Up until the mid-1980s most pragmatic analysis had been done on spoken language use, considerably less on written use, and very little at all on literary activity. This has now radically changed. ‘Pragmatics’ could be informally defined as the study of relationships between language and its users.
This volume, first published in 1991, seeks to reposition literary activity at the centre of that study. The internationally renowned contributors draw together two main streams. On the one hand, there are concerns which are close to the syntax and semantics of mainstream linguistics, and on the other, there are concerns ranging towards anthropological linguistics, socio- and psycholinguistics.
Literary Pragmatics represents an antidote to the fragmenting specialization so characteristic of the humanities in the twentieth century. This book will be of lasting value to students of linguistics, literature and society.