4th Edition

A Resource Book for Students

ISBN 9780367207250
Published November 26, 2020 by Routledge
314 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

USD $42.95

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Book Description

Routledge English Language Introductions cover core areas of language study and are one-stop resources for students.

Assuming no prior knowledge, books in the series offer an accessible overview of the subject, with activities, study questions, sample analyses, commentaries, and key readings – all in the same volume. The innovative and flexible ‘two-dimensional’ structure is built around four sections – introduction, development, exploration, and extension – that offer self-contained stages for study. Each topic can also be read across these sections, enabling the reader to gradually build on the knowledge gained.

Now in its fourth edition, this best-selling textbook:

  • Covers the core areas of the subject: speech acts, the cooperative principle, relevance theory, corpus pragmatics, politeness theory, and critical discourse analysis
  • Has updated and new sections on intercultural and cross-cultural pragmatics, critical discourse analysis and the pragmatics of power, second language pragmatic competence development, impoliteness, post-truth discourse, vague language, pragmatic markers, formulaic sequences, and online corpus tools
  • Draws on a wealth of texts in a variety of languages, including political TV interviews, newspaper articles, extracts from classic novels and plays, recent international films, humorous narratives, and exchanges on email, messaging, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp
  • Provides recent readings from leading scholars in the discipline, including Jonathan Culpeper, Lynne Flowerdew, and César Félix-Brasdefer
  • Is accompanied by eResources featuring extra material and activities.

Written by two experienced teachers and researchers, this accessible textbook is an essential resource for all students of English language and linguistics.

Table of Contents

Contents cross-referenced

List of illustrations


A Introduction: concepts in pragmatics

1 Context and structure

2 Speech act theory

3 Cooperative principle

4 Politeness and impoliteness

5 Corpora and communities

6 Critical discourse analysis

7 Intercultural pragmatics

8 Pragmatics and language learning

B Development: studies in pragmatics

1 Analysing context

2 Using speech acts

3 Understanding implicature

4 Analysing politeness and impoliteness

5 Analysing markers

6 Detecting hidden values

7 Studying intercultural pragmatics

8 Teaching pragmatics

C Exploration: data for investigation

1 Contexts in writing

2 Culture and indirectness

3 Flouting and violating

4 Politeness and impoliteness

5 Variation and multimodal corpora

6 Language and power

7 Understanding each other

8 Pragmatics online and learning

D Extension: readings

1 Conversation analysis and ELF (Anita Santner-Wolfartsberger)

2 Speech acts and conversation analysis (J. César Félix-Brasdefer)

3 Relevance and emotion (Baiyao Zuo and Wen Yuana, Francis Y. Lin, and Richard P. Cooper)

4 Impoliteness and rudeness (Jonathan Culpeper)

5 Corpora and language teaching (Lynne Flowerdew)

6 Multimodal critical discourse analysis (Steve Buckledee and David Machin)

7 African face needs (Karen Grainger, Sara Mills, and Mandla Sibanda)

8 Pragmatic development, ELF, and TBLT (Neil Murray and Marta González-Lloret)



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Joan Cutting is a senior lecturer in TESOL at the University of Edinburgh. She studies intercultural pragmatics, vague language, and in-group codes. She is author of Analysing the Language of Discourse Communities (2000) and Language in Context in TESOL (2015), editor of Vague Language Explored (2007), and coeditor of the Edinburgh Textbooks in TESOL series (2013–2017).

Kenneth Fordyce is a lecturer in TESOL at the University of Edinburgh. He previously worked as a language teacher in Austria and Japan. His research covers corpus linguistics, pragmatics, and intercultural pragmatics. He has a particular interest in post-truth discourse and the language of truth and lies in politics, the media, and health communication.


Pragmatics is no longer just a subject of philosophical enquiry and is now firmly established as the investigation of the real world of everyday language use in all its variety and media of communication. This book gives the most up-to-date introduction to a fast-moving field.

Michael McCarthy, Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics, University of Nottingham, Adjunct Professor of Applied Linguistics, University of Limerick, and Visiting Professor in Applied Linguistics at Newcastle University.

Support Material


  • Student Resources (ZIP 218.7KB)

    Student resources include:

    • Unit 1 Context and Structure
    • Unit 2 Speech Act Theory
    • Unit 3 Cooperative Principle
    • Unit 4 Politeness and Impoliteness
    • Unit 5 Corpora and Communities
    • Unit 6 Critical Discourse Analysis
    • Unit 7 Intercultural Pragmatics
    • Unit 8 Teaching Pragmatics

Companion Website

Please visit our companion website for additional support materials.