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Introduction - The Rise of Intercultural Pragmatics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 September 2022

Istvan Kecskes
State University of New York, Albany
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Intercultural pragmatics is a relatively new field of inquiry that is concerned with the way in which the language system is put to use in social encounters between human beings who have different first languages but communicate in a common language, and, usually, represent different cultures (see Kecskes 2004, 2013). The main focus of research in this field is on intercultural interactions. In these encounters, the communicative process is synergistic, in the sense that existing pragmatic norms and emerging co-constructed features are present to a varying degree. The innovative feature of the field is that it provides an alternative way of thinking about interaction by shifting the attention of researchers from first language (L1) communication to intercultural communication. In Gricean pragmatics everything is about native speakers (mainly native speakers of English) of a language who are members of the same, although diverse and relatively definable, speech community, who have preferred ways of saying things and preferred ways of organizing thoughts, who share core common ground, conventions, norms, and distributed collective salience. This gives them a relatively firm basis for understanding each other.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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