Topics in Pragmatics - LL533

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2021 to 2022.


This module will focus on extending students’ critical understanding of pragmatic meaning. Central areas of linguistic pragmatics, such as conversational implicature, maxims of conversation, and principles of politeness and speech acts are outlined, discussed and evaluated critically. The module also explores controversies over the universality of the aforementioned theories, looking more closely at how human interaction is based on different cultural scripts and encouraging students to reflect upon and discuss the cultural influences which impact meaning in a range of intercultural communicative settings. Students will also have the opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of pragmatic theories on the basis of empirical investigations, familiarising themselves with the related methodologies and tools of analysis.


Contact hours

A one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar per week

Method of assessment

100% coursework

Indicative reading

• Huang, Y. (2006). Pragmatics. New York: Oxford University Press.
• Jaszczolt, K. (2002). Semantics and Pragmatics: Meaning in Language and Discourse. London: Longman.
• Kadmon, N. (2001). Formal Pragmatics: Semantics, Pragmatics, Presupposition, and Focus. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
• Noveck, I. & Sperber, D. (2004) Experimental Pragmatics. San Diego: Palgrave.
• Sperber, D. & Wilson, D. (1995) (2nd ed.) Relevance: Communication and Cognition. Oxford: Blackwell.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate coherent and detailed knowledge of significant theories concerning the production and interpretation of meaning in context and the ability to apply and critically evaluate the different methodologies associated with these
2. Demonstrate an awareness of the nature of theory and what constitutes an explanation, as well as an understanding of the limitations of theory
3. Critically approach the debates concerning the distinction between semantic and pragmatic aspects of meaning
4. have refined practical linguistic research skills through discussing pragmatic problems and proposing solutions based on current materials


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.