Styles of Communication, Vol 3, No 1 (2011)

Research Directions in Anthropological Pragmatics

Piotr P. Chruszczewski


Anthropological linguistics, and by default also anthropological pragmatics, grew as sub-disciplines of both anthropology and linguistics. “The intellectual basis for anthropological linguistics in the United States derives from Boas ([1911] 1966), whose interests and concerns led to the anthropological view of language, which is that language is an integral part of culture (…)” (Klein 2006: 296). Pragmatics enters the scene, telling the researcher how to analyse the aforementioned phenomena. Therefore, anthropological pragmatics would be responsible for equipping the researcher with tools, for it is language and language-oriented mechanisms of communication, the study of which provides a much clearer insight into cultural phenomena which often direct the use of language representing culture from both the synchronic and the diachronic point of view. “[O]ne approaches language from an anthropological view, which includes the uses of language and the uses of silence, as well as the cultural problems involved in silence and speech” (ibid.).


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