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Intercultural pragmatics: a cognitive approach

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Published in Intercultural Pragmatics. 2004, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 49-70
Abstract The main purpose of this paper is to explore pragmatic misunderstandings caused by intercultural factors. My thesis is that misunderstandings are caused not by difficulty in drawing the intended implicature, but primarily by lack of access to the correct explicature of the utterance. The explicit vs. implicit nature of the conveyed meaning is the key to the explanation of pragmatic misunderstanding. This argument is based on some assumptions supported by Relevance Theory, namely the ostensive-inferential character of linguistic communication and the difference between explicature and implicature. Some examples of intercultural misunderstanding will be discussed, and some consequences drawn. For instance, one parameter that increases the risk of misunderstanding is the quality of the audience’s linguistic knowledge. My hypothesis is that the greater the audience’s mastery of the speaker’s language, the greater the risk of intercultural mis- understanding. The reason is that speakers tend to attribute to non-native speakers cultural background which is in due proportion to their own mastery of language and therefore do not necessarily imply the right explicature of the utterance. This thesis will constitute the starting point for a useful contribution about what the minimal conditions for successful inter- cultural communication should be. In conclusion, a sketch of the empirical field for intercultural pragmatics will be given.
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Research group Sémantique-pragmatique-cognition
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MOESCHLER, Jacques. Intercultural pragmatics: a cognitive approach. In: Intercultural Pragmatics, 2004, vol. 1, n° 1, p. 49-70. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:109768

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Deposited on : 2018-10-24

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