ERIC Number: ED399810
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Where Does Sociopragmatic Ambiguity Come From?
Burt, Susan Meredith
Sociopragmatic ambiguity (SPA) is claimed here to differ from other, better-known types of ambiguity, in terms of its locus, cause, and effect. SPA is characteristic of whole-discourse features rather than of lexical items or phrases. The ambiguity is one of social rather than ideational or semantic meaning. It is claimed that SPA arises through an identifiable interaction between two maxims (confluence), in which two maxims enjoin the same speaker behavior. Two examples are discussed. The first, choice of code in intercultural conversations, represents a situation where more than one choice of maxim is available; when it is not obvious to the hearer which maxim lies behind that choice, SPA results. The second instance is the choice of second person pronoun (e.g., "tu/vous"), a well-known example of SPA that can also be explained as arising through maxim confluence. Contains 17 references. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Pragmatics and Language Learning. Monograph Series Volume 6; see FL 024 134.