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16 - Sociopragmatics and Intercultural Interaction

from Part III - Interface of Intercultural Pragmatics and Related Disciplines

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 September 2022

Istvan Kecskes
Affiliation:
State University of New York, Albany
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Summary

Sociopragmatics encompasses the study of social, interactional, and normative dimensions of language use, while intercultural pragmatics examines how language is used in social interactions between people who have different first languages and are usually considered to represent different cultures. While there are some points of overlap between them, the main aim of intercultural pragmatics is to analyze and theorize how language is used when participants have limited common ground and do not necessarily adhere to L1 preferred ways of speaking. It is thus argued in intercultural pragmatics not only that intercultural encounters are deserving of theorization in their own right, but that theorization in intercultural pragmatics can usefully inform pragmatics more broadly. The aim of this chapter is to consider how research in intercultural pragmatics can inform work in sociopragmatics, and vice versa. Following discussion of the main theoretical foundations of sociopragmatics, a case study examining the openings of first conversations in intercultural settings is used as a springboard to consider the place of sociopragmatics vis-à-vis intercultural pragmatics, and what insights each can bring to the other. The conclusion is that sociopragmatics would benefit from building more explicitly on the important empirical and theoretical insights offered by intercultural pragmatics.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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