Exploratory Study Of Pragmatic Inferences In Journalistic Texts

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Shazali Mustafa Ahmed, Mustafa
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In order to deal competently with the process of communication, one must be able to calculate highly detailed inferences about the nature of assumptions speaker and addressee are making. One should also understand the purposes for which utterances are being used. The ability to calculate these inferences in both production and interpretation is called ‘pragmatics’. The study has tried to explain this theory within the context of journalism so that its assigned role in linguistic theory can clearly be identified. Chapter two provides insights into the four pragmatic inferences (deixis, speech act, implicature, presupposition); it also draws boundaries between pragmatics, and other fields like sociolinguistics, psycholinguistic, and semantics. The chapter also provides the reader with some stylistic features of writing in journalism.Chapter three is a review of twenty- two empirical studies on these inferences. Its main aim is to familiarize the reader with the nature of these inferences. An investigation and textual analysis have been undertaken in Chapter four to explore the influence and constraints of pragmatic inferences on the meanings of journalistic language. Results of this textual analysis have displayed pragmatic categories like deixis, speech acts, implicature, and presupposition in various kinds of journalistic texts. The first part of this chapter shows deixis as an important element in calculating journalistic referents. The second part of the chapter illustrates categories of speech act in journalistic advertisement and in the process of reporting the news. Implicature is seen in the flouting of Grice’s maxim of ‘manner’ and ‘quality’ in writing feature headlines. Presupposition and honorific, figure of speech are shown in the process of reporting the news.