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Pragmatics by George Yule

 This book is designed to give a large-scale view of different areas of language. It should be used as an introduction to more specific ... introductions. The titles in the series are all divided into four sections: Survey, Readings, References and Glossary. 

The Survey of Pragmatics contains nine chapters, each of roughly 10 pages: 1) Definitions and background; 2) Deixis and Reference; 3) Reference and inference; 4) Presupposition and entailment; 5)Cooperation and implicature; 6) Speech acts and events; 7)Politeness and interaction; 8) Conversation and preference structure; 9) Discourse and culture.

The Readings are one-page texts extracted from the specialized literature and are followed by a couple of questions. The References help the reader providing him with a selection of titles for every chapter of the Survey. The proposed books are classified in terms of difficulty, from introductory to advanced level. Technical terms are in bold and are explained once more in the Glossary at the back of the book.

I think the author has succeeded in giving a bird's view of several fields of pragmatics. Of course, the discussion is somewhat condensed and could, at least at some points, be clearer or give some more details. But one should be aware of the difficulty of explaining a lot of stuff to people with no assumed prior knowledge of the subject and having only 90 pages at one's disposal! Nonetheless, I missed formal definitions of technical terms in the Survey. The author often gives them only indirectly, and the reader must extract them himself from the text. Sincerely, I did not find the Readings useful at all and I would have wished to find more titles and more details in the comments under each of them in the References. 


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