Why are Logic, Mathematics, and Composition Important for Pragmatic Studies?

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Sewanee University of the South
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Pragmatic studies have taken the central role in the study of literature. Linguistics understood as the study of languages based on different experiences. English is one of the commonly studied languages in literature. This is due to the widespread use of the language across the world. This creates a unique relationship between English and pragmatic studies. Pragmatic studies include the study of how language is used in different contexts. It also involves the integration of other disciplines and explaining how they are related to various contexts of language (Birner, 2013). The fact that English is widely used diversifies how its applications can be understood. Different people in different places have adopted different ways of using the language. This mostly depends on the social environment of the people. However, widely spoken languages such as English have standard concepts that are used by all the speakers of the language (Birner, 2013).

Pragmatic studies help to explain how people contextualize different aspects of language. People can sometimes interpret language according to their experiences (Birner, 2013). Language can be understood from the literal sense or the contextual sense. Pragmatic studies also help to explain these two perspectives based on their use of the language. The literal comprehension of language is referred to as semantics (Birner, 2013). Pragmatic studies also explain scenarios in language use where semantics is more efficient compared to pragmatism. However, other tools are required in pragmatic studies to enhance the explanation of all these concepts. These ideas include the application of knowledge from other disciplines, the use of logic, and composition. Subjects such as Mathematics are critical in the understanding of pragmatic studies.

Logic is one of the essential concepts that are applied in pragmatic studies. It refers to the reasoning that is done based on the understanding of the principles that determine validity in language. Pragmatic studies are understood through their assessment of semantic and pragmatic perspectives in language use (Birner, 2013). Logic plays a huge role in this view. It is required to determine the semantic and pragmatic aspects in a statement based on how people use language. For instance, if an individual says The exam question was a nightmare, he can be perceived either literally or contextually. In order to understand the impression of the speaker, it is crucial to differentiate between the literal and the pragmatic meanings of the statement. This can only be accomplished through the use of logic. The semantic view of the statement implies that the speaker had dreamt about the exam question. On the other hand, the logical view of the statement might imply that the exam question was too difficult (Birner, 2013). Through the use of logic, an individual can easily understand that the speaker had expressed the statement from a pragmatic view.

Logic can also be used to understand different parts of a statement used in language. In pragmatic studies, this is achieved through ranking various types of logic (Birner, 2013). This helps to explain differences in the pragmatic views of a sentence. Although a statement can be understood from either the semantic or pragmatic perspectives, the pragmatic view can also have different impressions. For instance, in the declaration about the exam question, the pragmatic view implied that the exam question was too difficult. However, the statement could also mean that the exam question was easy but required too much information. Categorizing logic in pragmatic studies into forms such as inductive reasoning and formal logic makes it easy to understand such disparities (Birner, 20130.

Mathematics is also crucial in the applications of pragmatic studies. The fact that Mathematics incorporates the use of formulas makes it highly relevant to pragmatic research. Other properties such as the use of tables as applied in Mathematics also play a role in pragmatic studies. The dynamic use of English language can also have consequences. There is a high probability that most people misuse English phrases. One of the aims of pragmatic studies is to ensure that people use correct phrases to construct sentences during communication (Birner, 2013). However, one can only use the correct phrase if he understands what makes the alternative phrase to be wrong. Mathematics helps individuals to understand how information can be arranged in tables. It also helps people to understand how to evaluate information presented in the form of a table. Truth tables are commonly used in pragmatic studies. Truth tables are used to determine whether a specific portion of a statement is true or false (Birner, 2013). Mathematical knowledge on the evaluation of tables can be used in the understanding of truth tables. Understanding whether to join phrases in a table from the right or the left is one of the tricks that is used to understand the truth tables.

Formulas are mostly used in Mathematics to understand the relationship between variables. In the truth table, different phrases of a statement are put in a specific column. The main goal of the truth tables is to determine which parts of the statement are true, and the parts that are false (Birner, 2013). One way that this can be achieved is through the use of formulas to establish a relationship between the contexts of the phrases. Through the formula, one can tell whether a combination of certain phrases results in a true or a false statement.

The aspect of composition is also essential in pragmatic studies. Composition refers to how individual components of something have been structured to come up with a functioning whole. Sentences are the basic structures of language. In linguistic studies, the composition is used to refer to the joining of phrases to form sentences. The composition of a sentence is very important in understanding its meaning. A sentence can be composed of two or more clauses. In some cases, it is essential to join all the clauses so that the sentence can make sense. In other instances, individual clauses in a sentence can also make sense independently (Birner, 2013). This results in the formation of different types of sentences such as compound and complex sentences.

The composition is used to define different types of semantics. The composition of a sentence can help to determine how the sentence could be interpreted. For instance, compositional semantics is used to evaluate how certain semantic statements acquire their meaning (Birner, 2013). In this case, semantic sentences are categorized based on their composition. The meaning of the phrase is derived from the meaning of the individual parts that form the sentence. For instance, the statement Tom loves Donkeys is understood based on the arrangement of the different parts of the sentence. However, it is clear that if the composition of the sentence changes, the meaning might also change. If it is rewritten as Donkeys love Tom, it is evident that the intent of the sentence changes due to the change in the references.



Birner, B.J. (2013). Introduction to Pragmatics. New York; John Wiley & Sons


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