Introducing Pragmatics : A Clinical Approach book cover
1st Edition

Introducing Pragmatics
A Clinical Approach

  • Available for pre-order on May 15, 2023. Item will ship after June 5, 2023
ISBN 9781032011806
June 5, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
248 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
SAVE $9.39
was $46.95
USD $37.56

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This innovative, comprehensive course textbook uses a clinical approach to explore pragmatics and pragmatic language skills.

Drawing on authentic, real-life examples of pragmatic breakdown in children and adults who have developmental or acquired language disorders, Louise Cummings expertly guides readers to core insights and principles for understanding where context and meaning in human communication meet. Key features include:

  • Chapter-opening learning objectives & chapter-closing summaries
  • Authentic illustrative cases of atypical pragmatic interaction
  • Exercises for checking knowledge and understanding
  • Annotated recommended further reading
  • A detailed glossary of important terms in pragmatics and clinical linguistics

Aimed equally at undergraduate and graduate students who are coming to pragmatics for the first time, the text discusses the key issues and concepts of this field in a fascinating new way. With a common, easy-to-follow structure across chapters and a wealth of pedagogical resources, this is an essential text for students of linguistics and applied linguistics, communication studies, speech-language pathology, psychology and cognitive science, and beyond.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1: Speech acts

1.1 Introduction

1.2 How to realise a speech act

1.3 A new approach to meaning

1.4 Happy and unhappy performatives

1.5 Explicit and implicit performatives

1.6 Saying and doing

1.7 Searle on speech acts

1.8 Indirect speech acts

Suggestions for further reading


Chapter 2: Implicatures

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Grice and the cooperative principle

2.3 The cooperative principle and implicatures

2.4 Types of implicature

2.5 Properties of implicatures

2.6 Relevance theory

Suggestions for further reading


Chapter 3: Presuppositions

3.1 Introduction

3.2 The economic rationale for presupposition

3.3 Presupposition triggers

3.4 Properties of presuppositions

3.5 Presuppositions in the real world

Suggestions for further reading


Chapter 4: Deixis

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Person and social deixis

4.3 Place deixis

4.4 Time deixis

4.5 Discourse deixis

4.6 Anaphora

Suggestions for further reading


Chapter 5: Figurative language

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Idioms

5.3 Metaphors

5.4 Irony

5.5 Hyperbole

5.6 Proverbs

Suggestions for further reading


Chapter 6: Politeness

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Brown and Levinson on politeness

6.3 Politeness and face in clinical settings

6.4 Criticisms of Brown and Levinson

Suggestions for further reading


Chapter 7: Topic management

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Topic management in clinical settings

7.2.1 Topic selection

7.2.2 Topic introduction

7.2.3 Topic development

7.2.4 Topic termination

7.3 Analysing topic management in conversation

7.4 Analysing topic management in narration

Suggestions for further reading


Chapter 8: Clinical pragmatics

8.1 Introduction

8.2 The communication cycle

8.3 Cognition and the communication cycle

8.4 Theory of mind

8.5 Executive function

Suggestions for further reading







View More



Louise Cummings is Professor in the Department of English and Communication at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. She is author or editor of many books, including Pragmatic Disorders (Springer), Clinical Linguistics (Edinburgh University Press), Clinical Pragmatics and The Cambridge Handbook of Communication Disorders (Cambridge University Press), and Pragmatics: A Multidisciplinary Perspective and The Routledge Pragmatics Encyclopedia (Routledge). She is also Editor of the Routledge Research in Speech-Language Pathology book series.


Comprehensive, innovative, and easy-to-use, Introducing Pragmatics is an indispensable resource for scientists and students interested in how real-life pragmatic language failures shape our understanding of effective communication. Not only does the textbook contain a wealth of material on theory and experimental studies, but also wide-ranging topics from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Professor Elly Ifantidou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece