Show Less
Restricted access

Elements of Hermeneutic Pragmatics

Agency and Interpretation


Tahir Wood

Can linguistic pragmatics be developed without the need to formulate rules, criteria or maxims? The author argues that rules as they have been conceived of within pragmatics, particularly speech act theory, are limiting and out of step with the linguistic science of recent decades.
Using a hermeneutic approach to pragmatics, this book seeks to bring pragmatics closer to the cognitive paradigm that has transformed the other branches of the linguistic and communication sciences, with the help of developments in certain neighbouring disciplines such as philosophy, sociology and narratology. The elements that are opened up to pragmatics in this approach include some new conceptions of intentionality, intertextuality, communicative action and literary authorship, as well as the subjectivity of interpretation, which by its very nature ceaselessly transforms all forms of communication in its historical spiral.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter 4: The Structure of Agency in Language, Communication and Society



The Structure of Agency in Language, Communication and Society

Agency in grammar

In this chapter I will consider the topic of agency: firstly, as it appears encoded in the structures of language, and then, as it appears in sociological analysis.

This first section shows how agency has become a topic of interest in linguistics due to a shift from a rules-based ontology to one that is based on holistic gestalts. The emergence of a new zeitgeist in linguistics after the heyday of transformational-generative grammar can be usefully mapped in retrospect with reference to one theorist, the late Charles Fillmore, whose work shows a progressive distancing from the dominating framework of transformational-generative grammar (hereafter TG). There were also attempted revisions of the ‘standard theory’ in various other initiatives, such as generative semantics and some efforts also to incorporate speech act theory into grammar.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.