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Are these considered pragmatic errors?

asked 2018-04-28 18:30:58 -0500

HW2 gravatar image

I'm wondering if the following sentences would be considered incorrect due to an error in pragmatics (as opposed to syntax or semantics.)

"They got no manners." "It doesn't smell like nothing." "Is our desks going to be put together?"

I guess I'm just confused as to the difference between a pragmatic error and a syntax error in the English language. These sentences were spoken by ELL students with Spanish as a first language, if that makes a difference. Thanks!

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answered 2018-05-21 13:29:26 -0500

Gerard Cheshire gravatar image

In this context pragmatics refers to intended meaning and ability to understand - thus, given the examples, the writers/speakers clearly have low pragmatic competence, whilst the reader/listener requires high pragmatic competence.

Syntax refers to sentence structure, whilst semantics refers to precise meaning of linguistic components. So, as the examples break various rules in both regards, the reader/listener is required to compensates in order to detect and comprehend the intended meaning.

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Asked: 2018-04-28 18:30:58 -0500

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Last updated: Apr 28 '18