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MIKHAIL DYMARSKY

Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia (St. Petersburg)
Syntax, Semantics, and Two Faces of Pragmatics
*
0. Two general features of the semantics-pragmatics relationship
discussion
The above designated discussion seems to have two constant general features:
1) the relationship between semantics and pragmatics is usually discussed in
terms of distinction;
2) examining data from the semantic point of view, a researcher usually
focuses attention at the figure of speaker, while the pragmatic approach is usually
concentrated on the figure of hearer.
In this paper I will first consider the above mentioned features (sections 1-2),
next try to outline a contour of a somewhat differing grasp of pragmatics (3), then
try to show how semantics and pragmatics relate to each other in the field of
syntactic connections (4).
1.1. Does the search of distinction lead anywhere?
An endeavor to draw a sharp-cut demarcation line between semantics and pragm-
atics leads to unsolvable complications. Against a set of examples, interpretable
unambiguously and therefore appearing to confirm a certain theory, always
*
Originally printed in: 1çzyk poza granicami jçzyka 2. Semantyka a pragmatika:
Spór o pierwszenstwo. T. I. Aspekty lingwistyczno-semiotyczne. - Olsztyn, 2011. -
S. 81–95.
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another set of examples may be advanced which would destroy the theory,
leaving nothing but a number of true-looking suppositions, each of them, though,
would be truthful only for a certain number of cases, in others, however, they
would be false. As Kent Bach states in his brilliant survey,
the various traditional ways of formulating the semantics-pragmatics distinction either
leave something out or draw the line at the wrong place (Bach 2002).
Yet further he claims that "we need a better formulation" (Ibid.).
Anyhow, any better formulation would not be protected from reproaches
similar to that cited above. There is nothing easier than to find suggestions such
as: "it’s not obvious exactly how to distinguish semantics and pragmatics", and
it is quite limiting to discuss one without considering the other (e.g. to consider the
semantic analysis of a particular linguistic expression without considering how utterances
which use that expression will be interpreted in specific contexts) (Clark 2005).
A clear and absolute distinction of semantics and pragmatics is fundamental-
ly impossible. Any utterance where one can determine not only a reference
(including deixis) of each expression to a certain extrinsical object or situation,
but also a certain speaker's attitude to these expressions, demands a specific
semantization of this attitude. This means, pragmatics is a special type of
semantics in case we understand the latter in terms of informational (not the
formal) aspect of language expressions. The difference between semantics and
pragmatics, therefore, is the difference between two types of information:
1) "the relation of signs to <…> objects which they may or do denote";
2) "the relation of signs to their interpreters" (Morris 1938/1971, 35, 43).
Any further differentiation would be in fact just a variation of Morris' state-
ment. An example of such a variation follows below.
1.2. Pragmatics as vector semantics
The fact that pragmatics is nothing more than a special type of semantics is
confirmed by numerous definitions, e.g.:
…we can treat the meaning of the utterance as the difference between the original
context and the context arrived at by utterance of the sentence. [This applies to only] a
restricted subset of pragmatic aspects of meaning (Gazdar 1979, 4-5);
The distinction between semantics and pragmatics is, roughly, the distinction between
the significance conventionally or literally attached to words, and thence to whole sent-
ences, and the further significance that can be worked out, by more general principles,
using contextual information (Davies 1995, 124);
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Semantic information is information encoded in what is uttered these are stable
linguistic features of the sentence together with any extralinguistic information that
provides (semantic) values to context-sensitive expressions in what is uttered. Pragmatic
information is (extralinguistic) information that arises from an actual act of utterance, and
is relevant to the hearer's determination of what the speaker is communicating. Whereas
semantic information is encoded in what is uttered, pragmatic information is generated
by, or at least made relevant by, the act of uttering it (Bach 2004).
The most clear and acceptable formulation of the semantics-pragmatics
relationship belongs, in my opinion, to M.Bergelson and A.Kibrick:
B cemanrnuecxom npeµcrannennn ntcxastnannx µonxna orpaxartcx ncx nn]opma-
nnx, nmemmax ornomenne x npannntnoñ nnrepnperannn +roro ntcxastnannx. B
cnxsn c +rnm npornnonocrannenne cemanrnxn n nparmarnxn nam xaxercx nenpano-
mepntm (Bergelson, Kibrick 1981, 350) [In a semantic explication of an utterance the
whole information concerning its correct interpretation must be reflected. It seems
therefore improper to contrast semantics and pragmatics].
The formulation "pragmatics is nothing more than a special type of seman-
tics", however, leaves unsolved the question of the qualitative difference between
these types of semantics. We get a more satisfactory formulation by using a
mathematical analogy, namely the opposition of scalar vs. vector quantities. In
this case, it may be said that p r a g ma t i c s i s v e c t o r s e ma n t i c s .
When studying an utterance we get a set of its semantic refractions which
differ depending on whether (and which of) its interpreters are taken into account
or not. These semantic refractions are actual practical senses of the utterance, or at
least they underlie them.
If no interpreters are taken into account, we analyse the utterance as it is, i.e.
we deal with its semantics as a scalar quantity; as a result, we get a formulation of
its s c a l a r s e n s e (- "pure semantics oI the utterance").
But as soon as we take into consideration at least one of interpreter figures,
we deal with semantics of the utterance as a vector quantity. As a result, we get a
number of its v e c t o r s e n s e s ; in the general case, the number of vector
senses must be equal to that of interpreters. In Kiklevich 2008, 336 one finds a
good and simple example: A. tells B. in the presence of C. (0) "I'd like to speak to
you personally". The scalar sense of this utterance may be formulated like
{'0'} = {'[A. tells B. that] he wants to speak to him / her personally'}
(where {'0'} is read as 'scalar semantics of (0)'; […] is the modus frame).
Analysing the same utterance with respect to A. / B. / C., we get resp. a subset
of its vector senses:
÷ A
{' 0' }
= {'0' + '[A. means] he doesn't want C. to witness the conversation'};
÷ B
{' 0' }
= {'0' + 'A. probably wants B. to do something in order to avoid C.'s presence'};
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÷ C
{' 0' }
= {'0' + 'A. wants C. to go out'}.
Thus, the set of semantic refractions (practical senses) of a certain utterance
consists of two subsets:
1) a subset including the scalar sense ("pure semantics") of the utterance;
2) a subset including its vector (pragmatic) senses (min. 2).
It seems that the mathematical analogy may let us construct a passable
semantic refractions (senses) calculus for each utterance.
2. Speaker's semantics vs. hearer's pragmatics?
The concentration of attention on the hearer (still remaining more traditional)
completely logically derives from the above cited primordial formulation of the
object of pragmatics as "the relation of signs to their interpreters" (Morris
1938/1971, 43).
In fact, it is quite soundly to interpret the expression "their interpreters" as
referring to hearer. But it is absolutely unreasonable to c o n s t r a i n this
reference with this figure only.
The speaker is no less an interpreter of his own utterance than the hearer.
Moreover, it is precisely he who is the first one to interpret his own utterance. A
common phenomenon, known as speech self-control (for an example of using this
term see e.g. Glozman 2004, 56, 65), which may be deactivated exclusively under
special circumstances, is first of all the speaker's permanent interpretation and
assessment his or her own utterances in accordance with the general and specific
features of the current communication act, the speaker's implicit and declared
goals, the hearer's implicit and declared (if uttered) goals, etc. This evaluation is,
for well-known reasons, utterly necessary and it is totally impossible without a
preceding interpretation.
3. Two faces of pragmatics
All the above means, in general, that t h e r e mu s t e x i s t t wo p r a g m-
a t i c s : 1) the hearer's and 2) the speaker's. (The term hearer's pragmatics is
used, for example, in Beaver, Zeevat 2007, 532. The term speaker's pragmatics is
used, for example, in Al-Kahtani 2005, 37. Both terms are used, e.g., in
3aôorxnna 1996.) While the first one f o l l o ws an utterance and is based upon
an analysis of its evidence (including grammar, semantics, intonation, kind of
pronouncing, stylistic features, etc.), the second one p r e c e d e s an utterance
and motivates all its features.
In fact, we have both. Despite the eventuality and non-terminological spirit of
the terms hearer's pragmatics and speaker's pragmatics in the above mentioned
works, both types of pragmatics really exist. More precisely, I do not mean
literally a pragmatics of a certain (concrete) speaker / hearer, but two types of
pragmatic explorations concentrated 1) on the speaker vs. 2) on the hearer. The
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second one may obviously be seen in the most prominent versions of pragmatics
developed by numerous researchers (Austin 1960, Gazdar 1979, Grice 1989, Horn
1988, Katz 1977, Levinson 1983, Searle 1969, Stalnaker 1972 and many others).
The first one is spread much less but is well outlined, e.g., in Bergelson, Kibrick
1981, Norman 1994.
The ultimate target of hearer's pragmatics is knowledge of all the rules and
regularities which lead a hearer to a comprehensive understanding of a certain
(speaker's) utterance; this automatically implies studying all the truth conditions,
all kinds of implicatures (conventional, conversational) and presuppositions, all
types of perlocutionary / illocutionary acts, withdrawing of inferences rules, etc.
In other words, the mission of this type of pragmatics is to pave the way from the
content and form of an utterance with all its characteristic features to its practical
sense for the hearer, i.e. to the speaker's genuine meaning with all its intentions,
implication, etc. Schematically to say, the hearer's pragmatics draws an arrow
from linguistic semantics of a sentence uttered to the listener's practical sense.
The speaker's pragmatics' final goal is, respectively, knowledge of all the
rules and regularities which pave the way from the speaker's genuine meaning,
with all his intentions, implication, etc., to a concrete utterance with all its ling-
uistic and extralinguistic features. This type of pragmatics, schematically, draws
an arrow from the listener's practical sense planned by the speaker to a concrete
utterance with all its features, but first of all with the linguistic semantics of the
sentence in its core.
The speaker's pragmatics concentrates its efforts, therefore, on speaker's com-
municative strategies, on grammatical mechanisms which let the speaker high-
light and prioritize key points, on semantic differences between synonymic means
of expression. At any rate, the subject of interest for the speaker's pragmatics is
every moment of choice, i.e. every point of bifurcation when the speaker is forced
to choose this or that option of expression in accordance with his communicative
goals.
It is needless to say that the division of pragmatics into two branches is com-
pletely provisory. A practical analysis from both points of view will bring much
more similar results than those which would differ. But even a little difference is
worth paying attention to. The example discussed below is an evidence of this.
(1) “I don’t care what you do with me, Brer Fox,” said Brer Rabbit. “Just don’t fling me in
that briar patch over there. Roast me, Brer Fox, but don’t fling me in that briar patch,” said
Brer Rabbit. (The Wonderful Tar Baby Story // Harris, Joel C. Uncle Remus and His Legends
of the Old Plantation [Rewritten by Xavier])
This example deserves attention, since it illustrates in relief one of the most
effective speech manipulation strategies, i.e. shows pragmatics in full play.
3.1. The first face of pragmatics: The hearer's
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From the hearer's pragmatics point of view, it looks rather conspicuous that
Brother Rabbit's utterance obviously violates Grice's maxim of quantity. (Brother
Fox knows of course nothing about the conversational maxims but he is an
experienced dialogue partner to get wind of some oddity in his partner's remark.)
The speaker says much more than it could have been required "at the stage at
which it [the talk exchange. M.D.] occurs, by the accepted purpose or
direction" of it (P.Grice)

. But this fact, as such, is not yet so meaningful. Brother
Rabbit could absolutely in the same way violate the same maxim by saying, e.g.,
(2) *Lord, what you're gonna do with me, Brer Fox! Please, don't roast me! Better fling me in
that briar patch over there!
but that would have been perceived just as a victim's standard supplication.
The confrontation of (1) and (2) shows that not only the quantity, but also the
quality maxim is disregarded in (1)

. In other words, the contents of (1) does not
meet the hearer's expectations, i.e. his presupposition.
Brother Fox departs from a standard dialogue model, typical for situations
like the current one:
(2a) A. I will do with you X.
B. Please, do not do with me X, better do Y,
or, more formalized:
(2a') A. [AFF] X.
B. [NEG] X, [AFF] Y
§
.
Brother Rabbit, though, uses a mirroring model:
(1a) A. I will do with you X.
B. Ok, do with me X, but do not do with me Y,
or:
(1a') A. [AFF] X.
B. [AFF] X, [NEG] Y.
The (1a/1a') model looks strange as it does not meet the elementary principles
of conversational logic. In (2a/2a'), the participant B first negates what his partner
has affirmed, then affirms some other option. The affirmation [AFF] Y appears

As we know, the outrageous violation of the quality maxim will be found out by the hearer much
later.

But this is still not the violation of the quality maxim which was meant in the previous reference
note.
§
[AFF] = affirmation function, [NEG] = negation function.
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logically as a substitute for the freshly negated X, and B's participation in the
communication is symmetrical to A's: B rejects what A has said but proposes
something else instead.
In (1a/1a'), the participant B first confirms what his partner has affirmed,
thence the negation [NEG] Y appears without any logical grounds.
It is reasonable to remark that dialogic models (2a') vs. (1a') have a relevant
difference in their deep logical structure. Both models may be seen as having a
deep logical operator BUT in the 2
nd
string: this comes clearly out of the contrast
in which logical communication functions [AFF] and [NEG] are put in (2') as well
as in (1a'):
(2a'') <…> B. [NEG] X, BUT [AFF] Y;
(1a'') <…> B. [AFF] X, BUT [NEG] Y.
Nevertheless, the "surface structure" (2) (which obviously matches the
(2a/2a') model) contains no verbally expressed operator BUT, and moreover,
seems to exclude such an option; it uses other operators INSTEAD or BETTER.
The "surface structure" (1) (this one clearly matches the (1a/1a') model), vice
versa, easily adopts either a verbally expressed but or one of its synonyms just,
only etc., cf. further variations of (1) in the original text:
(1') “Hang me just as high as you please, Brer Fox,” said Brer Rabbit, “but for Lord’s sake
don’t fling me in that briar patch”;
(1'') “Drown me just as deep as you please, Brer Fox,” said Brer Rabbit, “but for Lord’s sake
don’t fling me in that briar patch”;
(1''') “Skin me, Brer Fox, snatch out my eyeballs, tear out my ears by the roots, and cut off my
legs,” said Brer Rabbit. “Only please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar
patch.” (Ibid.)
This difference makes it clear that (2a'') looks acceptable only as an
abstractive logical model. It would be correctly realised in a certain affirmative
utterance, e.g.:
(2b) I don't know what you feel but I know what I'm gonna do now,
but in an imperative utterance it does not work. Therefore, authentic
logical models for (1) and (2) should be rewritten as
(I) <…> B. Imper [AFF] X, BUT Imper [NEG] Y;
(II) <…> B. Imper [NEG] X, INSTEAD / BETTER Imper [AFF] Y.
The difference between (I) and (II) is still stronger than that between (1a'')
and (2a''). What causes this difference?
3.1.1. The Rule of Contrasted Negation
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It should be taken to account that (II) may get an extension which would easily
adopt a true negation:
(II') <…> B. Imper [NEG] X, INSTEAD / BETTER Imper [AFF] Y, BUT Imper [NEG] X,
cf.:
(2c) Please, don't roast me! Better fling me in that briar patch over there but don't roast me!
This extended (three-parted) variant may function in a reduced form
without the 1
st
part, very much alike (I) and resp. (1), but still maintaining the
INSTEAD / BETTER operator which keeps for (2d) the status of a reduced form of
(II'):
(2d) Better fling me in that briar patch over there but don't roast me!
It is clear that the new 3
rd
part (in II', 2c) is easily contrasted (with the
appropriate conjunction) to the previous one just because of its zero novelty. In
fact, this 3
rd
part is just a repetition of the 1
st
part (cf. II') which is, in turn, a
negated iteration of the option expressed in the previous utterance (the partner's,
cf. 2a'). On the contrary, the 2
nd
part of (2a, 2a', II', 2c) brings in the dialogue area
a brand new alternative to the X option and therefore cannot be contrasted to the
1
st
part.
The possibility of existence and acceptability of (II', 2c, 2d) shows the fact
that t h e s c o p e o f c o n t r a s t e d n e g a t i o n i n t h e c a s e o f a
c o n t r a p o s i n g b i p a r t i a l i mp e r a t i v e n o n - f i r s t d i a l o g i c
r e ma r k ma y e x t e n d n o f u r t h e r t h a n a n e g a t i n g i t e r a t i o n
o f wh a t h a s b e e n e x p r e s s e d i n t h e p r e v i o u s ( t h e d i a l o g i c
p a r t n e r ' s ) r e ma r k . And, respectively, i n s u c h a n u t t e r a n c e , n o
n e w i n f o r ma t i o n i s a l l o we d t o a p p e a r u n d e r c o n t r a s t e d
n e g a t i o n . This formulation will be further on referred to as the Ru l e o f
Co n t r a s t e d Ne g a t i o n (RCN).
Namely this rule is broken in (1), and namely that is why (1) works as a
strong means of manipulation.
It is not the case that I intend to state RCN as a universal rule regulating any
bipartial sentence with the relation of contrast and negation in the 2
nd
clause. I
only assert that RCN is valid a t l e a s t for imperative sentences which function
as non-first dialogic remarks and express a supplication.
So, (1) does not meet the hearer's presupposition and breaks the RCN, which,
in addition, is felt like violation of quality and quantity maxims. All these enforce
the hearer to focus upon the least predictable [NEG] Y component of (I) in order
to deduce a practical sense of (1) for him. The mechanism he uses to get to the
practical sense is calculating the speaker's presupposition. The starting point of
this computation finds itself in s e ma n t i c s of (1):
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'he asks only not to throw him into that briar patch ergo, he is really afraid of being
thrown there ergo, the worst thing for him is to be thrown there'.
After a series of repetitions of the same dialogue model, Brother Fox is fully
convinced of this inference, so that he actually verbalizes the computed presup-
position:
(4) “It’s not going to be much fun skinning you,” said Brer Fox, “you’re not scared of that.
But you are scared of the briar patch.” (Ibid.)
The result meets Brother Rabbit's best expectation.
3.2. The second face of pragmatics: The speaker's
From the speaker's pragmatics point of view, to betray Brother Fox to this false
conclusion was Brother Rabbit's main goal. For this purpose, he was to build an
utterance so that its semantics would have unambiguously lead to this conclusion.
Therefore, the starting point of constructing sentences amounting the utterance (1)
is the false presupposition to be inspired to the hearer, i.e. the desired result, in
other words pure p r a g ma t i c s . The following features of (1/I) and of its
further variations ensure the needed semantics:
a. Imperative construction arranged as supplication;
b. Biphrasal structure with the relation of strong contrast between
sentences / clauses;
c. Positioning of what the speaker agrees to undergo at the first place and of
what the speaker is begging not to do (the information newly introduced
into the dialogic area) at the last place, so that the supplication functions
as rhema; this feature actually breaks the RCN;
d. Numerous repetitions: of politeness formula (please), of gain formula (for
Lord's sake), of the contrast construction itself, of the main asking (don’t
fling me in that briar patch);
e. Ascending gradation anticipating the most predictable listener's appetites
(Skin me, Brer Fox, snatch out my eyeballs, tear out my ears by the roots,
and cut off my legs).
It is to be strongly underlined that all these features result from choices which
the speaker is obliged to make.
In the (a) case, Br. Rabbit is to choose at least between an affirmative and an
imperative construction. Formally speaking, he could just i n f o r m Br. Fox that
he did not want to be thrown into the briar patch, or even that he was afraid of
that. However, an affirmative construction combining the information of
agreement to be roasted / hung up / drowned / skinned with the information of
disagreement to be thrown into the bush would look stranger than a corresponding
imperative (1):
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(5) *I agree to be hung up but I don't want to be thrown into that briar patch.
In (5), the RCN is violated no weaker and no stronger than in (1), its second
part, just like in (1), would automatically have been read as founded on a false
presupposition 'the option of beeing thrown into the bush has been already
expressed in the dialogue by its second participant'; so what is the difference
between (5) and (1), why does the speaker choose (1) and not (5)?
I think, the reason is to be found simply in the nature of the current situation.
Brother Rabbit's life is hanging by a thread, with no law, no police, no attorneys
etc. around: it would be absolutely inappropriate to calmly report anything to the
dialogic partner who is at the same time the enemy, the judge and the
executioner in the affirmative mood. This means that the violation of RCN in
(5), despite its equality to that in (1), would be taken by the hearer as much more
provocative, which, in turn, might lead the latter to unwanted suspicions and
might destroy the plan. Additionally, an affirmative construction as such is
deprived of a bright feature of addressing and cannot be arranged as supplication.
These are the reasons why the speaker chooses an imperative construction.
In the (b) case, the speaker makes a choice between a simple application
(which might result in a monophrasal structure) and a two-parted utterance
including both agreement and application. The second option looks much more
satisfactory so far as it 1) provides coherence of the dialogue (I’m going to
barbeque you today Roast me; I’d rather hang you Hang me, etc.) and
makes this part of the utterance meet Grice's maxims; this, in turn, partly veils the
rough violation of them by the utterance as a whole; 2) gives the speaker an
opportunity to stress his agreement by introducing details of the act of roasting
him / hanging him up, etc.; 3) helps the speaker depreciate (with these details) the
perspective of roasting him / hanging him up, etc.
The (c) case, as it was shown in the section 3.1.1, is the key moment and the
key choice the choice between (1/I) and (2/II). All the advantages of choosing
(1/I) in the current situation have been already analysed. Namely this selection
grounds all others, especially (a, b), and makes sure that the planned pragmatic
effect (the perlocutionary) is reached. Moreover, this selection gives the speaker
one additional advantage: the opportunity of a subtle mockery of Brother Fox in
the end, when Brother Rabbit says with good reason, "Born and bred in the briar
patch, that’s me <...> I t o l d y o u n o t t o t h r o w me t h e r e ..." (Ibid.)
3.3. Discussion of the results
The analysis in sections 3.1-3.2 proves the assertion made above, namely that:
though the division of pragmatics into two branches is completely provisory, and
though practical analysis from both points of view brings much more similar
results than those which differ, even a little difference is worth paying attention
to. The little difference, as I would now frame it, lies in the fact that:
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3.3.1. Studying a pragmatic effect of an utterance (the hearer's pragmatics)
we proceed from its semantics as something given, and move up to
discursive and logical semantics (e.g., violation of RCN);
3.3.2. Studying a pragmatic potential inlayed in an utterance (the speaker's
pragmatics) we proceed from its semantics as something needed for a
pragmatic effect being planned, and move down to language tools,
which makes us appeal to semantics of grammar, first of all to
semantics of syntax.
Psychologically thinking, this difference is completely argumentative and
clear.
In the next section I am going to add some notes to the assertion 3.3.2,
concerning the pragmatic potential of some aspects of syntactic semantics.
4. On pragmatic potential of syntactic semantics
A significant role in providing the pragmatic effect of (1) plays syntactic semant-
ics. In the list of features (a-e) which ensure the needed pragmatic effect (see
section 3.2), four features of five (b-e) have a syntactic nature. The key role is
played by (b) (biphrasal structure with the relation of a strong contrast between
sentences / clauses) and (c) (the violation of the RCN). I will now focus at the (b)
feature. The reason for this concentration is obvious: the type of syntactic
connection, in case of a complex sentence or a conjunctional biphrasal-structured
utterance (which makes practically no difference), stamps the construction in
whole and blazes the shortest trail to the logical semantics of the utterance. That is
why both the perceptional procedures and the utterance-planning procedures often
start precisely at this point.
So: what is important in (1) from the mentioned point of view is t h e wa y
o f a c t u a l i z a t i o n o f t h e c o n t r a s t r e l a t i o n .
The relation of contrast itself would persist even if the adversative
conjunction but (or its functional analogue just, only) would have been
eliminated, cf.:
(1b) *"Roast me, Brer Fox, don’t fling me in that briar patch";
(1c) *“Hang me just as high as you please, Brer Fox,” said Brer Rabbit, “for Lord’s sake
don’t fling me in that briar patch”;
(1d) *“Drown me just as deep as you please, Brer Fox,” said Brer Rabbit, “for Lord’s sake
don’t fling me in that briar patch”;
(1e) *“Skin me, Brer Fox, snatch out my eyeballs, tear out my ears by the roots, and cut off my
legs,” said Brer Rabbit. “Please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”
Nevertheless, variants (1b-e) look somewhat strange and can hardly be
considered acceptable. On the contrary, the same elimination in (4) gives a much
more admissible version:
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(4a) “It’s not going to be much fun skinning you,” said Brer Fox, “you’re not scared of that.
You are scared of the briar patch.”
Analogically, we get a satisfactory version for (2d):
(2d') Better fling me in that briar patch over there, don't roast me!
Thus, in one case we have an adversative construction which seems to be
rather indifferent to presence or absence of an adversative conjunction marking
the relation of contrast; the latter persists in both versions. In the other case, we
have an adversative construction which shows apparent lack of indifference to the
same. Why?
It is needless to underline that exclusively in (1), and not in (4a, 2d'), the
adversative construction is used not only to express a contrast but also to break
the RCN and in this way to reach a certain pragmatic effect.
These data let me formulate the following hypothesis:
4.0. T h e mo r e a n a d v e r s a t i v e c o n s t r u c t i o n i s e n g a g e d
i n r e a l i z i n g a c e r t a i n p r a g ma t i c e f f e c t , t h e l e s s
t h e c o n j u n c t i o n (which marks the contrast relation) ma y b e
e l i mi n a t e d .
This regularity can also be reformulated in other terms and be more
generalized, but before then a few additional remarks should be made.
4.1. Syntactic relations vs. syntactic connections
As far as it may be observed, the modern linguistics does not present any
universally accepted typology of syntactic connections (SyntC) and relations
(SyntR). In different typologies (Apresyan et al. 2010, Gak 2000, Hjelmslev 1953,
Jespersen 1924, Mukhin 2004, Smirnitsky 1957, Tesnière 1959 and others) SyntC
and SyntR are constantly intermixed, though a great number of simplest examples
show persuasively that these entities are completely different, cf. (each series
consists of parallel English, German and Russian samples):
[SyntR which may
be determined]
[SyntC]
(6.1) stony heart attributive agreement [specifically for
English may be qualified as
null-agreement]
(6.2) Steinhaus attributive ?
(6.3) warmes Herz attributive Koordination / agreement
(6.4) ra+euuoe cepoµe attributive cornaconanne / agreement
(6.5) heart of stone attributive direction / control
(6.6) Herz aus Stein attributive Rektion / direction / control
(6.7) cepoµe us ra+u» attributive ynpannenne / direction/ control
13
(7.1) (You) tell me where the treasure is
buried I (will) keep you alive
condition
sequence
collation
parataxis / asyndeton
(7.2) Du mir sagst, wo der Schatz vergraben
ist, ich halte dich am Leben
condition
sequence
collation
Parataxe / parataxis / asyndeton
/ Asyndeton
(7.3) Crareui +ue, eoe sapim r.ao,
coxpaum meoe rusui
condition
sequence
collation
ôeccomsne / parataxis /
asyndeton
(7.4) If you tell me where the treasure is
buried, I (will) keep you alive
condition hypotaxis / subordination
(7.5) Wenn du mir sagst, wo der Schatz
vergraben ist, werde ich dich am Leben
erhalten [or: halte ich dich am Leben]
condition Hypotaxe / Unterordnung /
hypotaxis / subordination
(7.6) mi crareui +ue, eoe sapim
r.ao, » coxpaum meoe rusui
condition noµunnenne / hypotaxis /
subordination
The number of similar series of examples can be easily multiplied.
Based on these data I posit the following three principles of an adequate
typology of SyntC and SyntR:
4.1.1. Syntactic connections should be strictly distinguished from syntactic
relations;
4.1.2. There is no tough appointedness between certain types of relations and
certain types of connections;
4.1.3. Syntactic connections should be interpreted as ways of actualization of
syntactic relations.
All types of syntactic connections may be considered as having a pragmatic
dimension. But if we consequently apply the principle 4.1.3 to all the SyntC we
will find out that the notion of actualization implies a notion of a degree of
precision in marking a certain type of SyntR. This, in turn, entails an idea of a
scale of actualization. In the series of samples above we have, on one hand, (7.1-
7.3) where the degree of precision in marking the conditional SyntR is the lowest
(actually, the zero degree), and, on the other hand, (7.4-7.6) where the degree is
the highest. The middle degree may be seen in some complex sentences marked
with coordinate conjunctions (the sequence SyntR is muted):
[SyntR which may be
determined]
[SyntC]
(7.7) You tell me where the treasure is buried,
and I (will) keep you alive
condition
collation
coordination
(7.8) Du mir sagst, wo der Schatz vergraben
ist, und ich halte dich am Leben
condition
collation
Beiordnung / coordination
(7.9) Ti crareui +ue, eoe sapim r.ao, »
coxpaum meoe rusui
condition
collation
counnenne / coordination
14
As it may be seen from (6.1-7.9), the widest range of SyntR is provided by
asyndeton, i.e. by the SyntC with the lowest degree of precision in marking a
certain type of SyntR. It could be said that such a SyntC expresses not a concrete
SyntR but rather a semantic cloud which can be understood in several ways (for
further detail of this conception, see Dymarsky 2010). This means that asyndeton
has the widest but at the same time the lowest pragmatic potential, since the
speaker, if he is eager to reach a particular pragmatic effect, would choose with
the lowest probability a construction expressing a semantic cloud.
The SyntC marked with subordinate conjunctions, vice versa, provide the
narrowest spectrum of SyntR; this type, respectively, has the narrowest but at the
same time the highest pragmatic potential.
Now, having taken in account the posited three degrees of precision in
marking a certain type of SyntR (= three degrees of its actualization) by a certain
type of SyntC, I can reformulate the hypothesis 4.0 as follows:
4.1.4. T h e h i g h e r i s t h e d e g r e e o f a c t u a l i z a t i o n o f a
c e r t a i n S y n t R i n a g i v e n s y n t a c t i c c o n s t r u c t i o n ,
t h e h i g h e r ( b u t a l s o t h e n a r r o we r ) i s t h e
p r a g ma t i c p o t e n t i a l o f t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n . The reverse
is also true.
5. Conclusion.
Discussing the semantics vs. pragmatics priority may be endless like discussing
any everlasting problem. It seems indisputable, though, that the one can hardly be
divided from the other; therefore, a univocal decision of the priority problem is
unattainable in principle.
In this paper three points were of key significance for me:
5.1. Finally, it doesn't matter much how and in which terms we solve the
problem of semantic-pragmatic distinction. It seems practical to solve this
problem by positioning pragmatics as vector semantics; however, a number of
other decisions may be no less satisfactory. But in any case, a clear distinction
should be made between two aspects of pragmatics: the speaker's pragmatics vs.
the hearer's one.
5.2. Both aspects are closely but differently related to semantics: while the
first studies ways of reaching a semantic set required for providing a desired
pragmatic effect, the second studies ways of reaching a practical sense based on a
given semantic set.
5.3. An extremely important role in patterning a semantic set of an utterance
is played by syntactic means, particularly by a correspondence between syntactic
relations and syntactic connections. This correspondence may be interpreted in
terms of deep syntactic semantics; it varies from one utterance to another and
15
specifically affects general semantics as well as the pragmatic potential of the
utterance.
Having two faces, the hearer's and the speaker's, pragmatics may be likened
to Janus Bifrons. But if we try to continue the comparison and ask what is i n
this two-faced head, the answer will undoubtedly be: only semantics, wholly
semantics and nothing but semantics.
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would be truthful only for a certain number of cases.g. Anyhow. 2) "the relation of signs to their interpreters" (Morris 1938/1971. Any further differentiation would be in fact just a variation of Morris' statement. roughly.). As Kent Bach states in his brilliant survey. A clear and absolute distinction of semantics and pragmatics is fundamentally impossible. and it is quite limiting to discuss one without considering the other (e. and thence to whole sentences. This means.: …we can treat the meaning of the utterance as the difference between the original context and the context arrived at by utterance of the sentence. though. 124). the various traditional ways of formulating the semantics-pragmatics distinction either leave something out or draw the line at the wrong place (Bach 2002). therefore. but also a certain speaker's attitude to these expressions. they would be false.g. any better formulation would not be protected from reproaches similar to that cited above. 43). in others. is the difference between two types of information: 1) "the relation of signs to <…> objects which they may or do denote". The distinction between semantics and pragmatics is. There is nothing easier than to find suggestions such as: "it’s not obvious exactly how to distinguish semantics and pragmatics". Pragmatics as vector semantics The fact that pragmatics is nothing more than a special type of semantics is confirmed by numerous definitions. to consider the semantic analysis of a particular linguistic expression without considering how utterances which use that expression will be interpreted in specific contexts) (Clark 2005). e. 4-5). 35. using contextual information (Davies 1995. Any utterance where one can determine not only a reference (including deixis) of each expression to a certain extrinsical object or situation. demands a specific semantization of this attitude. Yet further he claims that "we need a better formulation" (Ibid. The difference between semantics and pragmatics. leaving nothing but a number of true-looking suppositions. each of them.2. [This applies to only] a restricted subset of pragmatic aspects of meaning (Gazdar 1979.another set of examples may be advanced which would destroy the theory. An example of such a variation follows below. the distinction between the significance conventionally or literally attached to words. and the further significance that can be worked out. 1. pragmatics is a special type of semantics in case we understand the latter in terms of informational (not the formal) aspect of language expressions. however. 2 . by more general principles.

to do something in order to avoid C. 350) [In a semantic explication of an utterance the whole information concerning its correct interpretation must be reflected.'s presence'}. we get resp. […] is the modus frame). we deal with semantics of the utterance as a vector quantity. The most clear and acceptable formulation of the semantics-pragmatics relationship belongs. or at least they underlie them. When studying an utterance we get a set of its semantic refractions which differ depending on whether (and which of) its interpreters are taken into account or not. in the presence of C. and is relevant to the hearer's determination of what the speaker is communicating. to witness the conversation'}. as a result. (0) "I'd like to speak to you personally". We get a more satisfactory formulation by using a mathematical analogy. to M. / B. These semantic refractions are actual practical senses of the utterance. Whereas semantic information is encoded in what is uttered. we analyse the utterance as it is. tells B. a subset of its vector senses: {'0'} B = = {'0' + '[A. i. vector quantities. probably wants B. 336 one finds a good and simple example: A. means] he doesn't want C. Kibrick 1981. In Kiklevich 2008. pragmatic information is generated by.e. it may be said that p r a g m a t i c s i s v e c t o r s e m a n t i c s . {'0'} 3 . tells B. in the general case. But as soon as we take into consideration at least one of interpreter figures. Analysing the same utterance with respect to A. we deal with its semantics as a scalar quantity.. Pragmatic information is (extralinguistic) information that arises from an actual act of utterance. that] he wants to speak to him / her personally'} (where {'0'} is read as 'scalar semantics of (0)'.Bergelson and A. As a result. or at least made relevant by. If no interpreters are taken into account. / C. namely the opposition of scalar vs. The formulation "pragmatics is nothing more than a special type of semantics". It seems therefore improper to contrast semantics and pragmatics]. the number of vector senses must be equal to that of interpreters. In this case. in my opinion. we get a number of its v e c t o r s e n s e s . however. the act of uttering it (Bach 2004). The scalar sense of this utterance may be formulated like {'0'} = {'[A. we get a formulation of its s c a l a r s e n s e ( . leaves unsolved the question of the qualitative difference between these types of semantics. {'0' + 'A.Semantic information is information encoded in what is uttered these are stable linguistic features of the sentence together with any extralinguistic information that provides (semantic) values to context-sensitive expressions in what is uttered.Kibrick: Bergelson.

Both terms are used. Zeevat 2007. The speaker is no less an interpreter of his own utterance than the hearer. Thus. 532. the speaker's implicit and declared goals.C {'0'} = {'0' + 'A. which may be deactivated exclusively under special circumstances. 2) on the hearer. e. Speaker's semantics vs. the second one p r e c e d e s an utterance and motivates all its features. semantics. Moreover. Despite the eventuality and non-terminological spirit of the terms hearer's pragmatics and speaker's pragmatics in the above mentioned works. in ) While the first one f o l l o w s an utterance and is based upon an analysis of its evidence (including grammar. the set of semantic refractions (practical senses) of a certain utterance consists of two subsets: 1) a subset including the scalar sense ("pure semantics") of the utterance. in Al-Kahtani 2005. (The term hearer's pragmatics is used. stylistic features. 37. It seems that the mathematical analogy may let us construct a passable semantic refractions (senses) calculus for each utterance. A common phenomenon. the hearer's implicit and declared (if uttered) goals. in Beaver. 3.g. 2). etc. to go out'}. for example.. intonation. it is quite soundly to interpret the expression "their interpreters" as referring to hearer. in general. but two types of pragmatic explorations concentrated 1) on the speaker vs. wants C. that t h e r e m u s t e x i s t t w o p r a g m a t i c s : 1) the hearer's and 2) the speaker's.). etc. known as speech self-control (for an example of using this term see e. for example.g. This evaluation is. 2. 43). is first of all the speaker's permanent interpretation and assessment his or her own utterances in accordance with the general and specific features of the current communication act. The term speaker's pragmatics is used. 56. we have both. both types of pragmatics really exist. The 4 . But it is absolutely unreasonable to c o n s t r a i n this reference with this figure only. In fact. it is precisely he who is the first one to interpret his own utterance. utterly necessary and it is totally impossible without a preceding interpretation. 2) a subset including its vector (pragmatic) senses (min. for well-known reasons. hearer's pragmatics? The concentration of attention on the hearer (still remaining more traditional) completely logically derives from the above cited primordial formulation of the object of pragmatics as "the relation of signs to their interpreters" (Morris 1938/1971. Glozman 2004. Two faces of pragmatics All the above means. In fact. More precisely. 65). I do not mean literally a pragmatics of a certain (concrete) speaker / hearer. kind of pronouncing.

The speaker's pragmatics' final goal is. the mission of this type of pragmatics is to pave the way from the content and form of an utterance with all its characteristic features to its practical sense for the hearer. The first face of pragmatics: The hearer's 5 . but don’t fling me in that briar patch.e. 3. Norman 1994.” said Brer Rabbit. the hearer's pragmatics draws an arrow from linguistic semantics of a sentence uttered to the listener's practical sense. schematically. Brer Fox. At any rate. shows pragmatics in full play.1.second one may obviously be seen in the most prominent versions of pragmatics developed by numerous researchers (Austin 1960. but first of all with the linguistic semantics of the sentence in its core. implication. all types of perlocutionary / illocutionary acts. i. withdrawing of inferences rules. therefore. The ultimate target of hearer's pragmatics is knowledge of all the rules and regularities which lead a hearer to a comprehensive understanding of a certain (speaker's) utterance. on semantic differences between synonymic means of expression. since it illustrates in relief one of the most effective speech manipulation strategies. on speaker's communicative strategies. It is needless to say that the division of pragmatics into two branches is completely provisory.e. with all his intentions. every point of bifurcation when the speaker is forced to choose this or that option of expression in accordance with his communicative goals.. Horn 1988. on grammatical mechanisms which let the speaker highlight and prioritize key points. in Bergelson.. to the speaker's genuine meaning with all its intentions. this automatically implies studying all the truth conditions. In other words. implication. Uncle Remus and His Legends of the Old Plantation [Rewritten by Xavier]) This example deserves attention. respectively. A practical analysis from both points of view will bring much more similar results than those which would differ. draws an arrow from the listener's practical sense planned by the speaker to a concrete utterance with all its features.e. The speaker's pragmatics concentrates its efforts. Joel C.” said Brer Rabbit. This type of pragmatics. The first one is spread much less but is well outlined. Brer Fox. Levinson 1983. But even a little difference is worth paying attention to. e. etc. i. the subject of interest for the speaker's pragmatics is every moment of choice. Kibrick 1981. The example discussed below is an evidence of this. etc. Searle 1969. knowledge of all the rules and regularities which pave the way from the speaker's genuine meaning. i. to a concrete utterance with all its linguistic and extralinguistic features. (1) “I don’t care what you do with me. Stalnaker 1972 and many others). all kinds of implicatures (conventional. Roast me. Gazdar 1979. Grice 1989.g. Schematically to say. (The Wonderful Tar Baby Story // Harris. Katz 1977. “Just don’t fling me in that briar patch over there. etc. conversational) and presuppositions.

[NEG] X. B.] occurs. the participant B first negates what his partner has affirmed. In other words. But this fact. The affirmation [AFF] Y appears † As we know.g. The (1a/1a') model looks strange as it does not meet the elementary principles of conversational logic. Please. In (2a/2a'). it looks rather conspicuous that Brother Rabbit's utterance obviously violates Grice's maxim of quantity. what you're gonna do with me. e.) The speaker says much more than it could have been required "at the stage at which it [the talk exchange. Brother Fox departs from a standard dialogue model. [NEG] Y. I will do with you X. but do not do with me Y. is not yet so meaningful.Grice)†. 6 . I will do with you X. but also the quality maxim is disregarded in (1)‡. Brother Rabbit. though. the outrageous violation of the quality maxim will be found out by the hearer much later. Brother Rabbit could absolutely in the same way violate the same maxim by saying. [AFF] X. as such. his presupposition. (Brother Fox knows of course nothing about the conversational maxims but he is an experienced dialogue partner to get wind of some oddity in his partner's remark. B. or. then affirms some other option.D. Ok. by the accepted purpose or direction" of it (P. do with me X. [AFF] X. better do Y. typical for situations like the current one: (2a) A. Brer Fox! Please. more formalized: (2a') A. uses a mirroring model: (1a) A. do not do with me X. don't roast me! Better fling me in that briar patch over there! but that would have been perceived just as a victim's standard supplication.e. § [AFF] = affirmation function. ‡ But this is still not the violation of the quality maxim which was meant in the previous reference note. The confrontation of (1) and (2) shows that not only the quantity. or: (1a') A. [AFF] Y§. B. (2) *Lord. i.. M. B. [AFF] X. the contents of (1) does not meet the hearer's expectations.From the hearer's pragmatics point of view. [NEG] = negation function.

The "surface structure" (1) (this one clearly matches the (1a/1a') model). cf. The difference between (I) and (II) is still stronger than that between (1a'') and (2a''). e. <…> B. only etc. INSTEAD / BETTER Imper [AFF] Y. tear out my ears by the roots. easily adopts either a verbally expressed but or one of its synonyms just.logically as a substitute for the freshly negated X. authentic logical models for (1) and (2) should be rewritten as (I) (II) <…> B. “but for Lord’s sake don’t fling me in that briar patch”.” said Brer Rabbit. Therefore. [NEG] X. but in an imperative utterance it does not work. Imper [NEG] X. Brer Fox.1. BUT Imper [NEG] Y. and B's participation in the communication is symmetrical to A's: B rejects what A has said but proposes something else instead.g.. What causes this difference? 3.) This difference makes it clear that (2a'') looks acceptable only as an abstractive logical model. the participant B first confirms what his partner has affirmed. “Only please. vice versa. and moreover. Brer Fox. “but for Lord’s sake don’t fling me in that briar patch”. BUT [NEG] Y. It would be correctly realised in a certain affirmative utterance. Both models may be seen as having a deep logical operator BUT in the 2nd string: this comes clearly out of the contrast in which logical communication functions [AFF] and [NEG] are put in (2') as well as in (1a'): (2a'') (1a'') <…> B. BUT [AFF] Y. further variations of (1) in the original text: (1') “Hang me just as high as you please. (1a') have a relevant difference in their deep logical structure.” said Brer Rabbit. The Rule of Contrasted Negation 7 . and cut off my legs. <…> B.” (Ibid. it uses other operators INSTEAD or BETTER. (1'') “Drown me just as deep as you please. (1''') “Skin me. In (1a/1a'). the "surface structure" (2) (which obviously matches the (2a/2a') model) contains no verbally expressed operator BUT. Imper [AFF] X. seems to exclude such an option. It is reasonable to remark that dialogic models (2a') vs. [AFF] X. thence the negation [NEG] Y appears without any logical grounds. Brer Fox.” said Brer Rabbit. Brer Fox. please don’t throw me into the briar patch. snatch out my eyeballs. Nevertheless.1.: (2b) I don't know what you feel but I know what I'm gonna do now.

And. 2a'). BUT Imper [NEG] X. So. i n s u c h a n u t t e r a n c e . don't roast me! Better fling me in that briar patch over there but don't roast me! This extended (three-parted) variant may function in a reduced form without the 1st part. but still maintaining the INSTEAD / BETTER operator which keeps for (2d) the status of a reduced form of (II'): (2d) Better fling me in that briar patch over there but don't roast me! It is clear that the new 3rd part (in II'. (1). On the contrary. INSTEAD / BETTER Imper [AFF] Y. very much alike (I) and resp. (1) does not meet the hearer's presupposition and breaks the RCN. The mechanism he uses to get to the practical sense is calculating the speaker's presupposition. 2c. in addition. in turn. which. 2d) shows the fact that t h e s c o p e o f c o n t r a s t e d n e g a t i o n i n t h e c a s e o f a contraposing bipartial imperative non-first dialogic remark may extend no further than a negating iteration of what has been expressed in the previous (the dialogic p a r t n e r ' s ) r e m a r k . I only assert that RCN is valid a t l e a s t for imperative sentences which function as non-first dialogic remarks and express a supplication. II') which is. This formulation will be further on referred to as the R u l e o f C o n t r a s t e d N e g a t i o n (RCN).: (2c) Please. and namely that is why (1) works as a strong means of manipulation. The possibility of existence and acceptability of (II'. the 2nd part of (2a. is felt like violation of quality and quantity maxims. n o new information is allowed to appear under contrasted n e g a t i o n . It is not the case that I intend to state RCN as a universal rule regulating any bipartial sentence with the relation of contrast and negation in the 2 nd clause. cf. All these enforce the hearer to focus upon the least predictable [NEG] Y component of (I) in order to deduce a practical sense of (1) for him. cf. Imper [NEG] X. In fact. The starting point of this computation finds itself in s e m a n t i c s of (1): 8 . 2c) is easily contrasted (with the appropriate conjunction) to the previous one just because of its zero novelty. a negated iteration of the option expressed in the previous utterance (the partner's.It should be taken to account that (II) may get an extension which would easily adopt a true negation: (II') <…> B. this 3rd part is just a repetition of the 1st part (cf. 2a'. II'. Namely this rule is broken in (1). 2c) brings in the dialogue area a brand new alternative to the X option and therefore cannot be contrasted to the 1st part. respectively.

i. of gain formula (for Lord's sake). so that the supplication functions as rhema. “you’re not scared of that. or even that he was afraid of that. c. to betray Brother Fox to this false conclusion was Brother Rabbit's main goal. b. 3. of the main asking (don’t fling me in that briar patch). After a series of repetitions of the same dialogue model. For this purpose. Positioning of what the speaker agrees to undergo at the first place and of what the speaker is begging not to do (the information newly introduced into the dialogic area) at the last place. Br. and cut off my legs).) The result meets Brother Rabbit's best expectation. an affirmative construction combining the information of agreement to be roasted / hung up / drowned / skinned with the information of disagreement to be thrown into the bush would look stranger than a corresponding imperative (1): 9 . Therefore.” said Brer Fox. Brer Fox. he was to build an utterance so that its semantics would have unambiguously lead to this conclusion. It is to be strongly underlined that all these features result from choices which the speaker is obliged to make. Numerous repetitions: of politeness formula (please).e. d. he could just i n f o r m Br. the starting point of constructing sentences amounting the utterance (1) is the false presupposition to be inspired to the hearer. he is really afraid of being thrown there ergo. e. Imperative construction arranged as supplication. of the contrast construction itself.2. Rabbit is to choose at least between an affirmative and an imperative construction.” (Ibid. tear out my ears by the roots. But you are scared of the briar patch. so that he actually verbalizes the computed presupposition: (4) “It’s not going to be much fun skinning you. Biphrasal structure with the relation of strong contrast between sentences / clauses. Ascending gradation anticipating the most predictable listener's appetites (Skin me. The following features of (1/I) and of its further variations ensure the needed semantics: a. the desired result. Formally speaking. the worst thing for him is to be thrown there'. Fox that he did not want to be thrown into the briar patch. In the (a) case. in other words pure p r a g m a t i c s . Brother Fox is fully convinced of this inference. snatch out my eyeballs. However.'he asks only not to throw him into that briar patch ergo. this feature actually breaks the RCN. The second face of pragmatics: The speaker's From the speaker's pragmatics point of view.

) and makes this part of the utterance meet Grice's maxims. lies in the fact that: 10 . its second part. 3) helps the speaker depreciate (with these details) the perspective of roasting him / hanging him up. this. Namely this selection grounds all others. no police. In the (b) case. that’s me <. etc. The little difference. no attorneys etc.(5) *I agree to be hung up but I don't want to be thrown into that briar patch. Additionally.. and though practical analysis from both points of view brings much more similar results than those which differ. etc. as it was shown in the section 3.. in turn. around: it would be absolutely inappropriate to calmly report anything to the dialogic partner who is at the same time the enemy. an affirmative construction as such is deprived of a bright feature of addressing and cannot be arranged as supplication.. Moreover. is the key moment and the key choice the choice between (1/I) and (2/II). even a little difference is worth paying attention to. the judge and the executioner in the affirmative mood. and makes sure that the planned pragmatic effect (the perlocutionary) is reached.. despite its equality to that in (1). I’d rather hang you Hang me. etc. The (c) case. just like in (1).1-3.1. All the advantages of choosing (1/I) in the current situation have been already analysed. This means that the violation of RCN in (5). the reason is to be found simply in the nature of the current situation. in turn.3. 2) gives the speaker an opportunity to stress his agreement by introducing details of the act of roasting him / hanging him up. with no law. "Born and bred in the briar patch. so what is the difference between (5) and (1). this selection gives the speaker one additional advantage: the opportunity of a subtle mockery of Brother Fox in the end. might lead the latter to unwanted suspicions and might destroy the plan. The second option looks much more satisfactory so far as it 1) provides coherence of the dialogue (I’m going to barbeque you today Roast me. Brother Rabbit's life is hanging by a thread." (Ibid. would automatically have been read as founded on a false presupposition 'the option of beeing thrown into the bush has been already expressed in the dialogue by its second participant'. the RCN is violated no weaker and no stronger than in (1).1. These are the reasons why the speaker chooses an imperative construction. which. especially (a. as I would now frame it. Discussion of the results The analysis in sections 3. b). namely that: though the division of pragmatics into two branches is completely provisory.) 3.2 proves the assertion made above. In (5). would be taken by the hearer as much more provocative..> I t o l d y o u n o t t o t h r o w m e t h e r e . the speaker makes a choice between a simple application (which might result in a monophrasal structure) and a two-parted utterance including both agreement and application. when Brother Rabbit says with good reason. partly veils the rough violation of them by the utterance as a whole. why does the speaker choose (1) and not (5)? I think.

2). four features of five (b-e) have a syntactic nature. In the list of features (a-e) which ensure the needed pragmatic effect (see section 3. and move down to language tools. Brer Fox. variants (1b-e) look somewhat strange and can hardly be considered acceptable. The key role is played by (b) (biphrasal structure with the relation of a strong contrast between sentences / clauses) and (c) (the violation of the RCN). So: what is important in (1) from the mentioned point of view is t h e w a y of actualization of the contrast relation. Brer Fox. That is why both the perceptional procedures and the utterance-planning procedures often start precisely at this point. please don’t throw me into the briar patch. tear out my ears by the roots. only) would have been eliminated. The reason for this concentration is obvious: the type of syntactic connection.1. 3.” said Brer Rabbit. the same elimination in (4) gives a much more admissible version: 11 .: (1b) *"Roast me.2.2. Brer Fox. snatch out my eyeballs. Brer Fox. On the contrary. I will now focus at the (b) feature. In the next section I am going to add some notes to the assertion 3.3. (1e) *“Skin me. 4.3. Brer Fox. (1d) *“Drown me just as deep as you please. don’t fling me in that briar patch".g. The relation of contrast itself would persist even if the adversative conjunction but (or its functional analogue just. stamps the construction in whole and blazes the shortest trail to the logical semantics of the utterance. Studying a pragmatic potential inlayed in an utterance (the speaker's pragmatics) we proceed from its semantics as something needed for a pragmatic effect being planned. which makes us appeal to semantics of grammar. concerning the pragmatic potential of some aspects of syntactic semantics. in case of a complex sentence or a conjunctional biphrasal-structured utterance (which makes practically no difference). “for Lord’s sake don’t fling me in that briar patch”. Psychologically thinking.3. “Please. Studying a pragmatic effect of an utterance (the hearer's pragmatics) we proceed from its semantics as something given. and move up to discursive and logical semantics (e.” said Brer Rabbit. and cut off my legs.3.” said Brer Rabbit. On pragmatic potential of syntactic semantics A significant role in providing the pragmatic effect of (1) plays syntactic semantics. cf. “for Lord’s sake don’t fling me in that briar patch”. first of all to semantics of syntax.” Nevertheless. (1c) *“Hang me just as high as you please. this difference is completely argumentative and clear.. violation of RCN).

Syntactic relations vs. Why? It is needless to underline that exclusively in (1). You are scared of the briar patch.” said Brer Fox. Jespersen 1924. the less t h e c o n j u n c t i o n (which marks the contrast relation) m a y b e eliminated. Smirnitsky 1957. cf.4) (6.2) (6. Gak 2000. These data let me formulate the following hypothesis: 4. 4. Mukhin 2004. German and Russian samples): [SyntR which may be determined] attributive [SyntC] agreement [specifically for English may be qualified as null-agreement] ? Koordination / agreement / agreement direction / control Rektion / direction / control / direction/ control (6.(4a) “It’s not going to be much fun skinning you. the modern linguistics does not present any universally accepted typology of syntactic connections (SyntC) and relations (SyntR). we have an adversative construction which shows apparent lack of indifference to the same. Tesnière 1959 and others) SyntC and SyntR are constantly intermixed. in one case we have an adversative construction which seems to be rather indifferent to presence or absence of an adversative conjunction marking the relation of contrast. though a great number of simplest examples show persuasively that these entities are completely different. This regularity can also be reformulated in other terms and be more generalized. and not in (4a.” Analogically. the adversative construction is used not only to express a contrast but also to break the RCN and in this way to reach a certain pragmatic effect. 2d').3) (6. syntactic connections As far as it may be observed. In different typologies (Apresyan et al. don't roast me! Thus.0.6) (6. the latter persists in both versions. 2010.1. but before then a few additional remarks should be made.1) stony heart (6.7) Steinhaus warmes Herz heart of stone Herz aus Stein attributive attributive attributive attributive attributive attributive 12 . we get a satisfactory version for (2d): (2d') Better fling me in that briar patch over there. Hjelmslev 1953.5) (6. (each series consists of parallel English. T h e m o r e a n a d v e r s a t i v e c o n s t r u c t i o n i s e n g a g e d in realizing a certain pragmatic effect. In the other case. “you’re not scared of that.

2) (7. Based on these data I posit the following three principles of an adequate typology of SyntC and SyntR: 4.1. (7.1. wo der Schatz vergraben ist. on one hand.1.6) condition The number of similar series of examples can be easily multiplied. There is no tough appointedness between certain types of relations and certain types of connections. wo der Schatz vergraben condition Beiordnung / coordination ist. on the other hand.3) (7. condition coordination and I (will) keep you alive collation Du mir sagst.3. (7. All types of syntactic connections may be considered as having a pragmatic dimension.4-7. and.3) where the degree of precision in marking the conditional SyntR is the lowest (actually.6) where the degree is the highest.(7. the zero degree). entails an idea of a scale of actualization. wo der Schatz vergraben ist. ich halte dich am Leben .1. (7.2.4) (7. Syntactic connections should be interpreted as ways of actualization of syntactic relations. werde ich dich am Leben erhalten [or: halte ich dich am Leben] condition sequence collation condition sequence collation condition sequence collation condition condition parataxis / asyndeton Parataxe / parataxis / asyndeton / Asyndeton / asyndeton hypotaxis / subordination Hypotaxe / Unterordnung / hypotaxis / subordination hypotaxis subordination / parataxis / (7. 4.8) (7.3 to all the SyntC we will find out that the notion of actualization implies a notion of a degree of precision in marking a certain type of SyntR. I (will) keep you alive Wenn du mir sagst. 4. But if we consequently apply the principle 4.9) 13 . This.7) (7.1. In the series of samples above we have. The middle degree may be seen in some complex sentences marked with coordinate conjunctions (the sequence SyntR is muted): [SyntR which may be [SyntC] determined] You tell me where the treasure is buried.17. in turn. und ich halte dich am Leben collation condition coordination collation (7. .5) If you tell me where the treasure is buried. Syntactic connections should be strictly distinguished from syntactic relations.1) (You) tell me where the treasure is buried I (will) keep you alive Du mir sagst.

a univocal decision of the priority problem is unattainable in principle. Discussing the semantics vs. 5. a number of other decisions may be no less satisfactory.e. Now. The reverse is also true. T h e h i g h e r i s t h e d e g r e e o f a c t u a l i z a t i o n o f a certain SyntR in a given syntactic construction. a clear distinction should be made between two aspects of pragmatics: the speaker's pragmatics vs. would choose with the lowest probability a construction expressing a semantic cloud.2. respectively. if he is eager to reach a particular pragmatic effect. i. it varies from one utterance to another and 14 . therefore. it doesn't matter much how and in which terms we solve the problem of semantic-pragmatic distinction.3. This means that asyndeton has the widest but at the same time the lowest pragmatic potential. But in any case. however.1-7. by the SyntC with the lowest degree of precision in marking a certain type of SyntR. since the speaker. though.1. An extremely important role in patterning a semantic set of an utterance is played by syntactic means.1. vice versa. 5. this type.As it may be seen from (6. It seems practical to solve this problem by positioning pragmatics as vector semantics. has the narrowest but at the same time the highest pragmatic potential. This correspondence may be interpreted in terms of deep syntactic semantics. pragmatics priority may be endless like discussing any everlasting problem. having taken in account the posited three degrees of precision in marking a certain type of SyntR (= three degrees of its actualization) by a certain type of SyntC. The SyntC marked with subordinate conjunctions. It could be said that such a SyntC expresses not a concrete SyntR but rather a semantic cloud which can be understood in several ways (for further detail of this conception.9). particularly by a correspondence between syntactic relations and syntactic connections.4. It seems indisputable. Both aspects are closely but differently related to semantics: while the first studies ways of reaching a semantic set required for providing a desired pragmatic effect. the second studies ways of reaching a practical sense based on a given semantic set. In this paper three points were of key significance for me: 5. Conclusion. the hearer's one. the higher (but also the narrower) is the p r a g m a t i c p o t e n t i a l o f t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n . I can reformulate the hypothesis 4.0 as follows: 4. the widest range of SyntR is provided by asyndeton. see Dymarsky 2010). 5. provide the narrowest spectrum of SyntR. Finally. that the one can hardly be divided from the other.

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