Variational pragmatics

Klaus P. Schneider
Table of contents

Variational pragmatics is a field of inquiry at the interface of pragmatics and sociolinguistics. It can be defined as the study of intra-lingual pragmatic variation, i.e. of pragmatic variation across varieties of the same language. More specifically, variational pragmatics can be characterized as the intersection of pragmatics with dialectology. In this context, dialectology is not understood in its narrow traditional sense as the study of regional variation alone, but in a more comprehensive sense as the study of both regional and social variation. In this sense, dialectology combines and integrates the fields of dialect geography and urban dialectology and covers all areas of language variation in sociolinguistics (cf., e.g. Schneider 2005b).

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