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Cognitive pragmatics as an account of derivational machinery: A research trend in Japan

Issue: Vol 1 No. 2 (2016)

Journal: East Asian Pragmatics

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/eap.v1i2.31126


The aim of this article is to advocate ‘cognitive pragmatics,’ an approach which incorporates the insights of cognitive linguistics. It comes under the school of the ‘perspective view’ of pragmatics, which seeks to reveal (for all functional aspects of linguistic phenomena) the reason why the speaker chooses particular expressions (at any linguistic level or unit) to ‘adapt to’ the communicative needs of the situation. The author discusses several of such studies in Japan to demonstrate how the pragmatic choice of various constructions reflects the general cognitive abilities and principles of human beings. The topics of the research discussed in this paper concern inferential meaning, information flow, interactional construction, and politeness, which represent four main facets of pragmatics. It contends that cognitive pragmatics provides us with a systematic account of how the selection of particular structures are related to their pragmatic effects.

Author: Takuo Hayashi

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