the maxim of manner ‘give
unambigious relevant information’.

4. Discourse analysis calls the quality of being

meaningful and unified COHERENCE; pragmatics
calls it RELEVANCE.

5. The danger with banter is that it can offend if the

hearers do not recover the conversational
implicature, or if they suspect there is an element
of truth in the words.
6. Flouting the maxims give rise to implicatures. Most
of the time when you flout a maxim, you create an
implicature about something else.
7. One particularly interesting kind of pragmatic/
discourse phenomenon is the use of hedging.

8. Speakers are not only aware of the maxims, but

that they want to show that they are trying to
observe them.

1. True or False. For Grice, metaphors result from
the flouting of the first maxim (quality).
2. True or False. Irony is an offensive way of being
3. True or False. Banter is a friendly way of being
4. Irony consists of verbal irony and situational
irony and dramatic irony.
5. T or F. Pragmatics helps you (to) make sense of
people, and what they have in their mind.
6. Hedges are words whose job is to make things


1. Implicature is an additional unstated meaning

that has to be assumed in order to maintain
the cooperative principle.
2. Implicatures can be calculated by the
listeners via inference(s). (by making the
necessary inferences) (by drawing logical
3. Conversational implicatures happen when
speakers mean more than what they say. It is
a prime example of more being
communicated than is said. (Speakers are
able to communicate more information than
the words they use).
Bill: I hope you brought the bread and the
Dexter: Ah, I brought the bread.

Dexter has conveyed more than he said.

 A: Will Sally be at the meeting this afternoon?

B: Her car broke down.
C: Where’s Bill?
D: There’s a yellow VW outside Sue’s house.

X: Bill and Martha are leaving tomorrow.

Y: I’ll miss Martha.
X: You were not so fond of Bill then?
Y: Hardly so. I just meant that Martha’s a real treasure.
 Alice: What are the police doing? (an
interrogative asking a question)
Brenda: I’ve just arrived.
(Brenda made an apparently non-relevant remark)
 Wife : That’s the telephone.
Husband: I’m in the bath.
Wife : OK

Every utterance creates an expectation of

relevance in the hearer.
3. Properties of conversational implicatures.
o They are deniable. Speakers may cancel an
o They can be calculated by the listeners via
o They are not part of the conventional meaning
of linguistic expression.

4.A Conventional implicature is an implicature

which arises from the particular choice of words or
syntax, rather than from conversational maxims.
 Even Bill could solve the problem.
 Even a little child is able to solve the problem.
 Dennis isn’t here yet. (The present situation is
expected to be different at later time.
 Susan suggested black, but I chose white.
 Yesterday, Mary was happy and ready to work.
(Two statements containing static information)
 She put on her clothes and left the house.
(Two statements containing dynamic, action-
related information).

5. Properties of conventional implicatures:

 They are non-cancellable.
 They are part of the conventional meaning of a
word or construction.
Rick: Hey, coming to the wild party tonight? (invitation)
Tom: My parents are visiting.

Peter: Do you want some coffee?

Mary: Coffee would keep me awake.


1. Implicature is defined as ‘the implied meaning
generated intentionally by the speaker’. These
meanings are often made covertly, hidden
using politeness strategies.
2. Implicatures can be part of sentence meaning
or dependent on conversational context.
3. Conversational implicature consists of
particularized conversational implicature and
generalized conversational implicature.
4. Particularized conversational implicature is an
additional unstated meaning that depends on
special or local knowledge.
A: How did you get to this hotel?
B: I parked my vehicle on the third floor, over
(The meaning is unfolded by knowledge of the
world that in Indonesia motorcycles are
usually parked on the ground floor and that the
higher floors are for cars).
A: Has John arrived?
B: There is a red car in the garage.

Leila: Whoa! Has the boss gone crazy?

Mary: Let’s go get some coffee.
(Implicature with thematic switch)

5. Generalized conversational implicature is an

additional unstated meaning that does not
depend on special or local knowledge.
Doobie: Did you invite Bella and Cathy?
Mary : I invited Bella.

6. Scalar implicature refers to an additional

meaning of the negative of any value higher on
a scale than the one uttered, e.g. in saying
‘some children’ , I create an implicature that
what I say does not apply to ‘all children’.
7. [all, most, many, some, few, none]
[always, often, sometimes, seldom, never]
8. A: What time is it?
B: Some of the guests are already leaving.
Particluralized conversational implicature: “It
must be late.”
Generalized conversational implicature: “Not
all of the guests are already leaving”.
C: How was the party?
D: People left late at night.
To preserve an assumption of cooperation, we
have to infer why the addressee made an
apparently non-relevant remark.

I. Comment on the following implicatures!
Guest: Is Julie in, Ma’am?
Landlady: What time is it now?
Is the landlady a cooperative interactant?
II. Is John a teacher or a student?
John was on his way to school last Friday.
He was really worried about the math lesson.
Last week he had been unable to control the class.
It was unfair of the math teacher to leave him in charge.
Afterall, it is not a normal part of a janitor’s duty.


1. Does the above implicature belong to direct or
indirect speech act?
2. Direct and indirect speech acts.
Whenever there is a direct relationship between a
structure and a function, we have a direct
speech act. Whenever there is an indirect
relationship, we have an indirect speech act.



Declarative Make a statement

Interrogative Ask a question
Imperative Give a command, make a
Father: Is that your coat on the foor again?
Son: Yes (continued reading)
3. A declarative used to make a statement is a
direct speech act, but a declarative used to
make a request is an indirect speech act.

a. It’s cold outside

b. I hereby tell you about the weather.
c. I hereby request of you that you close the door.

This tea is really cold. (Is it to be taken as

complaint or a compliment?

4. Different structures can be used to accomplish

the same basic function.
a. Move out of the way.
b. Do you have to stand in front of the TV?
c. You’re standing in front of the TV.
d. You’d make a better door than a window.

5. One of the most common type of indirect speech

act in English has the form of an interrogative, but
is not typically used to ask a question.

a. Could you pass the salt?

b. Would you open this?
c. Have you got any cash on you?

Using direct imperative is tactless because you

risk being disobeyed. TACT= the ability to say the
right thing without making anyone upset.
6. Indirect speech acts are generally associated
with greater politeness in English than direct
speech acts.

7. Austin (1962) defined speech acts as the

actions performed in saying something.
 Statement: I lived in Paris for five years.
 Order: Pay this bill immediately.
 Question: Where are you in the sibling order?
 Prohibition: No right turn.
 Greeting: Hello
 Invitation: You must come and have dinner
with us.
 Felicitation: Happy new year.
 (Grudging) apology: I hereby apologize as
required by the magistrate.
 Compliment: You look good and healthy.
(Complimentary force)
 Promise: I’ll buy you a bicycle if you get flying
 Threatening: I’ll flatten you if you do that again.
8. On any occasion, the action performed in saying
something will consist of three related acts,
namely: locutionary act, illocutionary acts,
perlocutionary act.
^Locution: Could you hold the door open for a
^Illocution: an act of requesting the hearer to hold
the door open.
^Perlocution: The hearer holds the door open.

^Locution: Do you know what time it is?

^Illocution: an act of giving a warning to late-
arriving students.
^Perlocution: The students apologize for coming
9. A speech act is a sentence or utterance which has
both propositional (locutionary) meaning and
illocutionary force.
10. Locutionary meaning is the basic literal
meaning of an utterance.

11. Illocutionary Force Indicating Device (IFID) is

an expression where there is a slot for a
verb that explicitly names the
illocutionary force being performed.
 I’ll see you later. (=A)
 (I predict that) A.
 (I promise that) A.
 (I warn you that) A.
13. Word order and intonation are also IFIDs.
14. Speakers do not always ‘perform’ their speech
acts so explicitly, but they sometimes describe the
speech acts being performed.
Him: Can I talk to Mary?
Her: No, she’s not here.
Him: I’m asking you—can I talk to her?
Her: And I’m telling you – SHE’S NOT HERE.

I.Identify the illocutionary forces of the following
1. How about letting me do it for you? (an offer)
2. How about going for a walk? (a request)
3. I’m sorry for stepping on your toe. (an apology)
4. You are always coming late. (a complaint)
5. Shut up or I’ll lay one on you.(a command/ a threat)
6. If you don’t stop fighting, I’ll call the police.(a
II. Locution : The hedges have grown wild.
Illocution: an act of requesting the hearer to prune
the hedges.
Perlocution: The hearer pruned the hedges.
III. Are the following direct or indirect speech
acts? Identify the structural forms and the
communicative functions of the utterances.
1. Have you got a match?
2. Is that your coat on the floor again?
3. Are you going to wear that?
4. When someone says (that) I look like my
mother/ father, I take it as a ...........
5. Are the above maximally efficient


According to Searle (1979) there are five macro

classes of speech acts:
1. DECLARATIONS. Declarations are those kinds
of speech acts that change the world via their
utterance. This is the saying of the right words, by the
right person and in the right place.
 I hereby pronounce you man and
 I hereby declare this meeting open.
 This court sentences you to ten
years’ imprisonment.
2. REPRESENTATIVES. Representatives are
those kinds of speech acts that state
what the speaker believes to be the
case, such as ‘describing’, ‘claiming’, hypothesizing’,
‘insisting’ and ‘predicting’.
 The earth is round.
 Chomsky did not write about peanuts.
 This is a German car.
3. COMMISSIVES. Commissives are those
kinds of speech acts that commit the
speaker to future action, such as ‘promising’,
‘offering’, ‘threatening’, ‘refusing’, ‘vowing’ and
 If you don’t stop fighting, I’ll call the police.
 I’m going to get it right next time.
 I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.
 I’ll get you an aspirin. (a commisive offering)
4. DIRECTIVES. (impositives). Directives are those
kinds of speech acts that speakers use to get someone
else to do something, such as ‘commanding’,
‘requesting’, ‘inviting’, ‘forbidding’, ‘suggesting’ etc.
 Gimme a cup of coffee. Make it black.
 Could you lend me a pen, please?
 Don’t touch that.
5. EXPRESSIVES. Expressives are those kinds of
speech acts that state what the speaker feels, such as
‘apologizing’, ‘praising’, ‘congratulating’, ‘deploring’,
‘thanking’ and ‘regretting’.
 I’m really sorry.
 Congratulations!
 You look good and healthy.
6. ‘Thank you for not smoking’. The
expressive ‘thanking’ speech act is presumably used
because it sounds more polite and friendly than the
impersonal directive prohibiting ‘No smoking’.
7. The same utterance can potentially
have quite different illocutionary forces.
How can speakers assume that the intended
illocutionary force will be recognized by the hearer

This tea is really cold.

You look like your mother.

8. Illocutionary Force Indicating Device (IFID) is an

expression where there is a slot for a
verb that explicitly names the
illocutionary force being performed.
 I’ll see you later. (=A)
 (I predict that) A.
 (I promise that) A.
 (I warn you that) A.
9. Word order and intonation are also IFIDs.
10. Speech acts are culturally bound. The
ways of expressing speech acts vary from country to
 How fat you are!
1.Mention the five macro classes of speech acts.
Can you recognize the illocutionary forces of:
2. It’s cold outside.
3. I’ll take you to the movies tomorrow.
4. I now pronounce you man and wife.
5. I’ll give you a lift.
6.Locution: Traffic is light ahead.
Illocution: an act of ...............
Perlocution: ………


-The maxims of the politeness principle (PP) tend to go in

pairs as follows:
I.TACT MAXIM (in impositives and commissives).
TACT: the ability to say the right thing without making
anyone upset.
a.Minimize cost to other
b.Maximize benefit to other
II.GENEROSITY MAXIM (in impositives and commissives).
a. Minimize benefit to self
b. Maximize cost to self

III. APPROBATION MAXIM (in expressives and assertives)

a. Minimize dispraise of other
b. Maximize praise of other
IV. MODESTY MAXIM (in expressives and assertives).
a. Minimize praise of self
b. Maximize dispraise of self.
V. AGREEMENT MAXIM (in assertives)
a.Minimize disagreement between self and other.
b.Maximize agreement between self and other.
VI. SYMPATHY MAXIM (in assertives).
a. Minimize antipathy between self and other.
b. Maximize sympathy between self and other.

-Not all the maxims and sub-maxims are equally

important. (I) is more important than (II). (III) is
more important than (IV). Politeness is focused
more strongly on other than on self. Sub-maxim(b)
seems to be less important than sub-maxim (a).
1.You can lend me your car.
2. I can lend you my car.
3. You must come and have dinner with us.
4. We must come and have dinner with you.
The offer (2) and invitation(3) are presumed to be polite for
two reasons.
5.I am a better person than you are.
6. You are a better person than I am.
7. Please accept this large gift as a token of our
8. Please accept this small gift as a token of our
9. Have a chocolate! Is an utterance which involves
generosity maxim.
10. Give me one of your chocolates!
Give comments on these utterances! Which maxim does it
involve? Why is it polite or impolite?
1. Could I borrow your electric drill?
2. Could you lend me your electric drill?
3. I’m so stupid. I didn’t take notes of the lecture.
4. You’re so stupid. You didn’t take notes of the lecture.
5. What a marvellous meal you cooked!
6. What a marvellous meal I cooked!

Politeness is essentially asymmetrical. What is a polite

belief for the speaker will be impolite to the hearer.


Brown and Levinson (1987)
1. Politeness can be defined as the means employed to
show awareness of another person’s face. Showing
awareness for another person’s face when that other
seems socially distant is often described in terms of
respect or deference. Showing the equivalent awareness
when the other is socially close is often described in
terms of friendliness, camaraderie, or solidarity.
-Excuse me, Mr Buckingham, but can I talk to you for
a minute?
-Hey, Bucky, got a minute?
2. Brown & Levinson (1978) defines politeness as
redressive action taken to counter-balance the disruptive
effect of Face Threatening Acts (FTAs).
3. Politeness is something the speaker does to mitigate
potential Face Threatening Acts of the receiver.
3. FTA: Utterance or action which threatens a person’s
public self image.

4. We have to look at various factors which relate to

social distance and closeness. Some of these factors are
established prior to an interaction and hence are largely
external factors. They typically involve the relative status
of the participants, (their age and power).
5. However, there are other factors, such as amount of
imposition or degree of friendliness, which are negotiated
during an interaction. These internal factors may result,
for example, in participants moving from a title-plus-last
name to a first-name basis within the talk.
Use of indirect speech acts Use of direct speech act
Use of title plus last name Use of first name
Providing option Using direct imperative
Use of apologetic language Being complimentary
Showing respect Showing solidarity
Be pessimistic Be optimistic
Use of distal personal deixis Use of proximal personal deixis
Use of hedges Use of nickname
I couldn’t borrow $100 from you, could I?

7.Positive politeness is often used as a supplement to

negative politeness. Basically, it provides an excellent
opportunity for ‘buffering somebody up’ before you try to
get them to do something.

I. Comment on these utterances.
1. I don’t suppose you could close the window, could you?
2. Could you pass the salt, please?
3. Perhaps, he might have taken it, maybe.
4. Excuse me, sir, would you mind if I ask you to close the
5. I’ll just come along, if you don’t mind.
II. There are various factors which relate to social
distance and closeness. What are the external and
internal factors.
III. T or F Negative politeness belongs pre-eminently to the
DIRECTIVE class, while positive politeness is found pre-eminently in
IV. Does the US belong to negative or positive politeness society?
Does the UK belong to negative or positive politeness society?
Does Indonesia belong to negative or positive politeness society?

1. One way of doing an FTA is to say it directly or bluntly

or bald on record. If a speaker makes a suggestion,
request, offer, or invitation in an open and direct way, we
say that they are doing an FTA bald on record.
e.g. Please make me coffee.

2. A second way of doing an FTA is to do it on record with

positive face redress. Positive politeness strategies aim to
save positive face, by demonstrating closeness and
solidarity, appealing to friendship, and making other
people feel good.
e.g. Oh, you make such great coffee! I’d really appreciate
it if you’d make me a cup.

3. A third way of doing an FTA is to do it on record with

negative face redress. Negative politeness strategies pay
attention to negative face, by demonstrating distance
between interlocutors, and avoiding intruding on each
other’s territory. Speakers use them to avoid imposing or
presuming, and to give the hearer options. Speakers can
avoid imposing by emphasising the importance of the
other’s time and concerns, using apology and hesitation,
or a question giving them the opportunity to say no.
E.g. I’m sorry to bother you but ...Would you mind making

-Positive redress is considered less polite than negative

redress because it presumes that the other person would
be pleased by your gesture of solidarity.
4. A fourth way of doing an FTA is to do it off record. Here
the speaker uses hints or ambiguity to get the FTA
across.If you do an FTA off record, you ask for help
indirectly. If a person goes off record, there is more than
one possible intention attributable to the speaker.
E.g. I’m so tired. A cup of coffee would help.

5. The final option for doing an FTA is not to do it. This

strategy can’t be observed in a conversation. If a person
does not do an FTA, he/she might shy away from saying

1. Briefly explain how to do an FTA!
2. T or F Negative politeness is often used to make a
request seems less infringing/ imposing.


1. With regard to the topic of compliment, three
major categories have been identified:
1)appearance and possessions, 2)
abilities or accomplishments, and 3)
personality traits of the interlocutors.
COMPLIMENT TOPICS reflect what is culturally
considered admirable in society.
2. Billmyer (1990) grouped responses to
compliments into three categories for
instructional purposes:
 Acceptance
When you are complimented, the only response
necessary is ‘Thank you’. (Johnson 1979)
 Deflection, and
 Rejection. A person rejecting a compliment
given to him/her is said to violate the maxim of
3. The repertoire of deflection types consisted
of the following behaviors:
 Commenting on the history of the
A: What a lovely bag you’ve got!
B: I got it at the Macy’s.
 Shifting credit away from self.
C: What a lovely bag you’ve got!
D: A friend of mine gave it to me.
 Downgrading the compliment.
E: What a lovely bag you’ve got!
F: It’s not all that expensive
 Questioning the compliment or
requesting reassurance.
G: What a lovely bag you’ve got!
H: Do you really think so?
 Returning a compliment.
I: What a lovely bag you’ve got!
J: Your bag looks great, too.
4. Most compliments occurred between status
5. The great majority of compliments which occur in
interaction between status unequals are given
by the person in the higher position. E.g. You’re such
a treasure Carol. What would I do without you?
5.The nine syntactic categories:
 NP + BE + ADJECTIVE. Your blouse is beautiful.
 I (REALLY) + LIKE/LOVE + NP. I really like your blouse.
 PRONOUN + IS (REALLY)(A) + ADJ + NP. That’s a nice wall
 YOU + V (A) (REALLY) +ADJECTIVE + NP. You did a good
 YOU + V + NP + ADV. You handled that situation
 YOU + HAVE (A) + ADJECTIVE + NP. You have such
beautiful hair.
 WHAT (A) + ADJECTIVE + NP. What a beautiful blouse
you have.
 ADJECTIVE + NP. Nice game!
 ISN’T + NP + ADJECTIVE. Isn’t your ring beautiful?

1. Does accepting compliments result in the violation
of modesty maxim?
2. Does rejecting compliments result in the violation
of agreement maxim?
3. Have you ever paid a compliment to somebody? If
so, how did he/she response?
4. What is the topic of each of the compliment below?
 What a marvelous meal you cooked!
 You look good and healthy.
 You did a good job.


1. Entailment is something that logically follows from what is

asserted. Sentences, not speakers, have entailments. It is a central
kind of inference in semantics. Entailments are propositions
guaranted to be true when a given proposition is true. E.g.
This medicine has cured her uncle. Her uncle is well. Moira has arrived in Sydney.
Moira is in Sydney.
They live in Vancouver. They live in Canada.
2.Some properties of and tests for entailment:
 Entailment cannot be cancelled. Attempting to cancel an entailment leads to
 Entailments are properties of sentences.
 The entailments of a sentence are in general NOT PRESERVED under negation.
3. PRESUPPOSITION is something the speaker assumes to be the
case prior to making an utterance. Speakers, not sentences, have
presuppositions. E.g.This medicine has cured her uncle. +> Her uncle was ill.
Dick has begun to do a share of the chores. +> Dick didn’t previously do a share of the
4. Some properties of and tests for presupposition:
 Semantic presuppositions are non-cancellable.
 Pragmatic presuppositions are cancellable.
 Semantic presuppositions are properties of sentences.
 Pragmatic presuppositions are properties of utterances.
 Semantic and pragmatic presuppositions are preserved under
negation. E.g. A three-year-old boy named Bartolomeauw was
found at the bus station.
5. Types of presupposition
 Existential presupposition is not only present in possesssive construction,
but also in any definite noun phrase as well as in proper names.
 Lexical presupposition. There are words, like manage, again, that act as
presupposition triggers. Each time you say that someone ‘managed’ to do
something, the asserted meaning is that the person succeeded in some way.
‘Again’ presupposes that the state or event referred to was instantiated
 Structural presupposition. The wh-question construction in
English is interpreted with the presupposition that the
information after the wh-form is already known to be the case
(assumed to be true). When did he leave? +> He left. When did you buy the
bike? +> You bought the bike.
 Counter-factual presupposition. If you had taken my advice, you
wouldn’t have run into trouble. If I were rich, …..; If I weren’t ill, ……; If only I could
forgive myself for what I’ve done. (Yule, 1996).
6. The pronoun gender distinction of English is presuppositional.
A: Where is the head of department’s office? I want
to speak to him?
B: She is female.

1.What are willy-nilly understood and do not have to be expressed?
2.Which of the following sentences presuppose which?
- I’m not an ambassador.
-If I were an ambassador, ….
- He made a mistake before.
-He made a mistake again.
3. Which one of B’s utterances is concerned with existential presupposition as
well as an implication of co-reference?
A: I’ve lost a diamond ring.
B: Well, Julie was wearing a ring this moning.
Well, Julie was wearing the ring this morning.
4.What’s the presupposition of We imagined we were in Hawaii?
5. What’s the difference between semantic and pragmatic presupposition?
E.g. A three-year-old boy named I Made was found at the bus station.


1. Paraphrases are sentences with the same meaning.
 A. Andy is impudent.
 B. Andy is cheeky.
 A. He responded in the affirmative.
 B. He answered yes.
Sentence A, if it is true, entails – guarantees the truth of – sentence B, and vice
2. Paraphrase between two sentences depends on entailment. To
establish paraphrase, the entailment has to go both ways.

 Bob can fix anything. He’s a real Jack-of-all-trades.

 Bob can repair anything. He really knows a little about everything.
3. Entailment can be a one-way or a two-way entailment.
 The bridge is huge entails The bridge is big.
 The process was lengthy entails The process was long.
 He’d been made a scapegoat for his boss’s imcompetence entails He’d been
made a fall guy for his boss’s incompetence.
4. There are three types of antonyms: gradable antonyms,
complementarity, and relational opposites.
There is middle ground between gradable antonyms.
e.g. clean/dirty; silent/noisy; light/heavy; new/old; etc
 I’ve always found the ending of an old year, and the beginning of a new year,
Complementarities divide their domain without any remainder.
e.g. male/female; single/married; dead/alive; open/closed; up/down; right/left.
In relational opposites, the pairs of words are the reversal of a
relationship of words.
e.g. buy/sell; lend/borrow; give/receive; debtor/creditor; fiance/fiancee
 Is Indonesia a lending or borrowing nation?
5. We need a presuppositional base for interpreting metaphor.
 My house is a refridgerator in January.
 Love is a magnet.
 The salt of the Earth.
 You can be sure she’ll always add salt to the conversation.
 Life is like licking honey off a thorn.

1. Soldier about to pat someone down: “Put both your hands on the wall, up here.” What
does the soldier presuppose?
2. A: “Do you like Brook Shields?”
B: (after a puzzled pause): “What are they?”
What is illustrated about the use of proper names by A’s failed attempt to refer
to the actress Brook Shields?
3. Comment on the semantics of the underlined words below.
‘When you’re working with bling-blings, you’ve gotta wear bling-blings.(large, expensive,
sparkling jewellery).
4. Are the following antonym or synonym: quite a few/quite a lot; oversee/overlook; wise
man/wise guy?
. When used non-reciprocally by superiors to
subordinates, compliment may underline patterns of
societal power which place women in a clearly
subordinate position to men. When used between
equals and friends, a compliment could be considered
a quintessential of positive politeness strategy