Scientific article
Open access

The French tradition in pragmatics: from structuralism to cognitivism

ContributorsMoeschler, Jacques
Published inIntercultural Pragmatics, vol. 3, no. 4, p. 381-407
Publication date2006

The following paper provides an overview of the origins of the French tradition in pragmatics (FTP). This linguistic tradition originated in the French structuralist paradigm, mainly in the work of Saussure and Benveniste. This contribution presents a general survey of the work of one of the most famous French pragmaticists, Oswald Ducrot. Ducrot's work on argumentative scale, presupposition, negation, and polyphony are all explored. According to Ducrot, the general comprehension procedure of an utterance is called Y-Theory, and belongs to what is known as ‘‘integrated pragmatics'' (pragmatics integrated with semantics). His way of describing and explaining meaning is similar to Gricean pragmatics in terms of his usage of discourse rules, which are equivalent to Grice's maxims of conversation. However, the design of the general comprehension procedure defines FTP as a framework belonging to a di¤erent scientific paradigm. The paper concludes with a section on the relationship between current work on pragmatic markers originating in FTP (connectives, referential expressions, prepositions, tenses) and the new lexical pragmatic framework developed by Deirdre Wilson and Robyn Carston within relevance theory

Citation (ISO format)
MOESCHLER, Jacques. The French tradition in pragmatics: from structuralism to cognitivism. In: Intercultural Pragmatics, 2006, vol. 3, n° 4, p. 381–407. doi: 10.1515/IP.2006.025
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1612-295X

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