Re: semantic/pragmatic

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Tue Mar 17 1998 - 07:20:39 EST

Mari Broman Olsen wrote:
> This is NOT off topic, but an important distinction that gets buried
> in the Greek literature (and in linguistics proper). Pragmatics
> refers to those aspects of meaning that are contextually manipulable,
> or determined (e.g., when I say "I am writing to you", the content of
> who "I" and "you" point to is contextually determined). Semantics in
> contrast with pragmatics (a narrower usage than the lay/popular
> approach, which has connotation of all 'meaning') refers to those
> aspects of meaning that are invariant across contexts, i.e. that "I"
> and "you" are pronouns of first and second person.
> In (aspectual) practice, it is important to determine what the
> verbs/verb forms must and do say (semantics), and then to allow
> pragmatics to specify the meaning more fully.
> Example: imperfective aspect may possibly be defined semantically as
> something that predicates of an event or state that it is ongoing.
> That it may also have an inception-then-ongoing reading must be
> pragmatic, since the inceptive is not present in every case.

Thanks Mari, I was hoping to hear from you.

Could you possibly tell me how this use of pragmatic relates to the use of the
same term by the followers of Wittgenstein's meaning-is-use theory? This is
the focus of my confusion. I am not as confused as I was but your use of the
terms still seems kind of alien.

If this is off topic I am willing to go private at any time.

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:16 EDT