During the seminar, we have buckled down to the arduous task of understanding and using a brand new theoretical field of study as far as the great family of linguistics is concerned. This paper and the database we have come to build out are the concrete results of a work which turned out to be very interesting, for it allowed us to open up to things fundamentally different from the Culiolian approach we have been familiar to so far. Indeed, within the framework of pragmatics, language is not just a logical system: any time one talks, one performs a speech act and implies conversational implicatures, using conversational maxims, in order to follow the cooperative principle, and therefore, the context and the intention of the speaker have to be taken into account. The speaker or, to a more general extent, the one who utters or writes a sentence's meaning, as we shall see, is often different from the sentence meaning, and therefore, taking language as a mere binary system things being categorized as true or false can be erroneous. We have tried to apply all those principles to the study of grammatical constructions, which are patterns ranging from words to complex sentences that integrate form, intonation and meaning(s) both semantic and pragmatic. What is important in this prism is to work within a tripartite framework, involving syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Once we have understood what speech acts, implicatures and grammatical constructions stand for, we can tackle the analysis of various examples of grammatical constructions. This paper will put the emphasis on adjectives in their broadest sense that is to say, modifiers and determiners, or any word or group of words that function as an adjective proper. We will try to highlight the different grammatical constructions involving an adjectival form, using the various contexts in which those units were uttered. We will first of all try to analyse two short paragraphs which are replete with adjectival forms, in order to show the importance of the context on such and such grammatical construction involving adjectives. Namely, we will give the form of each construction, its meaning, and try to show how the context influences or not our understanding of the unit. A second part will be dedicated to a less systematic analysis, for we will only take into account the most relevant those which can stand for representatives of either a linguistic form or of a pragmatic meaning grammatical constructions, in order to come up to certain generalizations concerning adjectives.
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[...] Note that this construction is included in a larger one, end of one stage where one stage” is a prepositional phrase modifying the head noun long and difficult journey” is made of an article, two coordinated adjectives –which are attributive- and a head noun. This construction is part of another bigger one, stage of a long a difficult journey”, and it is a prepositional phrase modifying the head noun The two adjectives are scalar ones, and they partake of the metaphor used here, namely, that of considering the events as an exhausting trip. [...]
[...] A second part will be dedicated to a less systematic analysis, for we will only take into account the most relevant –those which can stand for representatives of either a linguistic form or of a pragmatic meaning– grammatical constructions, in order to come up to certain generalizations concerning adjectives. Part analysis of two utterances in the prism of pragmatics: how the context influences our grasp of a grammatical construction In this section, we will try to scrutinize all the grammatical constructions involving adjectives in two short excerpts, in order to show the impact of pragmatics on our understanding of utterances. [...]
[...] In the next section, we will try to come up to generalizations, as far as the various forms of grammatical constructions involving adjectives are concerned. Part II: a less systematic approach of grammatical constructions involving adjectives: towards generalizations The first section allowed us to show how the context of an utterance can influence our perception of a grammatical construction. Indeed, syntax –namely, the linguistic form itself– and semantics –that is to say, the “context-invariant meaning” are important, but the context alone allows us to grasp the intention of the “transmitter”. [...]
[...] Linguistic rules are important for the meaning of a construction to be seized, but the pragmatic aspect is maybe even more crucial, for a context-less expression is never used in everyday language. Conclusion It is not so difficult to unite theory and practice in the light of pragmatics and cognitive linguistics. Indeed, the two parts of our inquiry illustrate the permanent interaction between syntax, semantics and pragmatics: it is impossible to drop one of those elements, because they are inherent in language and must be taken into account as a tripartite system. [...]
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