Pragmatics: The state of the art

Keith Allan, Mohammad Ali Salmani Nodoushan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This interview was conducted with Professor Keith Allan with the aim of providing a brief but informative summary of the state of the art of pragmatics. In providing answers to the interview questions, Professor Allan begins with a definition of pragmatics as it is practiced today, i.e., the study of the meanings of utterances with attention to the context in which the utterances are made. He further notices that discourse analysis, pragmatics, semantics, semiotics, and the philosophy of language are related disciplines, but unlike some other scholar, he does not distinguish texts from discourses in that he sees texts to be the interesting products of discourse. Later, in the course of the interview, he accepts the interviewers chronological approach to pragmatics, but suggests that any historian of pragmatics would have his or her own version. Further, in his response to a question concerning Mey s Pragmatic Act Theory (PAT), Professor Allan quotes from Mey (2001) to presents a view of pragmemes and practs. He further suggests that there is no bound on the number of possible hypotheses (theories) of language structure and usage, and that all theories are worthy of consideration provided that rational grounds can be advanced for the assessment of different hypotheses. The future direction of pragmatics, in Professor Allan s view, will rely on corpora in that corpora provide bodies of naturally occurring texts which can be used to test any theoretical claims in pragmatics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147 - 154
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Language Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this