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Pragmatics: Theory and Experiment Growing Together

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Pragmatics is already an established subfield of linguistics and the Gricean distinction between literal and speaker's meaning is one of the foundations of modern linguistic theory. But progress in pragmatics has been slow compared to other subfields of linguistics over the last four decades. We argue that one recent trend, namely Experimental Pragmatics, promises to overcome the stagnant state of pragmatic theory. We present both the three main developments that come together in Experimental Pragmatics (Gricean pragmatics, precise models, and formal experiments). We then present recent results that exemplify the promise of Experimental Pragmatics in two core domains: scalar implicatures and metonymy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2016

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  • "Linguistische Berichte" is open-minded regarding linguistic subjects and methods, but attaches great importance to theoretical reasoning and empirical validation.
    Since its foundation in 1969 by Peter Hartmann and Arnim von Stechow, the journal is an academic forum where serious views within linguistics and similar fields of studies (psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, language acquisition and teaching, literary studies, philosophy, and computer linguistics) are discussed equally.
    The purpose is to provide an objective and critical documentation of linguistic developments. Besides, the forum is open for each level of scientific work, i.e. for everyone who is dealing with linguistic-based work (undergraduates, assistants, and professors).
    New research results and linguistic developments are published quickly and comprehensively, and contributions are normally published within one year after acceptance by the editors.
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