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Pragmatics

Pragmatics can be defined as a set of rules governing the use of language within a communicative context. The ability to interpret and use these rules to share intended meaning in a social context is called pragmatic competence. To clearly understand what is meant by pragmatics, it is helpful to visualize language as a set of concentric circles. Phonology and its rules for describing the phonemes and the allowable combinations of phonemes of a language would be at the center. Combinations of phonemes would be used to encode words that refer to meaning, or semantics, in circle two. Additional phonemes, affixed to words, give further nuance of meaning to the words, such as time of action (e.g., verb tense) or status of subjects (e.g., plural, ...

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