Exploring the Communicative Functions of Pragmatic Vagueness as a Discursive Strategy
Yu Shi
Southwest University, Chongqing, China.
DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2015.53018   PDF    HTML   XML   5,746 Downloads   7,411 Views   Citations


The acts of human beings are usually guided by our purposes. To meet our purposes, we deliberately take different strategies. It is the same case in verbal communication. In communication, vague language has been widely applied as a discursive strategy to achieve speaker’s communicative purpose. We usually adopt different vague languages in order to achieve different communicative purposes. We call this discursive strategy pragmatic vagueness, which is different from the vagueness of language. The latter is an intrinsic feature of some languages themselves while the former is used as a strategy in communication and heavily influenced by our communicative purposes, therefore, to some degree, indicating the language using ability of the speaker. Thus it is necessary to explore the communicative functions of pragmatic vagueness for achieving communicative purpose. By examining the examples mainly in daily usage, this thesis intends to explore what communicative functions pragmatic vagueness has, how its functions are achieved and why people tend to do it in this way, and to analyze how speakers’ goals are accomplished by making use of vague languages.

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Shi, Y. (2015) Exploring the Communicative Functions of Pragmatic Vagueness as a Discursive Strategy. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 5, 225-231. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2015.53018.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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