The Role of Language in Human Conflict: The Pragmatic Implication of Statements

  • Eunice Kingsley Ukaegbu
Keywords: Language, conflict, meaning, context.


Conflicts are inescapable aspects of our social lives. It is of no huge debate that a good percentage of human conflicts stem from misconceptions of ideas and intentions. Flaming of conflicts and managing them are all dependent on language use, as language is used to build and reconcile, so can it also be used to destroy. It is however imperative to examine the functions of language in conflict and how different communicative acts relate to speaker’s motivational goals and conflict outcome. Therefore, the paper seeks to situate the concept of "abusive statement" within the pragmatic environment. It explores the role of language in shaping the way conflicts unfold and resolve. It ventures into exploitations of what qualifies a statement as abusive and the criteria for such judgements, as well as how a statement may be positive at one stance and negative in another. It makes use of the Sperber and Wilson's relevance theory to x-ray how language, psychology, and context come to play when a statement is made and how this affects human relationships. (Word count: 177)

Keywords: Language, conflict, meaning, context.


eISSN: 1813-2227