Meaning And Context

Posted on January 26, 2010


Many applied linguistics researches have sought to explain the relationships between meaning and the situations in which it is produced. Approaches such as ethnomethodology in sociolinguistics, have dealt with situation, or context in various ways in showing some relationship between context and meaning. Pragmatics also focuses on language meaning in context and how context affects the meaning of utterances. Meaning in pragmatics is considered dynamic as context and utterances are both dependent on and resulting from each other (Levinson 1983). The theoretical construct that language meaning is dependent on the context in which it was produced makes the link between meaning and context or variables that influence context, an important focus for a discourse investigation.

Therefore, in trying to caoch new debaters, we must not only focus on the points and general manner of sepaking but also various peripheral variables that can be influential in the context of the discourse. Contextual understanding can help in forwarding clear meaning and failure to grasp the context can leave you a wee bit embarrased.