Publication details [#54145]

Publication type
Article in book
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins


This essay first introduces historical pragmatics, addressing it origins and data problems. It then briefly sketches some of the work carried out on various topics: discourse markers, speech acts, and politeness, and finally, it surveys new perspectives. Historical pragmatics (HP) is a field of study that investigates pragmatic aspects in the history of specific languages. It studies various aspects of language use at earlier stages in the development of a language; it studies the diachronic development of language use; and it studies the pragmatic motivations for language change. HP has established itself as an independent field of inquiry since the mid-nineteen-nineties, and various conceptualizations of the field have since been proposed.