Emotion and instantaneous choice in interactional linguistic pragmatics: Cross-cultural perspectives

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Abstract

It is axiomatic in the study of pragmatics that speakers must make choices from a myriad of variants in phonology, morphology and syntax "on the fly" during the course of interaction. However, the specific psychological and neurophysiological mechanisms that both prompt these choices have largely been taken for granted. Theoretical approaches to this problem in the past have focused on linguistic mechanisms such as "metapragmatics" or cultural approaches such as the analysis of "habitus." While acknowledging the importance of these approaches, in this paper I extend this view by suggesting that these instantaneous choices are largely governed by the same cognitive mechanisms that govern emotional response. Drawing on the work of contemporary neurophysiology, pragmatic philosophy and phenomenology, I draw on examples from Japanese, Persian and Javanese.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-62
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume69
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Emotion
  • Instantaneous choice
  • Japanese
  • Javanese
  • Persian
  • Politeness
  • Thin slicing

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