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Pragmatics (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics)

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521294140
ISBN-10: 0521294142
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

An integrative and lucid analysis of central topics in the field of linguistic pragmatics deixis, implicature, presupposition, speed acts, and conversational structure.

About the Author

Stephen C. Levinson is Director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and Professor of Comparative Linguistics at the University of Nijmegen. His publications include Pragmatics (Cambridge, 1983), Politeness (co-author Cambridge, 1987), Rethinking Linguistic Relativity (co-editor, Cambridge, 1996), Language Acquisition and Conceptual Development (co-editor, Cambridge, 2001) and Presumptive Meaning (2001).
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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics
  • Paperback: 438 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (July 29, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521294142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521294140
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #897,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For the reader with no time to lose, I'll start right away by telling you which book on Pragmatics you ought to get if you want a good introduction to it: "Pragmatics" by George Yule, because it is much more concise, to the point, covers a lot of ground quickly, deals with the essential.

Now, Levinson's book is a book I read twice, and from which I never retain anything. The first time I read it - entirely - I could not mention anything I had read in there. I thought I was simply a bad reader, but after having studied pragmatics for a long time, I realised that the book was simply not well written. It goes into complicated details too fast, before the reader has any real grasp on the matter, and gets lost in discussions that readers usually aren't able to understand, nor care for.

Typically, I'd say that Levinson's book is an "introduction" written by someone who knows not what it is like to know nothing about pragmatics. And even when you know of the subject, you still find his book rather difficult to follow.

I strongly urge you to consider George Yule's book on pragmatics rather than this one.
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Format: Paperback
I would highly recommend this very readable introduction to the pragmatic revolution in linguistics. The book is organized incredibly well with each chapter dealing with a curiously inexplicable lingusitic phenomenon that just happens to have a clean, pragmatic answer. Levinson weaves linguistic theory and philosophy of language well with a very readable format and style. I found it especially useful as a primer for recent philosophy of language.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While this book is dated since it has not been updated since 1983, it remains as a classic introductory text for the field of pragmatics. The book does a great job of introducing the reader into various areas of the pragmatics field in an interdisciplinary fashion but with an explicit focus on linguistics. The major problem of the book is that someone lacking a background in syntax/semantics will find the book challenging to read. Moreover, the book requires a solid grounding in logic to understand well. In sum, I would recommend this book as an excellent introduction to pragmatics, but I would caution the buyer to read an introductory linguistics text prior to buying this book.
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