Crash Course Linguistics 6 (Pragmatics)

How does context affect meaning?

Week 6’s Crash Course Linguistics video helps viewers understand how context can affect meaning.

Topics include Gricean maxims, the cooperative principle, and politeness theory. In this week's Thought Bubble, Gav provides an introduction to turntaking, highlighting how the amount of silence when we chat can vary among cultures and conversations. Closed captions are available in English.

For a video more oriented toward testable course content, Clues to Meaning by The Ling Space focuses in detail on different types of meaning and how they interact with context: implicature, entailment, and presupposition. This 8-minute video has closed captions available in English, Chinese, and Portuguese, and the link above includes a brief written summary of the video as well as additional materials.

For a fun conversation about Gricean maxims, humor, and being annoying with language, check out the 33-minute Lingthusiasm episode Layers of meaning. This episode is available wherever you prefer to find podcasts, and a transcript is available here.

Grice’s Grifter Gadgets, a problem from the 2013 North American Computational Linguistics Open Competition, offers practice with Gricean maxims in the form of a card game featuring flying telepathic robots. Answers are available here.

Coming next week: resources about sociolinguistics!

Liz, Gretchen, and Lauren

About Mutual Intelligibility

Mutual Intelligibility is a project to connect linguistics instructors with online resources, especially as so much teaching is shifting quickly online due to current events. It's produced by Lauren Gawne and Gretchen McCulloch, with the support of our patrons on Lingthusiasm. Our editor is Liz McCullough.

Mutual Intelligibility posts will always remain free, but if you have a stable income and find that they’re reducing your stress and saving you time, we're able to fund these because of the Lingthusiasm Patreon and your contributions there

For the 16 weeks of Crash Course Linguistics, Mutual Intelligibility will be sharing the video weekly, along with supporting resources. We will resume our regular link request and recommendations after the Crash Course Linguistics series. For more on how we usually operate, check out our about page.

If you have other comments, suggestions, or ideas of ways to help, please email mutual.intellig@gmail.com.