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Pragmatics: The Cornerstone of Linguistic Exploration in the 21st Century

AU Embugushiki

Abstract


This study investigates into the relevance of context in the interpretation of linguistic entities. Pragmatics, a field concerned with the study of language in relation to the context, was earlier conceived as a �waste-basket� or �a rag-bag into which recalcitrant data could be conveniently stuffed, and where it could be equally conveniently forgotten� (1983:1). This study shows that Pragmatics, notwithstanding its earlier misconception, remains at the moment the engine room and cornerstone of any viable linguistic exploration in this twenty-first century. The interdisciplinary nature of pragmatics substantiates and justifies the capacity of pragmatics to provide answers to questions which hitherto could not be answered in linguistics. It is obvious from this study that not all interdisciplinary approaches cast such a wide net around all that is of interest to the understanding of the functioning of language as pragmatics. Thus, It is important to note that the interdisciplinarity of the origin and nature of pragmatics is relevant to the study of linguistics in the twenty-first century because it gives us the impetus to resort to the different areas of human endeavours and other contextual variables in a bit to arrive at a comprehensive and communicative meaning of linguistic units.



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/afrrev.v4i4.69208
AJOL African Journals Online