Acquiring Pragmatics : Social and cognitive perspectives book cover
1st Edition

Acquiring Pragmatics
Social and cognitive perspectives

ISBN 9780415746441
Published December 17, 2014 by Routledge
214 Pages

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Book Description

Acquiring Pragmatics offers a comprehensive synthesis of state-of-the-art research on the acquisition of pragmatics. It introduces the current topics of research in theoretical pragmatics and explores the issues they raise for language acquisition research and the new experimental designs which have been developed to address them.

While each chapter covers each topic in depth, it also places a strong emphasis on the underlying methodological aspects of each issue, which will help the reader to develop their own experimental designs. Key topics covered include:

  • The interfaces between pragmatics and language acquisition
  • The social aspects of pragmatic competence
  • The cognitive aspects of pragmatic competence
  • The acquisition of pragmatics in autistic spectrum disorders and second language acquisition

Acquiring Pragmatics is key reading for advanced undergraduate and graduate students studying pragmatics and language acquisition.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction

Chapter 1: Interfaces between pragmatics and language acquisition

Chapter 2: Aspects of language acquisition research

Part II: Acquiring social aspects of pragmatic competence

Chapter 3: Learning how to do things with words: Speech acts

Chapter 4: The pragmatics of conversation and discourse structure

Part III: Acquiring cognitive aspects of pragmatic competence

Chapter 5: Understanding communicative intentions: Theory of mind

Chapter 6: Non-literal language use

Chapter 7: Pragmatic enrichment

Chapter 8: Procedural meaning

Part IV: The acquisition of pragmatics under specific constraints

Chapter 9: Pragmatic impairments in autistic spectrum disorders

Chapter 10: Pragmatics and second language acquisition


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Sandrine Zufferey is a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. Her research focuses on the acquisition and processing of discourse connectives. Her work takes a cross-linguistic perspective in order to study the way linguistic encoding affects cognitive processes.


Sandrine Zufferey has done the fields of pragmatics, language acquisition, and cognitive science an invaluable service. Her book covers a remarkably broad range of results and ideas that she skillfully integrates into a beautifully structured, impeccably researched, and engaging synthesis. An authoritative and endlessly fascinating exposition of the state-of-the-art, Acquiring Pragmatics should be required reading for anyone interested in the study of pragmatics, its acquisition, and its place within the sciences of the mind.
Julien Musolino, Rutgers University, USA

This book gives a very readable and up-to-date review of a field in language acquisition that deserves more attention: pragmatics. I highly recommend it.
Ted Sanders, Utrecht University, The Netherlands